Twelve-year-old Beth Shepherd goes to spend the summer with her grandfather, a widow who is having difficulty coping with his loss. Her goal is to help her grandfather move on from his grief. She ventures into the Lover’s Garden, a place of romance and memory for her grandparents. Although no one has been caring for it sends her grandmother’s death, the garden is in full bloom. She convinces her grandfather to come to see it but all he can see his weeds and dead plants.
Sweet romance and mystery combine beautifully in this gentle story. I had mixed feelings about the necessity of miracles to enable the grandfather to move on with his life and experience happiness again. It is unlikely that preteens reading this book can count on a similar experience to help them through grief. I would’ve liked to have seen more realistic, practical tips on dealing with the loss of a loved one.
However, taken as a positive ghost story, The Ghost with the Green Thumb, is suspenseful and engaging. As an early romance, we follow with interest Beth’s experiences in her first boy/girl relationship. The writing flows easily and would be enjoyed by most preteens.