The Case of the Phantom Friend

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The Case of the Phantom Friend

AuthorAngela Hunt has sold over 4 million books. She lives in Florida with her youth pastor husband and two Mastive dogs. When she is not writing, she likes to teach writing workshops in schools and churches. She has a website:

Mystery that cares!This book solves a mystery while teaching kids to care for people who cannot defend themselves.

The Case of the Phantom Friend

ProblemFive girls, Nicki, Laura, Christine, Meredith, and Kim, have a friend who is very old and lives alone. Their friend, Lela Greaves, had a very big house, almost a mansion. Lela had a very bad stroke and she lost some of her memory. While Lela was in the hospital, her nephew sold all of her things and tried to move her to a center for old people. He thought he could do this because Lela was old and would not get her memory back. The main problem was that the girls wanted to stop the nephew from stealing all Mrs. Greaves’s things and putting her into a center, while also trying to help Mrs. Greaves get back her memory.

ClimaxLela always talked about Peaches, a doll she had since she was little. The girls discovered that Peaches was also the name of a very old friend to Lela. They found Peaches, living in another town a few hours away. When Lela saw her friend she got a little bit of her memory back. Lela also was able to talk again, and started to become normal again. The girls also found out that the furniture was being auctioned. The girls told the man who was auctioning the furniture that it was not the nephew’s furniture, but it was his aunt’s, and he did not have permission to sell it.

This video can help explain what it is like to care for someone losing their memory.

Friends care for each other.

ResolutionSince Lela got her memory back, her nephew was not able to put her in a center for old people. The auctioneer did not want to get into trouble when he heard that the nephew was not allowed to sell it, so he put all the furniture back where it was in the house. The girls called the police to tell them what happened and what the nephew did. The nephew was signing the aunt into the center for old people when the police arrived. The police said “Don’t allow him to sign the paper. He does not have permission to do this.” The nephew was caught and taken to jail. Mrs. Greaves went to stay with Peaches for a while until her memory came back, and then she returned to her house.

SettingThis story took place in a small coastal town in modern (late 20th- early 21st century) America.Main CharactersNicki is the leader of the group. She is smart, and knows how to make plans if anything goes wrong. Nicki cared a lot about Mrs. Greaves, and went to extreme lengths to help her. Kim was very loyal and really cared for old people and respected them a lot. Kim was concerned for old people when they were in trouble. Whenever Meredith disrespected Mrs. Greaves, Kim came to her defense. Laura was skillful: she could mimic voices, she was persuasive, and tricky. Laura used this skill to talk on the phone with adults, she mimicked adults’ voices to get information at the hospital, with the auctioneer, and the nursing home. Meredith was caring, but often did not understand what was going on. She often asked why Mrs. Greaves mattered so much to her friends. Meredith was uncomfortable with older people, because her mother and grandmother were always trying different ways to stay young. Meredith was rich, and her chauffer sometimes picked up the girls to take them where they needed to go. But Meredith was still supportive of her friends, and suggested solutions to her friends’ problems. Christine was more concerned about Mrs. Greaves than Meredith, because her grandmother had died of a stroke. Christine was often discouraged in the story. It was hard for Christine because her parents were getting a divorce. Christine was afraid and mad for Mrs. Greaves, and wanted to protect her. Mrs. Greaves was a kind, old lady. Before she met the girls, she was lonely. She cared for the kids and gave them brownies and lemonade. Mrs. Greaves had a lot of mysteries. Her house was filled with very old antiques, and she loved to tell stories about where things came from. She had been living in that house since she was little. Mrs. Greaves talked about her childhood life a lot.


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