Abra Kadabra


73 pages
ISBN 0-590-74759-2
DDC jC813'.54





Illustrations by Jaleen Marles

Elizabeth St. Jacques is the author of Echoes All Strung Out and
Survivors: The Great Depression, 1929-1939.


No doubt about it, parents can be a problem. But can you imagine having
parents who are honest-to-goodness ghosts and who are still living in
1862? And what if your teacher suspects your falling grades are due to
parental neglect and insists on meeting your Ma and Pa? What to do! Such
is Abra Kadabra’s dilemma.

Set in the Cariboo, this delightfully bizarre story of Abra, a real
live girl of the 1990s whose ghostly gold-mining parents and nanny (none
other than Goldpan Annie) disappear the moment they step outside the
house, is sure to trigger your giggle button.

But as enchanting as this spirited story is, with its peppy dialogue
and colorful characters, it is hampered by some technical groaners. For
example, the ghostlike disappearance of one sentence’s ending and the
slow pace of some scenes are annoying. As well, the frequent ballet
twirls, spins, and deep-knee bends of Abra’s teacher are a bit much
even for this story, as is her too-sudden about-face from antagonist to
friend. Particularly disappointing is the poor quality of paper in this

Young readers, however, will be tickled to their hair roots by this
fun-filled read. They may hardly notice that the author is giving them a
history lesson on those fascinating gold-rush days in the Cariboo.


Bayless, Maureen., “Abra Kadabra,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 13, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/20666.