A quirky-funny book from the author of Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer about a boy whose plans for the summer go sideways when the ghost of his great-great-grandmother demands his attention.
HD Schenk is a maker, and his plan for the summer is to build his own computer and enter it in the county fair.
To earn money for parts, HD has promised to clear out his uncle's overflowing basement. But there's more in that basement than HD bargained for. On his first trip down there, a voice only he can hear starts talking to him. About...sauerkraut?
Who knew the ghost of his great-great-grandmother was haunting an old pickling crock? She's got a plan, too. She wants HD to help make her famous recipe for sauerkraut and enter it in the county fair so that she can be declared pickle queen.
After some initial shock, HD is willing enough to help. This ghost is family, after all. But only HD can really see and hear his Oma, which is going to make it hard for her to win on her own...
Kelly Jones spins a wonderfully goofy ghost tale that celebrates creative problem solving, family ties, and makers of every variety.
An Excerpt fromSauerkraut
You know, there are a lot of ghost stories out there that just aren’t that realistic. Maybe somewhere there’s a ghost that wants to spend all their time clanking chains around or whatever. But I bet most ghosts have better things to do.
They’re busy people, after all, and they’re pretty focused on what they need to do.
Kind of like me. Only, more ghostly.
My full name is Hans Dieter Schenk. My dad’s name is Hans Peter Schenk. Before him came Hans Frederich Schenk, and before that came Hans Franz Schenk. (He wanted to be called Franz, because, come on, would you introduce yourself as Hans Franz? It would not be good, not even in olden times.) Before him came more guys back in Germany called Hans Something too. They all looked pretty much the same in old photos, with pale skin and pale hair and square chins and eyes that were probably blue, like my dad’s. All except for Hans Franz, who had a bigger nose than the rest.
They all fit their names exactly.
Mom says I got my chin from my dad. But honestly, I look a lot more like her and my little brother, Asad. I have short black locs, and medium- brown skin, and brown eyes, and no one ever thinks my dad is my dad unless they know us. (Sometimes they even think my dad is my best friend Eli’s dad, not mine, just because they’re both white. It’s . . . awkward.)
So, people call me HD.
My mom’s name is Kikora Davis Schenk. She has darker skin than me and much longer locs, and she is a no- nonsense person. She says that knowing where you came from is important, but so is knowing who you are, and what kind of person you want to become.
I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately.
Right now, most adults know me as “Kikora’s son— the older one” (because everybody knows my mom) or “Hans Peter’s son— the older one,” or “Gregor’s oldest nephew,” or “that boy who takes care of Mr. Ziedrich’s goats for him.” Most kids know me as “that Black kid with the white dad and the weird name— the older one,” or even “Asad’s older brother.”
But after they’ve seen the computer I’m going to build from scratch, old- school- style, they’ll know me as “HD, the maker.”
I like the sound of that.