Cover image for Six haunted hairdos
Six haunted hairdos
Maguire, Gregory.
Personal Author:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Waterville, ME : Thorndike Press, 2002.

Physical Description:
183 pages ; 23 cm
With the help of their favorite teacher, two rival clubs, the all-boy Copycats and the all-girl Tattletales, stop trying to out-do each other long enough to help the ghosts of a baby elephant and a herd of mastodons that appear near their small Vermont town.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.1 5.0 44957.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Large Print Central Closed Stacks

On Order


Author Notes

Gregory Maguire was born June 9, 1954 in Albany, New York. He received a B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany and a Ph.D. in English and American literature from Tufts University. He is a founder and co-director of Children's Literature New England, Incorporated, a non-profit educational charity established in 1987.

He writes for both adults and children. His first book, The Lighting Time, was published in 1978. His adult works include Wicked, Confessions of and Ugly Stepsister, Lost, Mirror Mirror, Son of a Witch, and A Lion Among Men. The Broadway play Wicked is based on his book of the same title. His children's books include the picture book Crabby Cratchitt, the novel The Good Liar, and the Hamlet Chronicles series.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-6. The sequel to Seven Spiders Spinning (1994) is a perfectly silly story with a lot of appeal to middle-schoolers, especially those of the boy persuasion. Two clubs, the boys' Copycats and the girls' Tattletales, amuse themselves, in and out of Miss Germaine Earth's class in rural Vermont, with ghost tales, but Salim, a new American originally from Bombay, wonders. He's afraid to tell the other Copycats about the ghost of the baby elephant he thinks followed him here on his Air India flight. The insufferable Thekla Mustard, empress of the Tattletales, who wants to prove once and for all that boys are both stupid and inferior, concocts a fiendish plot involving the ghostly hairdos of the title. Pearl, the one girl in the class who's not a Tattletale, searches fact and ghost lore in the local library, and a Copycat finds a further ghostly clue in another library. Along the way, mastodons, chocolate doughnuts, a bit of Indian culture, country music, and a couple of the requisite helpful librarians assist in Thekla's getting her comeuppance, Salim's feeling accepted, and some animal ghosts' finding whatever it is ghosts need (love, says Maguire). --GraceAnne A. DeCandido

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-5‘The key elements of this zany story include a teacher who loves country music, Grandma's Baked Goods and Auto Repair Shop, woolly mammoth ghosts, a baby Indian elephant, a recent immigrant from India, and a Vermont setting. Miss Earth's fourth-grade students are divided along gender lines as to whether ghosts really exist. In an effort to prove themselves superior, the girls, members of the Tattletales club, set out to scare the boys, the Copycats club, by creating a story of six beauticians who died while touring the area. Luring the Copycats to the scene of the accident, the Tattletales scare them by using old clothes, wigs, and talcum powder. Meanwhile, the Copycats discover a herd of woolly mammoth ghosts that is searching for a lost baby. In a creative plot twist, the boys, aided by Pearl Hotchkiss who refuses to join either club, help the mammoths and get revenge on the girls. With a true understanding of fourth graders, the author creates believable characters. The dialogue is hilarious and reads aloud well. While the plot is complex because of all the characters, situations, and details, it flows nicely. The book features the same cast as Maguire's Seven Spiders Spinning (Houghton, 1994) but stands independently. Although the jacket art is less appealing, this title is bound to be as popular as Louis Sachar's Sideways Stories from Wayside School (Random, 1990).‘Molly S. Kinney, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Six Haunted Hairdos Chapter One A Migrating Ghost "If you ever see a ghost," the boy told his friends in a whisper, "you must do three things. First, pinch yourself to make sure you're awake. Second, pinch the ghost to make sure it's real." "That's only two things," said someone. "If it pinches back," said Salim, "the third thing to do is run for your life." The other boys nodded. It was fun to be in the tree house at sunset, talking about ghosts. No one was scared. You could hear Mr. Grubb hammering on the back porch. A hammer pounding was a nice safe sound. "But did you ever see a ghost?" asked Sammy Grubb, whose tree house it was. "Yes," said Salim. "You're making it up," said Sammy Grubb. "Oh, I tell the truth," said Salim. "I saw a ghost on the Air India jet coming from Bombay this summer. I had been in the washroom at the rear of the cabin. When I came out, the movie had started. Everyone in the smoking section was lighting up cigarettes." The other six members of the Copycats club stared at him. "Just then," Salim continued, "the pilot spoke over the intercom. He said for all passengers to buckle their seat belts. We were flying over the Himalayas, tallest mountains in the world. We were heading straight for turbulent winds." "And?" said the boys in unison. "As I stood there, a ghost appeared, formed out of cigarette smoke. It floated in the light from the in-flight video. The ghost made a shadowy shape against the screen, sort of like a legless man with a tapering tail. At first people laughed because they thought it was part of the show. But somebody said, "It's a ghost! And everyone began to scream." "Then what?" The boys waited breathlessly. Sammy Grubb's mouth opened up so wide that his gum fell out onto the tree house floor. He brushed the dirt off with his thumb and popped the gum back in his mouth. He wasn't scared of a little dirt. Besides, he needed to chew. That's how anxious he was. Salim went on. "The jet hit an air bump and people screamed again. Chicken curry went globbing through the air, followed by a thousand grains of rice. The ghost stretched out something like a long thick arm, pointing toward the back of the cabin. An old granny screeched, 'We're all going to die!' and then she fainted. But I thought the ghost was pointing at me." The boys began to wish they had more than a single candle burning in their tree house. The evening was getting a bit too dark, and Mr. Grubb had finished his hammering and gone inside. "Then what?" "The airplane bucked and stumbled on the currents like a fish flopping around on the bank of a river. The ghost began to swarm over the heads of everyone sitting in economy class. People ducked. I thought I should slip back into one of the washrooms, but they were all occupied. I was trapped!" "And then?" asked Sammy Grubb, Chief of the Copycats club. "And then?" echoed the other loyal members, Hector, Stan, Moshe, Mike, and Forest Eugene. "There was no place to go!" "And then?" "When she fainted, the old granny leaned against the buttons in the arm of her seat, and she accidentally rang the bell for the steward. So, ghost or no ghost, an Air India steward came leaping bravely down the aisle. He yelled at me to get to my seat. Then he leaned over the granny to see what she wanted. He thought she was just asleep, so he opened an overhead luggage compartment to find her a complimentary Air India blanket." "And then?" "The ghost came floating nearer and nearer. If it was coming for me or the old woman, I couldn't say. But just then the airplane slid into a pothole in the air and everything in the cabin jumped around again: babies, more chicken curry and rice, little airplane pillows, me--and also the smoky ghost. It was jostled upward into the open overhead luggage compartment. The steward slammed the door shut. Everyone cheered. We had a quiet trip all the way to London, where we had a stopover before changing planes for Boston. But the steward said that nobody should open that overhead compartment until all the passengers were safely off the plane." "Who do you think the ghost was after? You?" asked Sammy Grubb. "I don't know," said Salim. "When the granny came to her senses, she began to shriek that it was the ghost of her dead husband coming to haunt her. But when we landed in London her husband met her in the arrival hall, and then she remembered that he wasn't dead yet." "I wonder where the ghost is now," said Sammy Grubb. "Who can say?" " said Salim. "Air India flies to many cities. But if a ghost ever shows up, remember the three things I told you to do." "Number one: Pinch yourself to make sure you're awake," said Sammy Grubb. "Right," said Salim. "Number two: Pinch the ghost to make sure it's real," said Sammy Grubb. "Right," said Salim. "Number three: If the ghost pinches back," said Sammy Grubb, "run for your life." "Right," said Salim. "But there's not very far away you can run if you're in an airplane." Overhead, a jet airliner floated in the inky night the stars. The Vermont woods nearby seemed dense eith shadows and alive with suspicious sounds. "What's that in the woods?" Sammy Grubb suddenly screamed. "Look! Down there!" "It's a ghost!" Salim whispered. "Everybody, pinch yourselves!" They all did. "Ow," said Sammy Grubb. "Pinch the ghost! said Salim. But nobody threw himself out of the tree house to do it. Down below, the figure in the woods came a little nearer. Six Haunted Hairdos . Copyright © by Gregory Maguire. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Six Haunted Hairdos by Gregory Maguire All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.