I had 2-3 books in my probably later elementary school, maybe up to junior high school (?) years, that I loved so very much. They were part of the Ghost Squad series. I have been meaning off and on to Google them for a while now. I really liked the books but especially loved the one where they went on the Concorde. It fascinated me so much! Really spurred my imagination. It was on my to-do-once-in-life list, really. I was very very sad when the Concordes quit flying because it meant that dream was gone. And I was happy to at least get the chance to look at one at the new Udvar Hazy Air & Space Museum in the DC area, closest I’ll ever come to being able to fly in one I guess. I remember how the ghost characters like phased out partially or something when they were on it, going supersonic, like they had lines in them or something. The memories are vague but I read tons of books and these stand out in my memory above most others.
I still have at least two of the three, I saw them not long ago. And the coolest thing ever, actually I knew there was a “book 1” — an “origins story” I know to call it now — but I didn’t have it, and in those days there was no internet so if the local bookstore didn’t have you were out of luck. So I wrote to the publisher! An actual letter (that’s what we had then, you know!). The address was there in the book. And I told them how much I liked the two books I had and could they please tell me how to buy the one I didn’t have. And they sent it to me for free! That was so awesome, I still remember how excited it was and how I knew how nice of them it was, I hadn’t expected that.
So, finally, I looked them up. On Amazon you can find a few of them sold as collectors items. And it looks like a couple of remake books have been written. I read the description of another one of the books and it referred to a “Malev” which meant a malevolent ghost. And suddenly I remembered, this is where I learned the word “malevolent.” I’m a language geek so occasionally I do have memories like that, of exactly when I learned a word. And that gave me even more warm fuzzies. I enjoyed these books, they stoked my imagination, and I learned from them — it doesn’t get better than that in kids’ books!
So I looked up the author, E.W. Hildick, on Wikipedia. And felt kind of kicked in the gut to see he had died in 2001. I never knew anything about him, didn’t remember his name. But I was genuinely saddened to learn he’s no longer with us. According to the Wikipedia article among his other careers he was a secondary school teacher.
If anyone should come across this post who read his books and may have some memories to share, I’d love to hear about it!