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Children's Fiction Military & Wars

Ghost of Heroes Past

by (author) Charles Reid

Ronsdale Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2010
Military & Wars
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2010
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2010
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 10 to 14
  • Grade: 5


Thirteen-year-old Johnny Anders is something of a misfit, with no friends and a poor school record, but all this begins to change when he is awakened one night to find a soldier-ghost in his bedroom. Johnny is taken back to meet a series of unusual heroes in Canada's war history. These include Joan Bamford Fletcher, who commandeered Japanese soldiers to take hundreds of wounded civilians to safety through the jungles of Indonesia, and the much-decorated Raymond Collishaw, through whom Johnny learns that Canada played a role in the Russian Revolution. Even as he is making his discoveries, Johnny becomes close friends with Casey Collishaw, the great-granddaughter of Raymond Collishaw. Together the pair set about uncovering why it is that Johnny has been chosen to be a witness to Canadians at war.

About the author

Charles Reid, a Londoner by birth, spent his early years surviving the London Blitz. It was these early experiences that inspired his first novel, Hurricanes over London. After a stint in Britainâ??s Royal Navy, Charles returned to civilian life and went on to have a successful sales career, both in his native England and in his adopted land, Canada. Upon retirement he found there was still some unfinished business that needed his attention. He had noticed the dearth of any serious attempt to bring to a younger generation of Canadians the contribution made by previous generations to the cause of freedom. He started with the story of Willie McKnight, the fighter pilot whose exploits were revealed in Hurricanes over London. In this novel, he combined his own experiences of the turbulent war years of his childhood with those of this legendary fighter pilot, who became a hero to his generation. Continuing his idea of bringing stories of famous Canadian achievements to readers, his next book, Chasing the Arrow, revealed the political mistakes that led to the demise of one of the worldâ??s great fighter planes, the Avro Arrow. In his latest novel, he has brought together a number of stories in the same vein. Ghost of Heroes Past covers both world wars and the Russian Revolution. These stories tell of the exceptional courage displayed by men and women in all branches of the services. Charles Reid makes his home in Nanaimo, British Columbia.

Charles Reid's profile page


  • Unknown, Finalist for Chocolate Lily Award
  • Unknown, Finalist for Chocolate Lily Award 2011-2012
  • Unknown, Finalist for Chocolate Lily Award

Editorial Reviews

“Ghost of Heroes Past is excellent. Reid brilliantly explains the stories of several Canadians and their involvement in wars past. The reader feels connected to the soldiers and understands the gritty situations of war in a new way.” — Resource Links

Librarian Reviews

Ghost of Heroes Past

Ghost of Heroes Past is the coming-of-age story of outsider British Columbia teenager, Johnny Anders. As he grumbles about his situation in a normal family and typical school, his life becomes more interesting when a “soldier ghost” takes Johnny into a dream world of vivid episodes from Canada’s war history. Insights into the roles of Canadian women and Chinese Canadians in World War II, the submarine war and the Royal Canadian Air Force, gained through his dreams, are intersperse with a real-life burgeoning relationship with the great-granddaughter of Raymond Collishaw, a distinguished Canadian flying ace from WWI. Johnny’s attitude adjusts and he becomes socially comfortable and more successful in school as he interiorizes the insights gathered while he discovers the reasons he has been chosen to be a witness to Canadians at war. The dynamic of Johnny’s change drives this young adult novel to a satisfying conclusion.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2010-2011.

Other titles by Charles Reid