About the Author

Eleanor Creasey

Eleanor Creasey is a retired teacher and school principal. She is the author of four teachers' resource guides to facilitate classroom discussion of novels. On Remembrance Day is her first book. She lives in Ottawa.

Books by this Author
Alex and The Other Teachers' Guide
Excerpt

THIS PART IS (MOSTLY) TRUE

You should know, before you even start this book, that it’s a little scary. And parts of it are even a bit weird and strange. I wish I could make the story less scary and strange, but this is the way I heard it, so I really have no choice.
It starts like this:
A long time ago, an old farmer woke in the middle of the night, to the sound of his pigs.
They were screaming out in the pigpen.
Now, if you’ve never heard a pig scream, you’re lucky. They sound like, well “other-worldly,” might be the best word for what they sound like. It makes your hair stand up.
The old farmer looked out his bedroom window, and the pigs were going crazy. The piglets rammed into the fence again and again, and their mother, the old sow, tried to dig her way out of the pigpen (something that had never occurred to her before).
“Darn coyotes again,” the old farmer said. The pigs never liked coyotes. With good reason.
The old farmer grabbed his boots and ran into the winter night. He burst out the kitchen door, tramped across the crunchy snow …
… and stopped dead.
His pigs fell silent. They stood perfectly still and looked at him. Which was a bit unnerving.
A strange green fog swirled around them, like a swamp gas or a mysterious vapour. The moon was up and shone on the snow and on the pigs staring at the farmer.
“What the …?” The old farmer moved closer to get a better look and stopped again. At the edge of the green fog, two tall strangers in long overcoats stood beside the fence. Definitely not coyotes.
The strangers stood perfectly still. And watched him.
Just like the pigs.
The silent pigs and the tall figures stared at him in the eerie green fog and the moonlit silence. The farmer suddenly felt very exposed.
“Who are you? What are you doing to my pigs?” he called out. The weird fog swirled, and a green finger of fog stretched toward him.
There was no answer. He called again. “What do you want with my pigs?”
The wind blew, the green fog stretched across the ground toward him …
… and a strange voice answered, “We seek The Other.”
The old farmer swallowed hard. The voice! The voice was nothing like he’d ever heard before. A squeal. A rasp. A grunt. It made his hair stand up.
“What’s that? What’s The Other? What do you mean?” He tried to get a better look at the tall strangers, but they were shrouded in the green fog. The pigs turned and looked at the strangers as though they were waiting for an answer, too.
Beware The Other,” the awful voice said. It sounded … exactly … like a pig might if it decided to start talking to you. The farmer swallowed again.
“Who are you?” he called.
But as he watched, the strangers turned and vanished into the foggy trees.
Every piggy eye in the pigpen turned to look at the old farmer. A distinctly piggy voice said, “They’ll be back.”
Which was when the farmer turned, ran back into the house, and jumped under his bed. It took his wife a long time to coax him out. The next day a FOR SALE sign was on the farm and the old farmer never, ever spoke about that night again, not to anyone. The pigs were sold to a farmer down the lane. The odd thing was (although, really, what part of this story isn’t odd?), when it came time to count and sell them, there were two piglets missing. And then there weren’t. A little while later, they turned up again.
Who ever heard of a weird green fog that made pigs panic? Or vanish and reappear? Or talk, for that matter?
But every once in a while, in that time and place, a strange story popped up about a green fog that swirled across a winter barnyard and panicked the pigs. The story usually included a missing pig or two and mysterious, tall strangers looking for something, but no one was quite sure what it was.
It’s weird, I know, but as you’ve likely heard somewhere, sometimes truth can be stranger than fiction. Which you’re about to find out.
You don’t have to believe this story. But just because things are odd or a little strange or unbelievable doesn’t always make them untrue. Truth is an odd thing; one person’s truth can be another person’s lie. That’s the most important thing to remember about this story: sometimes things that seem like lies are actually true. And sometimes you never can tell.
That’s the spookiest thing of all.

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Carter and the Curious Maze Teachers' Guide
Excerpt

The mummy howled.

Carter yawned.

The skeleton rattled.

Carter sneezed.

The ghost flapped in his face.

Carter rolled his eyes.

He had to face it: the haunted house at the fair just wasn’t scary anymore.

It used to be scary when he was a little kid. Even last year, when he was eleven, it was still a little creepy. But this year?

No chills, no goosebumps, no shrieks, nothing. The only thing Carter noticed was that the pop-up crypt keeper had a broken spring sticking out of his head, and the floating ghost was covered in a thick layer of dust. Plus, there was a bored-looking man standing behind the curtain near the end of the ride, beside a red button that said, “In Case of Emergency, Push to STOP.”

What emergency? Carter thought. Not even a little kid would be scared by this boring ride!

The haunted house ride ended, and Carter climbed out of the rolling car. He pushed past the bored fair worker and shoved his way through the crowd into the bright sunshine. It was weird out in the noisy midway after the dark of the haunted house.

Carter scanned the crowd and found his older sister, Sydney, but frankly, she would have been hard to miss. She was wearing a ridiculous red hat with googly eyes and long, red tentacles.

“What the heck is that thing?” Carter asked as he joined her. It was the weirdest hat he’d ever seen.

“It’s a squid hat,” Sydney answered, pleased. “I won it. Over there.” She pointed at a tent with stripes on it under an old tree. “While you were in the haunted house,” she added.

“Take it off, you look strange,” Carter said. Everything about the fair suddenly seemed strange. His once-favourite haunted house. And now the weirdest hat in the world.

And there were more things that suddenly didn’t seem so fun. For one thing, it was too hot. And for another, it was too loud. He’d never noticed how loud and hot the fair was before. Plus the placed smelled. The air was full of the reek of fried food and garbage.

Yep … that’s garbage, all right.

Carter and Sydney walked out of the noisy, hot midway and bought ice cream cones. They sat on a picnic bench near the lake beside an enormous grey rock.

The water lay perfectly still against the pebbles on the shore. It looked pretty, but the water smelled like goose poop, which Carter had never noticed before. A few sailboats bobbed in the lake, but there was no wind. It was too hot and still, even for the sailboats.

Carter looked up at the huge grey rock beside them. It stood above his head, above his arms, stretched out. It looked very old and was covered with moss and deep scratches near the top. He finished his ice cream and studied the huge rock.

I’m so bored, I’m studying rocks! I have to get out of here!

“Come on, Sydney, let’s go find Mom,” he begged. “I’m dying of boredom! This place is dull. Nothing interesting has ever happened here in the history of the world. Let’s go!”

“It’s not boring, and Mom’s not meeting us at the parking lot for a little while, Carter. What’s wrong with you? There’s still so much to see.” Sydney marched away. Carter sighed and followed her past the tents and midway rides.

Then he stopped.

Someone was watching him. Across the grass beside a tall tree, a stranger waved and beckoned. Carter was too far away to tell if the man – because it looked like a very small man in a long green smock – was definitely waving at him or someone else. Carter slowly raised his hand and cautiously waved back.

The man waved again, more urgently this time.

Carter looked around to see if the person was waving at someone behind him, but no, he was alone. How odd. Who could that be? He didn’t know anyone else at the fair. Carter realized that Sydney was getting farther away; her red hat bounced in the distance.

He ran to catch up with his sister, looking over his shoulder once more … but the stranger in the green smock was gone.

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