McGroom's Ghost

Frozen Sounds and the Phonograph (PM-0753)

Presented by the Weekly Reader Children's Book Club

A W. W. Norton Book Published by Grosset & Dunlap, Inc., New York

Text Copyright ©1971 Sid Fleischman

Illustration Copyright ©1971 Robert Frankenberg


McBroom's Ghost is the story of ghosts who came during an uncommon cold winter to the one-acre farm owned by Josh McGroom, an honest man who wouldn't "tell fibs" about how cold it was but who nevertheless provided the warning that you "had to be careful when you lit a match. The flame would freeze and you had to wait for a thaw to blow it out."

The following year an even more uncommon cold winter came. It was a "dreadful cold winter" and in the Winter of the Big Freeze "some downright unusual things" happened. "Red barns for miles around turned blue with the cold." "One day the temperature fell so low that sunlight froze on the ground." Through it all the family listened to their talking machine and John Philip Sousa's band. "My, those piccolos did sound pretty!" But when the ghosts came back, to Mr. McGroom's great displeasure, they were even able to fool him into thinking he was hearing the piccolos from his talking machine. "Confound that haunt!" McGroom exploded. "Now it's imitating John Philip Sousa's entire marching band!"

As a book on the shelf of Phonographia's PhonoLiterature this story has references to both playing records and illustrations of listening to the phonograph.

The following are Friends of the Phonograph highlights.

The story can be read in its entirety courtesy of the Internet Archive.


McBroom's Ghost, Fleischman, p.10



Ibid. pp. 12-13

p. 14


p. 19


p. 26


p. 39


p. 50


p. 52