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Ezra Harris
Ezra Harris

The Real McCoy & Other Ghost Stories: A Review and Analysis of the Book (PDF File)

The Real McCoy & Other Ghost Stories: A Review

If you are looking for a collection of spooky tales that will keep you on the edge of your seat, you might want to check out The Real McCoy & Other Ghost Stories by Lesley Thompson. This book is part of the Dominoes series, which offers graded readers for learners of English. The book contains five short stories that explore different aspects of the supernatural, such as haunted castles, mysterious messages, ghostly encounters, magical animals, and eerie music. The stories are written in a simple but engaging style, with a vocabulary of about 400 words. The book also includes exercises to test your comprehension and improve your language skills.

The Real McCoy Other Ghost Stories Test And Test Key Pdf

In this review, I will give you a brief summary of each story, along with my analysis and opinion. I will also discuss the main themes and genres of the book, as well as its strengths and weaknesses. Finally, I will answer some frequently asked questions about the book.

Summary of the stories

The Real McCoy

This story is set in a hotel in Scotland that used to be a castle. The hotel is owned by Fiona's uncle, who invites Fiona and her three friends to spend a weekend there. Fiona tells her friends that the castle is haunted by the ghost of Lord McCoy, a cruel man who died in his bedroom. Gordon, one of Fiona's friends, does not believe in ghosts and decides to sleep in Lord McCoy's room to prove it. However, he soon regrets his decision when he sees and hears strange things in the night. He runs out of the room, only to find out that his friends have played a prank on him. But there is another twist at the end of the story that reveals that Lord McCoy's ghost is real after all.

I liked this story because it had a good balance of humor and horror. The prank that Fiona and her friends pull on Gordon is funny, but also scary. The twist at the end is unexpected and makes you wonder what else might happen in the castle. I also liked how the author described the setting and the atmosphere of the castle, making it seem old and mysterious.

The Message

This story is set in England, where Anna lives with her parents and her uncle Bob. Anna wants to be a doctor, but her mother does not support her ambition. Anna likes to use her computer to learn about science and medicine. One day, she receives a message on her computer from someone who claims to be an astronaut. The message says that he is trapped in space and needs Anna's help to get back to Earth. Anna thinks that it is a joke at first, but then she realizes that the message is real. She decides to help the astronaut by sending him instructions on how to fix his spaceship. She also tells him about her dream of becoming a doctor. The astronaut encourages Anna to follow her dream and promises to visit her when he returns to Earth.

I liked this story because it was inspiring and touching. The message that Anna receives from the astronaut changes her life for the better. She gains confidence in herself and her abilities, and she stands up to her mother. She also makes a new friend who shares her passion for science and medicine. The story shows that sometimes, the most unlikely people can help us achieve our goals.

A Strange Christmas

This story is set in Australia, where Alex and Dan are spending their Christmas holidays. They are brothers who live in England, but their parents have sent them to Australia to stay with their uncle and aunt. Alex and Dan are not happy about this, because they miss their home and their friends. They also think that Australia is too hot and boring for Christmas. One night, they meet a young man named John Sharp, who offers to take them on a drive around the country. Alex and Dan agree, hoping to have some fun. However, they soon discover that John Sharp is not a normal person, but a ghost. He died in a car accident ten years ago, and he has been wandering around the country ever since. He tells Alex and Dan his story, and asks them to help him find his mother, who lives in a nearby town.

I liked this story because it was sad and moving. The story of John Sharp is tragic, and makes you feel sorry for him. He is a lonely ghost who just wants to see his mother again. He also helps Alex and Dan appreciate their own family and their own life. The story shows that sometimes, the most unexpected people can teach us valuable lessons.

The Black Cat

This story is set in Egypt, where Jill and Alan are on holiday. They are a married couple who love travelling and exploring new places. Jill likes to buy souvenirs from the local markets, while Alan likes to take photos of the monuments and the scenery. One day, Jill buys a black cat from a man in the market, who tells her that the cat is magic. Jill does not believe him, but she likes the cat anyway. She names it Cleo, after Cleopatra, the famous Egyptian queen. However, she soon realizes that the cat really is magic, when it saves Alan from a serious accident. The cat also seems to have a connection with the ancient Egyptian culture, as it leads Jill and Alan to discover some hidden secrets of the pyramids and the sphinx.

I liked this story because it was adventurous and exciting. The cat is a mysterious and powerful creature that helps Jill and Alan in many ways. It also shows them some amazing things about the Egyptian history and mythology. The story makes you curious about the cat's origin and its purpose.

The Busker

This story is set in England, where Steve, Nick and Tom are on a school trip. They are three friends who like to have fun and play jokes on each other. They are staying at a campsite in the Yorkshire hills, near a small town. One night, they decide to sneak out of the campsite and go to the town to look for some entertainment. They find a pub where there is a busker playing the violin. The busker is an old man with a long beard and a hat. He plays beautiful music that attracts a lot of people. Steve, Nick and Tom are impressed by his skill, but they also notice that there is something strange about him. He seems to know things about them that he should not know. He also seems to have a power over them that they cannot resist. He makes them follow him to a dark road, where he reveals his true identity: he is a ghost who died in a bus accident many years ago, along with all his passengers.

I liked this story because it was creepy and thrilling. The busker is a sinister and dangerous character who lures Steve, Nick and Tom into a trap. He plays with their minds and their emotions, making them feel guilty and scared. He also plays with their lives, as he tries to make them join him in death. The story keeps you in suspense until the end.


The Real McCoy & Other Ghost Stories is an enjoyable and captivating book that offers a variety of ghost stories for different tastes and moods. The book has some strengths and some weaknesses that I will discuss below.

  • One of the strengths of the book is that it has a diverse range of settings, characters, plots, twists, themes and genres. The stories take place in different countries and cultures, such as Scotland, England, Australia and Egypt. The characters are realistic and relatable, with different personalities, backgrounds, goals and problems. The plots are original and unpredictable, with surprising twists that make you rethink what you have read before. The themes are universal and relevant, such as family, friendship, ambition, love, death, fate and justice. The genres are varied and appealing, such as comedy, drama, romance, mystery, adventure and horror.

the readers. The author uses simple words and sentences that are easy to understand and follow. The author also uses dialogues, descriptions, and on-page glossaries to make the stories more lively and interactive. The language style matches the tone and mood of each story, whether it is humorous, dramatic, or scary.

  • One of the weaknesses of the book is that it has some inconsistencies and inaccuracies in some of the stories. For example, in The Message, the astronaut says that he is trapped in space for two weeks, but later he says that he waited for help for ten days. In The Black Cat, Jill and Alan go to Egypt in December, but they see a lot of flowers and green plants, which is not realistic for that season. In The Busker, Steve, Nick and Tom are on a school trip in Yorkshire, but they speak with American accents and use American words.

  • Another weakness of the book is that it has some clichés and stereotypes in some of the stories. For example, in The Real McCoy, Gordon is a typical skeptic who does not believe in ghosts until he sees one. In A Strange Christmas, Alex and Dan are typical teenagers who complain about everything and do not appreciate their family. In The Black Cat, Jill and Alan are typical tourists who do not know much about the culture and history of Egypt.

The target audience of the book is upper-primary and lower-secondary students who are learning English as a foreign or second language. The book is suitable for this audience because it offers them a fun and motivating way to practice their reading skills and expand their vocabulary. The book also exposes them to different genres and themes that can spark their interest and imagination. The book can also appeal to adult learners who enjoy reading simple but entertaining stories.

The book compares well to other ghost stories in terms of its variety and creativity. The book does not rely on the usual tropes and conventions of ghost stories, such as haunted houses, graveyards, or vengeful spirits. Instead, it explores different aspects of the supernatural, such as space travel, ancient civilizations, or musical instruments. The book also mixes different genres and tones with the ghost stories, such as comedy, romance, mystery, or adventure. The book offers a fresh and original perspective on ghost stories that can surprise and delight the readers.


  • Who is Lesley Thompson?

Lesley Thompson is an English author who has written several books for learners of English, such as The Real McCoy & Other Ghost Stories, The Five Orange Pips & Other Cases, The Big Sleep & Other Stories, and The Riddle of the Sands. She has also written books for children and young adults, such as The Secret Garden, The Railway Children, The Wizard of Oz, and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

  • What is Dominoes?

Dominoes is a series of graded readers for learners of English published by Oxford University Press. The series offers a wide range of classic and modern stories in five levels: Quick Starter (250 words), Starter (250 words), One (400 words), Two (700 words), and Three (1000 words). Each level has a different number of headwords (the most important words in a language) that the readers need to know. Each book also includes integrated activities, grammar exercises, projects, and on-page glossaries to help the readers improve their language skills.

  • What are some other books in Dominoes?

Some other books in Dominoes are: Mulàn, Frankenstein, Dracula, The Jungle Book, Around the World in Eighty Days, Sherlock Holmes: The Emerald Crown, The Curse of Capistrano, White Fang, Pollyanna, Jane Eyre, The Three Musketeers, Gulliver's Travels, Robinson Crusoe, The Lost World, and The Count of Monte Cristo.

  • How can I buy the book?

You can buy the book from the Oxford University Press website, or from other online or offline bookstores. The book is available in different formats: book only, book with MP3 audio, or e-book. The price of the book varies depending on the format and the seller.

  • How can I contact the author?

You can contact the author by sending an email to, or by following her on Twitter @LesleyThompson1. You can also visit her website to learn more about her and her books.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know. 71b2f0854b


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