In the Vacant House, by Catherine Masters
Four out of five stars
Written in 1912, this ghost story for young people has aged very well. It is based on the empty house that children walk by that acquires the reputation of being haunted scenario. Strange noises seem to emanate from it and some claim to have seen a nebulous white shape at the windows.
Although they are terrified, the bravest of a group of boys (Fred) manages to work up the courage to approach the house, only to discover that the explanation of the phenomenon is not supernatural, but one that solves a puzzling local problem. The boy that had the courage to go to the house is labeled a mini-hero and given a reward along with the accolades.
The story here is timeless, it is always better to face your irrational fears of the unknown rather than simply avoid them. Fred demonstrates that courage leads to rewards and achievement that others could not acquire. It is a good lesson in 1912 as well as now.