The story, as far as I can remember, played in a manor/land house. A boy, living there with relatives, (or maybe just visiting, but without his parents), one day sees strange children in the garden, which turn out to be ghosts of former residents, many years ago. His relatives/hosts obviously know about the ghosts, and tell him stories about the time these children lived there. While the stories told contain some tragedies, it was not a spooky book.

From the context I'd guess it was targeted at children in the 10-12 years age group. I read the book in German, but I guess it must have been translated from English, as the whole setting seems very British to me. I think I read the book sometimes in the 70s, but I don't know when it was written. I seem to remember that there was more than one book, but I'm not sure.

2 Answers 2


Your description reminds me of the Green Knowe series, written by Lucy M. Boston. Here is a summary from the linked Wikipedia entry:

Some of the stories feature Toseland, a boy called Tolly for short, and his great-grandmother Mrs. Oldknow. Green Knowe is inhabited by the spirits of people who lived there in ages past, and more than one of the spirits Tolly knows as children later grow into adults.

I found a German version of the first book: "Die Kinder von Green Knowe", published in 1973 by "dtv junior" - this fits your description as well. (You can find a library entry to that book here.)

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    Thanks, I think these are the books I'm looking for! :-) Nov 1, 2018 at 6:47

Could it be The Children of Green Knowe by Lucy M Boston? It is the first book in the Green Knowe series.

As well as six books in the series, there was also a BBC TV adaptation.

The first story features a boy called Tolly visiting for the first time who meets the ghosts of former residents.

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    Thanks. Both you and Marzipanherz seem to have found the books I'm looking for! :-) Nov 1, 2018 at 6:48

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