Golden and Grey is a children's fiction series written by Louise Arnold and published by Margaret K. McElderry Books.
Grey Arthur is a ghost who doesn't fit in. He's too upbeat to be a Sadness Summoner, too nice to be a Poltergeist, not human-looking enough to be a Faintly Real - and certainly not scary enough to be a Screamer.
But one day, he meets Tom Golden - a human boy who also doesn't fit in. Hearing Tom's desperate pleas for a friend, Arthur steps in and declares himself Tom's invisible friend. Sure Tom can't see him and has no idea that he exists, but other than that, Arthur is a very good friend. He pulls the notes off of Tom's back, makes sure Tom remembers his lunches, and even stops the Poltergeists from stealing Tom's socks.
Indeed, everything seems to be going quite well for the both of them - up until Tom gets hit by a car and wakes up in the hospital room, suddenly able to see ghosts.
The first book, Golden & Grey (An Unremarkable Boy and a Rather Remarkable Ghost), was published in 2006. Golden & Grey: The Nightmares That Ghosts Have and Golden & Grey: A Good Day for Haunting were published in 2007 and 2009 respectively.
This series contains examples of...
- Adult Fear: The villain in the first book is just a regular human. Specifically, he's a conman who poses as a therapist to gain the trust of Tom and his family. Then when Tom's parents are away, he encourages Tom to climb into his van and kidnaps him - holding him hostage in the middle of the woods.
- Born as an Adult: Ghosts don't age. Arthur has looked roughly like a little kid ever since he first came into the world.
- Friendly Ghost: Nearly all the ghosts that appear in the series are basically friendly - if occasionally oblivious to the needs of humans. Arthur is the most prominent example though. He doesn't have the heart to perform even the most innocuous ghostly mischief, and ultimately dedicates himself solely to looking after Tom and making him happy.
- Ghostly Advisor: Arthur occasionally ends up providing advice to Tom in this way, simply because Tom can see him and the rest of the world cannot. Unfortunately Arthur isn't that much wiser than Tom, and therefore isn't often helpful.
- Glamour Failure: The Faintly Reals are ghosts who are especially skilled at passing for human. However, they generally still have some sort of "tell" - usually slight transparency or their actions not quite syncing up with their movements.
- Guardian Entity: At the beginning of the book, Arthur declares himself Tom's "Invisible Friend". Among other things, this involves protecting Tom from bullies, making sure Tom never forgets his lunch, and stopping the other ghosts from pulling pranks on him.
- I See Dead People: After being hit with a car and nearly dying, Tom wakes up with the ability to see ghosts.
- Magnetic Medium: Unfortunately for Tom, the news that he can see ghosts turns him into a bit of a celebrity in the ghost world.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: While their origins are never explicitly addressed, it's clear that the ghosts in this book are a completely different species of beings who were never human to begin with.
- Poltergeist: One of the several specific types of ghost. They specialize in stealing things from humans, moving objects around, and just generally pulling pranks.
- Psycho Psychologist: Dr. Brown is actually a conman who took Tom's case because he thought that a ghost like Arthur might be able to help him rig the lottery.
- Really 700 Years Old: Arthur looks and acts like a little boy. But he's actually centuries old.
- Trickster Twins: Miranda and Mike, also known as The Mischief Twins are a pair of Poltergeists in training.