Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Seven Ghosts by Chris Priestley

Jake is one a group of children invited to a special tour of Grimstone Hall. It's a place famous for the number of ghosts sighted there, and the visit has been organised for finalists in a ghost story writing competition.
Mrs Fox, their guide, shows them round, taking them up to the roof and out into the gardens, telling stories of the ghosts associated with each spot, and as the tour progresses Jake realises he's seeing things that the other children appear to not notice - a flicker of coloured silks, something bright and shining moving across the lawn, a girl wearing odd, old fashioned clothing. Jake begins to think Mrs Fox is not telling the whole truth about the ghosts of Grimstone Hall.

Seven Ghosts is a great ghostly read for Halloween (or any other time). The seven stories divide the book up into nicely sized 'chunks' to be read at one sitting, while the link sections, following the prize-winners on their tour, keep the chill factor going as Jake's suspicions rise.
Chris Priestley is the author of one of my favourite ghost stories, The Dead of Winter ,which although intended as a teen read is spot on for me, and here he's written and illustrated a brilliant collection of stories for a younger age group. These tales are spooky and menacing, but without being scary - just right for the intended readership of 8 years and older. They're the stuff to grab a child's imagination and send a cold shiver up their spine, not send them to bed with nightmares.

As always with Barrington Stoke books, it's printed on cream paper in a dyslexia-friendly font to make it accessible to all, and, in addition, has full- and part-page illustrations throughout from the author himself, to bring the ghosts of Grimstone to life (if that's the appropriate word)

Publisher - Barrington Stoke
Genre - ghost stories, 8+, dyslexia-friendly 

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