– Short Review –
Ghost Rescue is the start of a series of books for children aged between 6-11 years. This book helps to set up the series as we journey with Charlie as he takes a trip to Fairfax Castle where he meets a group of unhappy and trapped ghosts who are part of a circus. Each night, these trapped ghosts are forced to perform for the paying masses – trapped by the power of the foundation stone of Fairfax Castle, and forced to perform by Edwina Predder our money making circus master. Charlie sets out to free the ghosts and in the process sets up his new enterprise ‘Ghost Rescue‘ a website dedicated to finding ghosts trapped around the world – of course he isn’t doing this alone, he’ll be doing it with the help of some new ghostly friends. The book is a funny quick read, written in an engaging and simplistic way which I feel reluctant readers would adore. The tale is brought to life by the wonderful illustrations from Sarah Horne.
– Long Review –
Andrew Murray delivers a delicious tale about a young boy who decides to rescue some ghosts from a life of misery and slave labour, which will have readers hooked from only a few pages in. Ghost Rescue is the start of a series of books which will have young minds (7-11 years) chomping at the bit to devour, and I firmly believe this series would be ideal for reluctant readers or those looking for a series of books to enjoy before stepping up into more middle grade literature – cutting their teeth as it were, before starting something like Maz Evans ‘Who Let The Gods Out?‘ or J.K. Rowling‘s ‘Harry Potter‘ series or the countless Roald Dahl stories that are available.
The book is illustrated by Sarah Horne who brings a subtle magic to the tale, with drawings that litter the pages and help the reader get a true feeling of the words and world that Murray creates. The illustrations are not overly complicated and don’t distract the reader from the book, they aid in helping the reader visualise what is going on, which is another reason why I feel this would appeal to reluctant readers as the pages are not text heavy giving opportunity for the images to work in harmony with the text allowing visual prompts for releasing the readers imagination.
I personally read the book over a cup of coffee, it’s short – but perfectly balanced for this age demographic. But the true beauty of this book is released when reading it with a child. After finishing the book, I then re-read it with my daughter (7) who thoroughly enjoyed it, she was enthralled from start to finish, enjoying all the noises and voices I was making as she was swept away with the fun captivating nature of the book itself. Also when we had finished I heard what could possibly be the words every children’s author wants to hear ‘Can we read it again?‘ and ‘are there more Ghost Rescue books?‘ – well done Mr. Murray you have created a series that has that unputdownable vibe.
Ghost Rescue is a special book, an adventure tale with ghosts, that is written in such an engaging way that my daughter and I can’t wait to continue the journey with Charlie, Lord & Lady Fairfax, their daughter Florence, Zanzibar the Dog and Rio the Parrot.
Ghost Rescue is published by Orchard Books and is available to purchase here.
Andrew Murray is the author of the GHOST RESCUE series of spooky adventures for Orchard. He has also written the popular BUDDY & ELVIS picture books, which are currently in TV production with Illuminated Films. The BUDDY & ELVIS pilot won Best Pilot at the Pulcinella Awards 2008. The judges praised it “For creating a rich, love-hate relationship between a cat and a dog that was touching, humorous and credible”.
Andrew has written several other children’s books, quiz books, and a range of foreign phrase bookmarks. He lives in London, and works in a bookstore which has its very own moon rocket.
Reviewed by Ross Jeffery
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