The Ghost in Annie's Room (Little Gems) by Philippa Pearce and Cate James

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The Ghost in Annie's Room (Little Gems) by Philippa Pearce and Cate James

Category: Dyslexia Friendly
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: A fine read, that just about manages to unsettle the youngest reader even with its bright and sunny aspect.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 96 Date: July 2017
Publisher: Barrington Stoke Ltd
ISBN: 9781781126851

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Emma is on a family holiday in an older relative's seaside cottage, where she is to sleep in the room in the attic. Her brother has passed on what he says he has overheard – that it is haunted. But even with the mementos of the person that once lived there all around her, and with a strange feeling of being watched, even with the stormy winds knocking tree limbs on to the window – Emma can sleep through it all. But that's not to say things will forever be that way…

This is a bright book for a ghost story. The days are spent at the seaside, the dialogue is warm and positive, the strength of Emma in getting through everything that is most certainly not a ghost is there – you see all of this, but still have a little frisson at the end when the big reveal is announced. All that means that this is an ideal book for the very young – they don't need to be scared witless, after all. This is for the person just starting to read their own choice of books, and they don't need anything so negative as out-and-out horror, for whatever age range it may be written.

It's only right then that Barrington Stoke are behind reprinting this story – from the pen of a big name in writing for the young. They're the go-to lads and lasses when it comes to being ultra-readable when it matters the most, and the paper stock here is their usual quality. The script is broken down into five very achievable chapters, and presented with at most twelve lines per page. Such a low word count has meant extra work for our illustrator, but Cate James proves up to it – what she gives us is fine, and again contrasts the sunny seaside days and the nights, with shadows invading the bedroom and more.

I don't have a passing seven year old to test this book out on, but I would stake my claim that this is ideal for them. Emma is a strong character, and the story is definitely a strong one too – clearly showing the benefits of resilience and strength over the likes of suspicion and rumour. But it isn't a book that ever forces an issue on to us – it just is a very good piece, with a nice arc and a great character. It's the kind of work a young reader would definitely find pleasure and pride in having ownership of.

I must thank the publishers for my review copy.

And when the audience for this is only a little older, they could enjoy The Ghost in the Bath by Jeremy Strong and Scoular Anderson from this publisher – and then, of course, this author's own classic, Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce.

Buy The Ghost in Annie's Room (Little Gems) by Philippa Pearce and Cate James at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Ghost in Annie's Room (Little Gems) by Philippa Pearce and Cate James at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Ghost in Annie's Room (Little Gems) by Philippa Pearce and Cate James at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Ghost in Annie's Room (Little Gems) by Philippa Pearce and Cate James at Amazon.com.


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