The Ghost in the Bath by Jeremy Strong and Scoular Anderson
|The Ghost in the Bath by Jeremy Strong and Scoular Anderson|
|Category: Dyslexia Friendly|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: A whimsical history lesson for a haunted child, in this great dyslexia-friendly story.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 72||Date: June 2017|
|Publisher: Barrington Stoke Ltd|
|External links: Author's website|
Luke has got problems – and just about every school subject qualifies as one at the moment. But none of those are a bigger problem than history – he's been tasked with a research-heavy project for homework, but has no idea. So when he is having a brainstorm in a bath and is interrupted by a ghost, of all things, it might just be the way for him to be connected with the past. But that's ignoring the fact that the girl left as a ghost might be wanting a connection of her own – and perhaps an end to an unusual problem she herself has…
This is a quick and witty little read, which I think any child will enjoy. Luke comes across well as a modern schoolboy, even if his rivalry with a fellow schoolchild is right out of Central Stereotypes. And while we've all read a story featuring a child finding a ghost, we probably haven't had one where the phantom needs to be standing in water to be visible, which raises a quandary for both her and Luke, and will raise a good laugh with the target audience.
…Or have we all read a story featuring a child finding a ghost? I say that because Barrington Stoke know that not all of us have, and are aware of how well placed they are to correct that. They're specialists in books for those with reading issues, not limited to dyslexia. So you get thick, tinted paper where the words pop out of the page, and a simplified narrative and lexicon. This instance has a reading age they define as seven years old, but an 'interest' set for anyone from seven to twelve. Now you may think a book that took me twenty minutes to read will struggle to totally appeal to a twelve year old, but in any number of instances this will doubtlessly be a welcome entertainment.
The story moves the most reluctant of readers on, and with or without the illustrations the pages flick by very well. Luke certainly isn't that bookish a character – he struggles at school, and seems to be new to the library when seen there. And the ghost's own narrative is equally rich and appealing, meaning this hits the right mark when it comes to specialist audience, modern story and history lesson all wrapped into one. It's been revised, it seems, from an earlier 2012 edition when it hit upon a certain centenary, but either way it's going to be a success for 2017 and beyond.
I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
And if you can step up to history-based horror for the same age range and ability, there is Flesh and Blood by Chris Priestley.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Ghost in the Bath by Jeremy Strong and Scoular Anderson at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Ghost in the Bath by Jeremy Strong and Scoular Anderson at Amazon.com.
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