When Ellie and her family move into Inchwood Manor, Ellie quickly discovers strange things are happening. Who is the mysterious boy at the window? What secrets lie within the abandoned nursery? Who is the woman who haunts Ellie's dreams and why has she returned to the Manor, after more than a century?
Ellie finds herself entangled in a Victorian mystery of ghosts and tunnels and secret documents and discovers that life all those years ago isn't so different from the world she knows today...
. . .
"Childish Spirits has all the elements of a classic ghost story... but it also has a very modern setting that readers will feel at home with [and] it's a breeze to read. Simply written with an accessible vocabulary but never simplistic, and there are plenty of jokes to balance out the scary parts. Recommended. School librarians: this good-hearted novel would make a great addition to your shelves. I'm already looking forward to book two!"
"Entertaining, suspenseful ghost story for kids."
"...suspense is subtly built up. A particular strength is the book's use of speech, which adds depth and character, and there are also some great twists."
"It is written with a target audience of eight to twelve year olds, it is still a great read for adults, too. The language is highly appropriate to readers of that age, the daring escapades will appeal to them and I know many children of this age will love escaping into this story. With Ellie as the main female character and Edward as the main male one, this story is likely to appeal to both genders and could easily be used in classes to inspire, motivate and encourage children to enjoy reading. It has well developed characters, a fast pace and is a great introductory novel in this superb series, complete with plenty of danger to keep readers reading, wanting to know what happens next. I have no hesitation in highly recommending this to children and adults alike – and for teachers to utilise with their pupils."
Splashes Into Books
'A good introduction to ghost stories for upper primary age children.'
The School Librarian
'The language used in this story is quite accessible for younger readers which is brilliant. There's plenty of action, adventure and excitement which will make this book appeal to both young girls and boys alike... The book also represented a dysfunctional family well with the parents still going through the process of divorce and the conflict Ellie feels directly as a result of this. There are fabulous links to the Victorian era throughout the story and I thoroughly enjoyed the historical elements of the story which were woven in throughout...
If you or your child enjoys adventure, scares and thrills then this will be the book for you!'
Anna (BooksandBookends), via Goodreads
'Childish Spirits is a wonderful, exciting story about how friendship can be found in the most unusual circumstances... I found myself engrossed in the story, which actually surprised me, seeing as it is a book for children... The book has a natural flow to it and you can't help but root for Ellie and Edward, and keep your fingers crossed that everything will come good in the end. I can't wait to read the next book in the series, and see what adventures Rob Keeley has in store...'
'[O]nce I started, I couldn't put it down. I read it in 4 hours and my eyes were glued to every page...
The mystery... leaves you on the edge of your seat and we share Ellie's confusion at events that unfold. The darkness continues and grows until the climactic point when the truth is revealed!
... this was very enjoyable and I will be keeping this in mind when I choose next year's class novel! I would recommend it to any primary teacher - children love ghosts!'
Crowvus Book Blog
'To start off with I must say this one thing: please don't read it at night!! I kept jumping at every shadow in my room. This book reads a bit like an Edgar Allan Poe novel, dark and twisted with elements of spooky secrets and vengeful spirits!! I won't be going into detail but it's destined to be another classic!! It has everything right: plot, characters and eerie setting.'
- Miss Mahee's Library of Reads, New Zealand
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Childish Spirits reviewed by Glebe Primary School