Childish Spirits by Rob Keeley – Book Review
Childish Spirits by Rob Keeley – Book Reviewed by Stacey
Publisher – Troubador Publishing Ltd
Pages – 147
Release Date – 20th April 2014
ISBN-13 – 978-1783064618
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
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…
Rob Keeley’s first novel for children brings out all the ingredients of the classic ghost story within a recognisable modern world setting. Readers of his short story collections for children will find in Childish Spirits the elements which made his past books such a success – strong and contemporary characters, inventive twists on traditional themes, and a winning combination of action, suspense and humour.
Ellie, her older brother Charlie, and her mum, have just moved to Inchwood Manor, after her mum was asked to look after the place on behalf of Jouneyback UK.
Not long after they arrive, Ellie discovers a Victorian-style nursery, complete with old fashioned toys. Whilst in the nursery she meets Edward, a young boy-ghost, who tries to scare Ellie, but fails. Ellie isn’t scared of Edward, she is intrigued by him.
Edward isn’t happy that there are new people in his home and sets out to cause mischief, like he has done to all of the previous occupants. Ellie takes the brunt of his tricks, much to the annoyance of her mother.
But When a bad spirit returns to Inchwood, determined to take Edward away, it’s up to Ellie to try to save her new friend.
Childish Spirits is a wonderful, exciting story about how friendship can be found in the most unusual circumstances. Ellie is a lovely, helpful and kind young girl, who loves to paint. She is excited about living in a Victorian house, unlike her older, brattish brother Charlie, who I really did take a disliking to.
Edward is a troubled young ghost. He’s been at Inchwood Manor for many decades, unable to leave. He doesn’t like people living in ‘his’ home, so over the years he has played lots of nasty tricks on the occupants, tricks that are now coming back to haunt him – sorry about the pun!!
I found myself engrossed in the story, which actually surprised me, seeing as it is a book for children, I would probably say, from about 10 years onward. The book has lots of thrilling moments, alongside poignant ones, and a few mildly-scary scenes (nothing sinister, just a little spooky).
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 for them.
Reviewed by Stacey
I’m a writer of novels, short stories and drama, particularly for children and a family audience. I have written three novels and three collections of short stories for the 8-12s.
I am the creator of the “Spirits” series of ghost novels and the third of these, “The Sword of the Spirit” was published in July 2016. The first in the series, “Childish Spirits”, was longlisted for the Bath Children’s Novel Award as well as being nominated for the People’s Book Prize and the International Rubery Book Award.
The second in the series, “The Spirit of London” was highly commended for the Independent Author Book Award. I also had a collection of short stories for children (“The Dinner Club and Other Stories”) longlisted for the Rubery Award.