The Last of the Spirits by Chris Priestley

The Last of the Spirits

Written by Chris Priestley

9+ readers   Books of the Month   11+ readers   
Download an extract Add to wishlist Share this book

The Lovereading4Kids comment

December 2015 Book of the Month What would Christmas be without a ghost story? Chris Priestley, master of the macabre, has written one that while it will send shivers down the spine can be enjoyed by all the family. His starting point is A Christmas Carol and in a clever extension of Dicken’s novel he invests two starving children, who appear as Ignorance and Want in the original, with personalities and a history. In scenes full of atmosphere they too meet the ghost of Jacob Marley and witness the horror of a Christmas Yet to Come before their lives are changed for the better. It’s an effective and moving development of a much-loved classic, with appeal for those who have and haven’t read the original, and perfect reading for this time of year. ~ Andrea Reece


The Last of the Spirits by Chris Priestley

Sam and Lizzie are freezing and hungry on the streets of Victorian London. When Sam asks a wealthy man for some coins, he is rudely turned away. Months of struggle suddenly find their focus, and Sam resolves to kill the man. Huddling in a graveyard for warmth, Sam and Lizzie are horrified to see the earth around one of the tombs begin to shift, shortly followed by the wraithlike figure of a ghostly man. He warns Sam about the future which awaits such a bitter heart, and so begins Sam's journey led by terrifying spirits through the past, present and future, after which Sam must decide whether to take the man, Scrooge's, life or not. A perfectly layered, tense and supremely satisfying twist on Dickens' A Christmas Carol, cleverly reinvented to entice a younger readership.


“Ideal for nine-plus…Priestleyesque creepiness combines with true charity for a happy Christmas.” – New Statesman

“A splendid addition to the canon of seasonal ghost stories.” – School Librarian

“It's a fascinating treatment of an enduring classic which works because Priestley captures the existing characters so well and introduces a pair of brilliant new ones in Sam and Lizzie.” – The Bookbag

“An engaging version of a classic story has been created by making the children the focus of the story.” – Booktrust

“Highly recommended” – The Historical Novel Society

About the Author

Chris Priestley

Chris Priestley has been a cartoonist and illustrator for many years, working mainly for magazines and newspapers. He currently has a weekly strip cartoon called 'Payne's Grey' in the New Statesman.

Ever since he was a teenager Chris has loved unsettling and creepy stories, with fond memories of buying comics like 'Strange Tales' and 'House of Mystery', watching classic BBC TV adaptations of M R James ghost stories every Christmas and reading assorted weirdness by everyone from Edgar Allen Poe to Ray Bradbury. He hopes Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror will haunt his readers in the way those writers have haunted him.

This brilliantly received series of ghost stories, Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror, Tales of Terror from the Black Ship and Tales of Terror from the Tunnel's Mouth, were reissued by Bloomsbury in March 2011 including a brand new story.

Meanwhile The Dead of Winter, published by Bloomsbury in October 2010 and in paperback in October 2011, is a nail-biting story of hauntings and terror, nominated for the Carnegie Medal 2012.

Mister Creecher, published by Bloomsbury in October 2011 and in paperback in March 2012, is a gripping gothic novel about friendship, trust and betrayal.

Author photo © Judith Weik

More books by this author

Loading similar books...

Other Formats

Book Info


208 pages


Chris Priestley
More books by Chris Priestley

Author's Website

Author's Facebook Latest


Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Publication date

8th October 2015




Lovereading4kids is great, we get books really early never late. We love to read and review, and think you would like it too. The excitement

Jasmine Harris-Hart, age 12

I think Lovereading4kids is an amazing company because of the friendly staff and the fabulous chance to read great books before publication.

Adam Graham

I love lovereading4kids because I’ve read amazing books I would never have picked up, and its opened doors to new genre’s I now love.

Harriet Cunningham

A great way to introduce kids to great books, authors & genres. Parents can find age-appropriate books to share with their children.

Judi Davies – Aberdare Girls Sch

Love “Lovereading4kids” as my son gets to hear about & read new books before his mates which keeps him interested in reading=a very happy Mum

Liz Evans

It is fantastic, you get to read lots of books and you always find something new and amazing in them.

Erica Motoc, age 7

It’s really exciting to read and review new books, thrilling to see my reviews online and I love finding the final published copies on sale.

Sam Harper – age 10

Writing reviews help the children with their literacy skills and we always read the books together which gives us good quality family time!

Cat Bisland (on behalf of the Bi

Lovereading 4 schools