The Ghost of Thomas Kempe by Penelope Lively

The Ghost of Thomas Kempe

Written by Penelope Lively

9+ readers   Carnegie Greenaway   11+ readers   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Winner of the 1973 CILIP Carnegie Medal The Ghost of Thomas Kempe is a timeless and haunting story, critically acclaimed, this Carnegie award winning novel also made it into The Independent’s ‘Top Ten Ghost Stories of all time’. Penelope Lively is the only author to have won both the Booker Prize and the Carnegie Medal, the two most prestigious awards, one for an adult book and the other for a children’s book. It was this novel, The Ghost of Thomas Kempe, that won the Carnegie Medal. It is a story that will keep the reader gripped to the page as it builds to an incredibly exciting climax as Thomas Kempe the ghost seems intent on getting James into awful trouble with his family and yet whatever James does his family won't believe in ghosts!

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. The ghost of a 17th century sorcerer returns to his old house, now inhabited by the Harrison family. Ten year old James is being blamed for the mischief done by the ghost, who wants to make James his apprentice. A humorous foray into the supernatural.


The Ghost of Thomas Kempe by Penelope Lively

James is fed up. His family has moved to a new cottage - with grounds that are great for excavations, and trees that are perfect for climbing - and stuff is happening. Stuff that is normally the kind of thing he does. And he's getting blamed for it. But it's not him who's writing strange things on shopping lists and fences. It's not him who smashes bottles and pours tea in the Vicar's lap. It's a ghost - honestly.

A great read is forever…the Egmont Heritage range represents the very best in children’s literature in beautifully bound editions that a child will cherish.


A great year-round read The Independent

About the Author

Penelope Lively

Penelope Lively is an author with a shelf full of awards. For her book, A Stitch in Time, she scooped the Whitbread award; The Ghost of Thomas Kempe earned her the Carnegie Medal in 1973 and she has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize several times for her adult novels. Penelope has written a number of Yellow Banana books for Egmont including Dragon Trouble and Debbie and the Little Devil.

Penelope regularly reviews books and writes articles for the national papers. She has also written radio and TV scripts; and acted as presenter for a Radio 4 programme on children's literature.

Penelope Lively was born in Cairo, Egypt and spent her childhood there. She came to England at the age of twelve, in 1945, and after boarding school she studied Modern History at Oxford University.

In 1957 Penelope married Jack Lively (who died in 1998) and they had two children, Josephine and Adam. Penelope now lives in London close to her four grandchildren. With her great sense of humour, Penelope describes herself as a working nanny!

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Book Info


208 pages
Interest Age: From 10


Penelope Lively
More books by Penelope Lively

Author's Website


Egmont Books Ltd an imprint of Egmont UK Ltd

Publication date

26th September 2013




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