Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse by Chris Riddell

Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse

Written by Chris Riddell
Part of the Goth Girl Series

9+ readers   All Shortlists and Winners   Carnegie Greenaway   7+ readers   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Shortlisted for the 2015 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal - Winner of the Costa Children's Book Award 2013 Bestselling author/illustrator Chris Riddell creates a fantastical world in which Ada Goth, daughter of the strange Lord Goth of Ghastly-Gorm Hall, is growing up. Ada’s mother is dead and her father is very, very strange! Surrounded by a motley crew of servants and many ghosts, Ada’s life is lonely until she meets Ishmael, a ghostly mouse. Soon Ada and Ishmael are off on some very special adventures! Magic and invention pour forth in this splendidly entertaining story which is also packed full of jokes. Chris Riddell’s illustrations bring everything he imagines to life.


The Costa Book Awards honour some of the most outstanding books of the year written by authors based in the UK and Ireland.

The full shortlist for the Children's Book Award is...

Alex, the Dog and the Unopenable Door by Ross Montgomery.

The Hanged Man Rises by Sarah Naughton

Goth Girl: and the Ghost of a Mouse by Chris Riddell

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

Keep up to date with the Costa Book Awards @CostaBookAwards


Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse by Chris Riddell

Ada Goth is the only child of Lord Goth. The two live together in the enormous Ghastly-Gorm Hall. Lord Goth believes that children should be heard and not seen, so Ada has to wear large clumpy boots so that he can always hear her coming. This makes it hard for her to make friends and, if she's honest, she's rather lonely. Then one day William and Emily Cabbage come to stay at the house, and together with a ghostly mouse called Ishmael they and Ada begin to unravel a dastardly plot that Maltravers, the mysterious indoor gamekeeper, is hatching. Ada and her friends must work together to foil Maltravers before it's too late!


a deliciously dark offering from the award winning author illustrator of Ottoline The Bookseller's Buyers Guide

...the most covetable book of the year. It is simply the most outstandingly beautiful piece of book design and production...This book is a triumph from an author and illustrator at the height of his powers... ReadingZone

I'm sure this will become a cherished book and will be opened more than once. The Book Bag

Both illuminated and illuminating this is a magnum opus from the singular talent of Chris Riddell and is certain to be the jewel in the crown of every book case it adorns. Droplets of Ink

What I discovered with this book is that [Chris Riddell]'s a pretty children's writer... This whole book is a delight - a worthy winner of the Costa children's book award.

Through its entertaining play of surface trappings, the book opens out into a varied network of gothic texts that lead the reader down several enticing garden paths - reminiscent of the overgrown gardens that surround Ghastly-Gorm Hall itself. I urge readers to give into the temptations offered by the sumptuous packaging, and enter the delightfully silly world of Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse. Have fun exploring!

Fans of Chris Riddell's Ottoline books will love this quirky story. With its purple-edged pages and silver-foiled endpapers, this beautifully-designed book is a real treasure. Booktrust

Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse is a warm, witty and beautifully illustrated and presented book which delivers an original, entertaining and heart-warm tale of courage, friendship and loyalty as well as a teeny, weeny surprise tucked into the back cover. Lancashire Evening Post

This is an extravagantly well produced book... Great detail in both pictures and words work in unison so that it is all sheer delight in the long tradition of entertaining codswallop. Codswallop of the highest order and a compulsive read for many youngsters. The School Librarian

About the Author

Chris Riddell

Children's Laureate 2015-2017

One of the World Book Day 2015 Authors Chris Riddell was our Author and Illustrator of the Month in December 2010. Click here to find out more.

Chris Riddell is a prolific writer and illustrator whose work is familiar to both children and adults. He is known especially for his distinctive line drawings with their clever caricature, fascinating detail and often enchanting fantasy elements. He has won the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal twice, in 2002 for Pirate Diary and in 2004 for Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver. His solo work includes the Goth Girl series, the Ottoline series and the picture books The Emperor of Absurdia and Alienography. The first Goth Girl novel won the Costa Children’s Book Award in 2013. He received the Hay Festival Medal for Illustration at the 2015 Hay Festival.

He has worked widely with a variety of collaborators: Paul Stewart on the Muddle Earth, Edge Chronicles and Wyrmweald series; Neil Gaiman on The Graveyard Book, The Sleeper and the Spindle, and Fortunately the Milk, and Russell Brand on Trickster Tales: The Pied Piper of Hamelin. He has also illustrated A Great Big Cuddle: Poems for the Very Young by former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen, published in September.

In addition to his children’s books, Chris is a renowned political cartoonist whose work appears in The Observer, The Literary Review and The New Statesman. He lives in Brighton with his wife and has three grown-up children.

Chris Riddell on John Tenniel : "Before I knew a thing about him, John Tenniel was a hero of mine, or rather, I should say, his white rabbit was. As a child I copied Tenniel’s illustrations from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland obsessively, particularly his drawing of the White Rabbit in waistcoat and frock coat, umbrella tucked under one arm and a pocket watch in paw, a look of suppressed panic in his eye. I loved analysing the shading, intricate lines of cross-hatching, the folds of the sleeve, the tilt of the head, that wide-eyed rabbit stare. Tenniel was one of the reasons I became an illustrator."

Photo credit Jo Riddell.

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Book Info


224 pages
Interest Age: From 7


Chris Riddell
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Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan

Publication date

12th September 2013




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