The Adventures of John Blake Mystery of the Ghost Ship

Written by Philip Pullman

Illustrated by Fred Fordham

Adventure Stories Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers Science Fiction

LoveReading View on The Adventures of John Blake Mystery of the Ghost Ship

A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month June 2018  |   Master story-teller Philip Pullman is as brilliantly creative in this gripping, multi-narrative graphic novel story as ever. In an adventure which both pays homage to the best-traditions of the past and dashes into the future so enabling it to give an interesting commentary on our own time, Pullman’s lively cast of characters travel through time and place. At the centre of the adventure is a mysterious ghost ship, the Mary Alice, crewed by men from all times including ancient Rome, the seventeenth century and the present. But someone in the present is desperate to get their hands on the boat and will stop at nothing to do so. When contemporary teenager Serena falls from the family yacht she is rescued by crew member John Blake. How can he evade the present day evil and return her safely to her family? Pullman’s brevity and storytelling power are superbly realised in Fred Fordham’s atmospheric and equally taut illustrations. With the sea at the heart of them all, they conjure up the different times and places of the several narratives and define the characters in them. The result is a delight of a book for readers of all ages.

Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for June 2018:

Mariella, Queen of the Skies by Eoin Colfer

Opposites by Roald Dahl

1, 2, 3 by Roald Dahl

The Day War Came by Nicola Davies

The Hippo at the End of the Hall by Helen Cooper

The Adventures of John Blake: Mystery of the Ghost Ship by Philip Pullman

Philip Pullman says: “I wanted to do this because I love the comic form. You can do things in comics with great economy, swiftness, force and effect, and I just wanted to use those potentialities.”

Julia Eccleshare M.B.E

The Adventures of John Blake Mystery of the Ghost Ship Synopsis

Far out at sea, and hidden by the mists of time, sails the Mary Alice and her crew - searching for a way home. But the mysterious ship is being hunted by a villain who will go to ANY lengths to track them down... Join John Blake and the crew on an unforgettable time-travelling adventure.

The Adventures of John Blake Mystery of the Ghost Ship Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading4kids expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. Click here to read the full reviews.

  • Seren Daly, age 10 - 'I found it exiting and gripping, impossible to put down and ignore for even a second...I think both genders will enjoy reading it.'
  • Ross O'Gorman, age 10 - 'It's fast-paced, mega exciting and impossible to put down. The illustrations are really strong and are so good at bringing all the different strands of the story to life.'
  • Toby Little, age 9 - 'Every single time I had to stop reading it, I was very annoyed...I was grumpy that I got interrupted – it was that good...The drawings were amazing, and had a lot of detail.'
  • Bella, age 10 - 'I enjoy reading books like this with my Dad because he likes art and time travel stories.'
  • Noah Scott-Sentence, age 10 - 'A thrilling, action-packed adventure! I really recommend this book. It's very exciting and also funny.'
  • Joshua Zinkin, age 12 - 'Gorgeously drawn comic that feels as if you are stepping inside a film, with a wonderful narrative that feels like a good adventure but also contains plenty of modern references.'
  • Daniel Bisland, age 9 - 'I recommend it to 8+ adventure and comic fans. I give it 5/5. If you like mysteries this is the book for you. Also, if you don’t like long, boring books without any illustrations, you will like this book!'
  • Andrew Goodall, age 8 - 'The book is a graphic novel and I rate it suitable for children 9 and over. It is quite challenging to read but the illustrations are amazing and really help. I rate it 10 out of 10.'

The Adventures of John Blake Mystery of the Ghost Ship Press Reviews

Graphic Novel of the Month - `fast paced, enjoyable graphic novel': Sunday Times

Children's Book of the Week: TORCH comics - `a fast-paced, action-packed comic with a plot sure to ensnare the thrill-seeking younger reader'


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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781788450591
Publication date: 07/06/2018
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781788450591
Publication date: 7th June 2018
Author: Philip Pullman
Illustrator: Fred Fordham
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 160 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Adventure Stories, Science Fiction
Recommendations: Julia Eccleshare's Picks
Other Categories: Reviewed by Children

About Philip Pullman

Philip Pullman is the author of the multi-award winning fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials. He has won numerous awards for his children’s books, including the Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Children's Book Award, the Smarties Prize, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and a CBE. In 2008, The Times named Pullman as one of the 50 greatest writers since 1945. Philip Pullman lives in Oxford with his wife, and has two sons. Read more the author here.   Author photo © Michael Leckie portrait.  

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