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The Ghost Garden

Written by Emma Carroll

Illustrated by Kaja Kajfež

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The Ghost Garden Review

Dyslexia Friendly Books for Interest age 7+ Dyslexia Friendly Books for Interest age 9+ Featured Books for 7+ readers Historical Fiction Horror & Ghost Stories

The tensions of summer 1914 perfectly captured in this unsettling ghost story

The grounds of a country house in the summer months of 1914 provide the setting for Emma Carroll’s spooky novella and she uses it to explore themes of growing understanding and the awful, looming threat of war.  Brought together after an accident puts him temporarily into a wheelchair requiring someone to push it, Leo and Fran form an upstairs-downstairs friendship. Fran is unsettled by a series of strange, seemingly supernatural coincidences that seem to be warnings of things to come, while Leo is obsessed by events in Europe and what they may lead to. Their different worries merge in a deliciously spooky scene where the two young people encounter the ghosts of an Anglo-Saxon army, something they interpret as a warning of what is to come; sure enough, the story concludes with the announcement of World War I. Despite a sense of foreboding, we know that their friendship will endure and feel certain that, whatever happens, the future will hold good things for both. Emma Carroll is one of our foremost authors of historical fiction for children and creates a tangible sense of the tension of those summer months as well as an appealing, believable set of characters. Published by Barrington Stoke, the book is accessible to all readers, including those with dyslexia, and highly recommended.

Andrea Reece

Other Info

The author, Emma Carroll says “I've wanted to work with Barrington Stoke for some time now, having seen first hand the impact of their brilliantly curated books on children for whom reading is a challenge”

"Richly authentic and entertaining” - Ailsa Bathgate, Barrington Stoke Editorial Director

Barrington Stoke is the foremost publisher of dyslexia friendly books and those for reluctant readers.  Here on Lovereading4kids we are constantly selecting new titles and refreshing our special dyslexia friendly category.

Click here to view our current selection which is broken down by age range.

The Ghost Garden Synopsis

From award-winning author Emma Carroll comes The Ghost Garden – a powerful and spine-tingling story of childhood on the brink of war. Renowned for her evocative and much-loved historical fiction, Emma's impactful Barrington Stoke debut is no exception.

SUMMER 1914 In the first of a series of unsettling coincidences, Fran uncovers a bone in the garden of Long Barrow House on the same afternoon that Leo breaks his leg. Leo is left wheelchair bound for the rest of the summer and Fran is roped in to keep him company, forced to listen to his foolish theories about the looming threat of war in Europe.

Suddenly the garden she has loved all her life seems to hold threatening shadows of the future, and Fran starts to fear what she and Leo might find next ...

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781781129005
Publication date: 07/01/2021
Publisher: Barrington Stoke Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781781129005
Publication date: 7th January 2021
Author: Emma Carroll
Illustrator: Kaja Kajfež
Publisher: Barrington Stoke Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 96 pages
Suitable for: 7+ readers
Genres: Historical Fiction, Horror & Ghost Stories
Recommendations: Reluctant Readers
Other Categories: Dyslexia Friendly Books for Interest age 7+, Dyslexia Friendly Books for Interest age 9+

About Emma Carroll

Emma Carroll is a secondary school English teacher. She has also worked as a news reporter, an avocado picker and the person who punches holes into filofax paper. She recently graduated with distinction from Bath Spa University's MA in Writing For Young People. Emma lives in the Somerset hills with her husband and two terriers.

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