Author: Chris Riddell
Release date: 12th September 2013
Genre: Gothic Adventure/ Comedy
Target audience: 8+ / Middle Grade
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse is funny, quirky adventure story. It’s full of friendship, imaginative characterisation and a daft, adorable humour.
Ada Goth is a spirited and polite girl who lives with her father – Lord Goth – at Ghastly-Gorm Hall. Her mother died from a terrible accident and he is still grieving. Ada is rather lonely at the beginning of the story until she meets the ghost of a mouse and sets out to discover how to help him.
This is a truly bonkers book. It has Chris Riddell’s unique stamp all over it. The humour in the choice of character name and the playing with exaggeration – for example, he plays with the concept of the secret garden.
Ghastly-Gorm Hall is the sort of setting that will appeal to young readers. It’s an adventure waiting to happen and the added attraction of the illustrated form of this book really helps it come to life. Middle Grade readers are not likely to understand the concept of Gothic and this book is a great introduction to it.
One of the wonderful things about it is the use of exciting, unusual words. Sometimes I was wondering if some of these words were actual words or if they were completely fabricated. How much fun for young readers to find out though!
I wish there were more books of this length and this format for this market. It’s great for newly confident readers. The layout is kind on the eyes and the illustrations help readers picture every wacky detail from the clothing to the eggy-soldiers.
Overall, Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse is a great book which has been super popular at my school library. With its nomination for the Kate Greenaway Medal, it will surely be a hit with librarians and pupils for years to come.
Source: Borrowed from the school library