The Ghost of Thomas Kempe

The Ghost of Thomas Kempe

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Penelope Lively

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  • Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 190mm x 20mm | 180g
  • Publication date: 5 June 2006
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1405225424
  • ISBN 13: 9781405225427
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Sales rank: 51,832

Product description

The classic ghost story from Penelope Lively, one of the modern greats of British fiction for adults and children alike. 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. Thomas Kempe the apothecary has returned and he wants James to be his apprentice. No one else believes in ghosts. It's up to James to get rid of him. Or he'll have no pocket money or pudding ever again. An iconic ghost story for children, The Ghost of Thomas Kempe is adored by thousands of children.

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Author information

Penelope Lively was born in Cairo, Egypt, in 1933 and brought up there. She came to England in 1945, went to school in Sussex, and read Modern History at St Ann's College, Oxford. Her many books written for children include Astercote (1970), The Whispering Knights (1971), The Ghost of Thomas Kempe (1973), which won the Carnegie Medal, and A Stitch in Time (1976), which won the Whitbread Children's Book Award. Two of her novels written for adults have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction, and she won it in 1987 with Moon Tiger. More recent novels include The Photograph (2003) and Making it Up (2005). She has also written two volumes of autobiography and many short stories. Penelope Lively contributes regularly to a number of national daily newspapers and literary and educational journals. She has written radio and television scripts and was presenter for a BBC Radio 4 programme on children's literature. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a member of PEN and a former Chairman of The Society of Authors. She was awarded an OBE in 1989 and a CBE in 2001.

Customer reviews

By Nadia Hussain 08 Sep 2010 5

A truly enjoyable book that deals with childhood issues and with the backdrop of something more fascinating; a modern day haunting. James has moved with his family into a new cottage and along with other things wrong with their new abode, they have a poltergeist - a ghost that manifests itself physically too. The problem is that James is the only one haunted and his family doesn't believe in ghosts. What follows is the adventures of how the ghost gets James into various troubles, how James tries to get rid of the ghost, the characters that James meets along the way and about friendship that can reach beyond one's lifetimes. The sense of humour prevails throughout the book as James comes to terms with a personal haunting.
The book is something that you can associate yourself with because as you are reading, you become aware of the very same things been gone through in your own childhood. The way the adults treat James is very nostalgic and the book has a lovely voice to it. This book is a simple yet powerful read about boyhood and its adventures and the difficulties that can arise in even an ordinary childhood.