Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Ghostscape by Joe Layburn

Aisha - a somali girl living in East London is prone to fainting attacks. Each time she collapses she is transported to her area, but in World War II - and she meets Richard who is actually using her old school building as a shelter. Aisha realises that the school she knows is a new building and sets out to investigate what happened to the old one. This leads Aisha to discover the history of her area, to try to save Richard, and also in the process to come to terms with the difficulties she has been having with her mother and her culture.

This short novel is based on the real life case of an East End school bombed in WWII. It is easily accessible and should prove a successful first novel for this debut author. The handling of the gritty background, a bullying theme and a multicultural theme make it an interesting modern ghost story - always popular.

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