Review: Eglantine by Catherine Jinks

Genre: Young Readers

About the Book: Allie Gebhardt thought sharing a room with her younger brother Bethan was bad enough, but sharing a room with a ghost proves to be down right frightful. In this deliciously spooky tale, Allie’s family is haunted by Eglantine Higgins, the ghost of a young girl who used to live in their house. After mysterious writings appear on the walls of Bethan’s room, Bethan moves in with his older sister, much to her dismay. Irritated by her younger brother, Allie becomes determined to get rid of the unwanted guest in Bethan’s room. This suspenseful tale combines mystery, cleverness, and a little bit of humor to create a frightfully fun ghost story for younger readers.

About Catherine Jinks: Catherine is the Australian author of more than thirty books for all ages. Catherine was born in Brisbane, Queensland, in 1963. She grew up in Papua New Guinea, where her father worked as a patrol officer. Catherine studied at the University of Sydney, graduating with an honours degree in medieval history. In 1993 she and her husband left Australia for a brief spell in Nova Scotia, where she began to write full time. They returned to Australia in 1994, and Catherine gave birth to her daughter Hannah in 1997. Since 1998, she and her family have been living in Leura, NSW. She has two pet rats. Catherine has been writing books since she was eight years old. She doesn’t expect to stop writing them any time soon.

Review: I read this book for my son's book club and had the opportunity to discuss it with a group of year 5 students and some parents. It was lovely to have a book I could read in a matter of a few hours. Great story seasoned with lots of crazy, madcap characters which the kids found very entertaining. The children were not scared by the paranormal aspects of this story, in fact, they perceived the ghost, Eglantine, as friendly. Catherine was able to intertwine three stories very cleverly, the modern day story of Allie and her family (also the narrator), the story of Eglantine the ghost, and the story of Princess Emily and her Prince, the fairytale Eglantine was writing about.

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