Debut author Carolyn Ward's 'Bella Bright and the Ghost Game' is a spooktastic middle-grade ghost story that is sure to offer scares and shocks for young readers this Halloween. Brilliantly illustrated by Beatriz Castro, this is a fun ghost story which is also about finding your home and making new friends.
Eleven-year-old Bella Bright has just moved into Darkling House in Castleton. On her first day at her new school, she is spotted by a pair of manipulative mean girls, Skylar and Regan. They push her into inviting them to a Halloween sleepover. Another much friendlier girl, Lex, comes to Bella's rescue and offers to join the sleepover to support Bella. On Halloween night, things start getting spooky for the four girls. Skylar suggests they play hide and seek, but as she utters the words, the house appears to wobble and they discover all the exits are impossibly locked...
'Bella Bright and the Ghost Game' is a great introduction to the horror genre for children 8-12 years-old. In this classic haunted house, there are creaky doors, strange whispers, an abandoned clock tower and lots of bugs everywhere. The troupes of the horror genre are gleefully on display here, but what I enjoyed is the redemption the ghost that is haunting Darkling House gets, while Bella also resolves her friendships and finds a new home. The friendships or conflicts between the young girls are well-realised through snappy and playful dialogue. The idea of a game played by a the ghost is clever and gives the story momentum and surprises. If you don't like spiders, then you may need to cover your eyes and read between your fingers!
'Bella Bright and the Ghost Game' is out now and published by Welbeck Flame. Thank you for my copy to review.