by Cornelia Funke
I spent much of the book hoping the main character would get over
himself and at least try to like his soon-to-be stepfather. Beyond
that, the novel is a delight. Jon Whitcroft is shuttled off to boarding
school because of the aforementioned attitude problem. While there, he
discovers ancient ghosts intent on killing any male in his family
line. He then makes two extraordinary new friendships. One is with yet
another ghost. Possibly more unbelievable to Jon, the other is with
one of the prettiest girls in school.
Jon, Ella, and the ghost of an
ancient knight must work together, but trust is something to earn in new
friendships. As expected when kids are main characters, the adults are often portrayed as bumbling, and out of touch. The two living adults involved in solving the mystery, and keeping Jon alive, are more well rounded, but I was left wondering how one received his facial scar. Perhaps Ms. Funke has more to tell us.
The audio version of this novel was recently crowned an Odyssey Award Honor title. According to the American Library Association's website, "This annual award is given to the producer of the best audiobook
produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the
United States." What really made me want to read this book was the pronunciation of Ms. Funke's last name by YALSA president, Jack Martin, during the awards ceremony. You can here it here: http://cdnlive.webcastinc.com/ala/2013/live/ in minute 29.