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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Jon didn't expect to be confronted by a pack of vengeful ghosts at his new boarding school. Now he and his friend Ella must uncover a centuries-old murder, all while haunted by terrifying spirits. When Jon summons the ghost of Knight Longspee, only one question remains-can Longspee be trusted?…

Ghost Knight

by Cornelia Funke

Overall Book Review:

Unexpected.  Cornelia Funke somehow always manages to deliver the unexpected.  I have never been able to nail down exactly what it is about her style and stories, but they have a fresh feel–even when dealing with curses hundreds of years old. 

Ghost Knight is set in contemporary times and is the story of 11 year old Jon Whitcroft, as told in retrospect by Jon eight years later.  A quirky grandmother, a cursed and tortured knight, a determined girl, and a villianous ghost are among the charming and memorable characters that give this story life.  A few, true surprises plus a sprinkling of humor make the book a delightful read while still having some thematic depth.

Ghost Knight has many illustrations which might lead a reader to think this is a younger child’s book, but the text, storyline, characters, and theme actually fit better with an older reader (Age 12+) and I am not sure that anyone is ever too old for a knight in shining armor.

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  5 religious exclamations; 6 mild obscenities; 3 derogatory names; 1 anatomical term.

Note:  References to hell in a religious context or as a location not included in tally.  Factual reference to birth status not tallied as a derogatory name.

Violence/Gore:  Character entertains thoughts of violence (semi-humorous) towards another character; sighting of ghosts with blood dripping from their swords; a character is frightened and pursued by ghosts; report of a death; report of a long-ago murders (2) and hangings; report of a knight who died in battle violently; report of a murder by poisoning; report of hearts being buried; ghosts battle each other and murderous dogs threaten (2 page scene, some description); a character vividly relives a ghost’s battle (1 page); flashback to learn of a violent death (1 page); report of a character being killed; a kidnapping; discussion about a superstition that involved blood; report of a fall to death; fight scene involving ghosts, swords, stabbing, and hacking a head off (~ 1 page); flashback to scene of 2 bloodied men waiting to be killed.

Sex/Nudity:  Reference to an individual being an illegitimate.

Mature Subject Matter:

Murder, death, ancestory, curses, supernatural.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Reference to a man known to be a drunk.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

An accountant and CPA by profession, I found myself a book reviewer for Squeaky Clean Reads by happenstance. When the opportunity came to transform that website into Compass Book Ratings, I was excited to seize it and meld my business background with my love of books. As the mother of three teenage sons, I have read a large number of children and young adult books and I believe that there is great value in a content review service. As much as we would love to read everything our children read, there just isn’t enough time. I also appreciate being able to select books for myself that are really worth my precious and limited reading time. I believe there is a book out there for everyone–they just have to find it!