Breathe: A Ghost Story

Breathe: A Ghost Story

4.7 62
by Cliff McNish

View All Available Formats & Editions

Jack is not a normal boy. He can talk to ghosts. In his new home, an aging farmhouse, he meets the Ghost Mother, a grief-stricken spirit who becomes very attached to him...too attached. He learns that the Ghost Mother is preying in the cruelest imaginable way on four child ghosts who are trapped in the house, stealing their energy to sustain her own. Before Jack


Jack is not a normal boy. He can talk to ghosts. In his new home, an aging farmhouse, he meets the Ghost Mother, a grief-stricken spirit who becomes very attached to him...too attached. He learns that the Ghost Mother is preying in the cruelest imaginable way on four child ghosts who are trapped in the house, stealing their energy to sustain her own. Before Jack can figure out how to help them, the Ghost Mother takes possession of his real mother's body. Jack wants to fight back, but he has severe asthma and risks fatal attacks with any physical exertion. It will take all his resources, and his mother's as well, to fight off the Ghost Mother and save the ghost children from a horrible fate.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
After Jack's father dies unexpectedly, his mother buys an old farmhouse in the country for them to live in. It's a charming, crumbling old place with a lot of history and, initially, the twelve-year-old boy likes that. Jack has a special gift, an ability to sense people who have come before through memories imprinted on their objects. But there are more than just memories in Jack's new home; there are ghosts. Real, breathing, moving ghosts. A handful of them, in fact. They see him, they feel him, and they each want something from him. Can Jack help them? Can he give them what they want? And what will it cost him, if he does? Cliff McNish's sensational ghost story is a chilling tale that will frighten even the most experienced readers of the genre.
VOYA - Ruth Cox Clark
Twelve-year-old Jack and his mother move into an old farmhouse in the English countryside. Jack loves old things because he has a unique gift: "The way people who had once lived in houses conveyed themselves to Jack-through tiny, fleeting trace memories in furniture." His mother hopes that by surrounding Jack with unfamiliar things that he can touch and communicate with will distract him from missing his recently deceased father. Initially Jack loves the old house, even when he discovers that the woman who lived there before them died in the very bed in which he sleeps. But then he begins to sense the presence of spirits and not just memories. The house has been haunted for more than a hundred years by the Ghost Mother, who has forced four children's spirits to join her. Because the ghost children fear and hate her, the Ghost Mother has decided that she wants a living child to love her and she is not taking no for an answer, even if it means forcing Jack's real mother out of the picture. McNish's vivid descriptions of the ghosts and Jack's interaction with them is so real that just the thought of the icy coldness of the malevolent Ghost Mother's touch will make the reader shudder. Oliver, the strongest willed of the ghost children, develops a coded message to help Jack, but what these children's spirits and Jack endure may well cause the reader to leave the light on at night. Even the most reluctant reader will not be able to put this one down.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-Asthmatic Jack and his recently widowed mother move into an old farmhouse-but they aren't alone. The spirits of four children also inhabit it, but only Jack can see and hear them. Those spirits aren't alone, either. A Ghost Mother rules the roost and has enslaved the ghost children. And now she is after Jack. However, he has a second sight that might help him save the souls of those dead, abused children. Can he act fast enough to save himself and his mother? McNish keeps the pacing and action moving right along. While the story is plot driven, the author gives his characters substance, and his language usage and style are fairly sophisticated. This is a well-crafted story that is weightier than the standard chiller. Filled with suspense, it will keep readers riveted to the pages.-Elaine Baran Black, Gwinnett County Public Library, Lawrenceville, GA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
Fiction - Middle Grade
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Sales rank:
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
9 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Cliff McNish's first trilogy, which includes The Doomspell, The Scent of Magic, and The Wizard's Promise, won him an instant and avid readership and was published in 19 languages around the world. He was hailed as a "great new voice in writing for children" (The Bookseller). For Carolrhoda Books he has written The Silver Child, Silver City, Silver World, and Breathe. Mr. McNish was born in northeastern England. He enjoys playing golf, walking up mountains, and eating as much hot and spicy food as possible. He is married and has a teenage daughter, for whose entertainment he made up his first stories.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Breathe 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 62 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The best book I have EVER read! Chilling and scary, sophisticated and serious, funny and sad, this book is fantastic. You will not be dissapointed if you buy this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is very good!! It's haunting and good at the same time!! But mostly GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!¢¾&#9786
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing. I read it in the course of two days. I read it in the 7th grade. From the very first page, I was hooked.
Avid_Reader101 More than 1 year ago
This story issuspenseful and will keep you at the edge of your seat. I am very picky with which books to call my favrites but this book makes the cake. Breathe is told i many different points of view. You have to keep up to comprehend it. It is called Breathe because 12 year- old Jack has asthma. All of the ghosts haunting him in his new home strike a plug in his asthma that almost kills him. Things haven't going great for him and his mother ever since his father died a few months ago. Jack's asthma has been acting up and these ghosts aren't helping. Jack discovers he can comunicate with the dead. He has special powers. He tries to help the ghosts but one ghost will stop at nothing to have Jack love her,and have her soul eternal and not able to go to hell. She will stop at nothing and will do anything. Even attempt to kill Jack . . .
BlackRose15 More than 1 year ago
Even if you hate ghost stories-which I used to-"Breathe" is a scary story that makes your hair stand on end. You just keep on rooting for the story's hero, Jack, to figure out the spooky questions that arise when he and his widowed mother move into an old, run-down country house: Who is the Ghost Mother? Are the other ghost children really evil, as she says? Can Jack free the souls of the Nightmare Passage and bring them to the Other Side? And, my favorite question: Who is the Ghost Mother's daughter, Isabella, and why does the Ghost Mother still mourn her death? Who-or what-killed Isabella-the sickness that her father had...or her own mother? Perfect for those who dont like to read-it's quite short. But it's absolutely scary. Makes you wonder who's really in the shadows..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book like a year ago, and I still like it. I have been trying to get it again since then.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have always loved ghost stories but this one is more than a ghost story. It had very deep emotions and things that were creepy and so sometimes I got nightmares but over all good book. It is also kind of said so at the end get a box of tissues ready because of what you find out and all the different stories behind the ghosts. The scariest part fome was when they explained the Nightmare Passage hich is basically Hell.
dragrace794 More than 1 year ago
I chose this book because it said a ghost story. I thought it would be about a person that was freaking out because of a ghost and need to breath. I thought it was good book it pulled me into it and I just wanted to keep reading it im glad I chose this book. It was kind as I predicted there was an asthma attack because of a ghost but it wasn't all planned out to be. I'm still glad I chose this book. My 1 complaint about it was it lost interest in the end.  The main characters were Sarah the mom, Jack the main character, and the ghost mother the ghost. The story is about Jack meeting the ghost mother, and how he can only see her and it makes him have an asthma attack, after that they hang out everyday and Sarah ( Jacks Mother) doesnt believe him about her. ( fiction book).  I really like this book I would read it again which doesnt happen alot. If you get scared easily I would recommend in 4th or 5th grade you also need to be abled to read big words :). I would give this book a **** 41/2 because it can tend to lose interest. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A really good book, espeshially for people that like dark-ish books (or just looking for something new to read.) It all starts when Jack's father died, he started acting all wierd, at least thats what his mum thought. It was actrally just his special talent working up. Im not exactly sure how to explain his talent, because there is multiple things that it can do. One of them is that he can contact ghost's, sommon dead people from the other side, see how people died or how they lived and what they did. His mother whanted to get somwere were Jack wouldent be so.... wierd. And Jack has always wanted to live in a old house, so they moved to this ghost filed house. Where Jack findes the ghost mother and others. I wont tell anymore of the story:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ADVICE READ THIS BOOK YOU'LL LOVE IT!!!!!!!!! Theres a boy name jack, and can talk to dead people. Plus he meets a ghost that will .............. I won't give the rest away! :D!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have this book as a hard copy and on my nook. I have read breath at least 10 times! That might sound crazy, but it is one of my all time favorites. Suspeseful, intreaging,and a must read.
Booklover0080 More than 1 year ago
Very good book. Such a good, suspenseful story. I'm very glad I read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I lived this book. It truley is my favorite book, i could feel every thing in this story. I dont care that it was short i couldnt put it down. The story it told about the little girl and her mom was so touching and beautful. The author of this book did such an amazing job :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was only 166 pages that is why I gave it 4 stars. If I am going to plunk down some bucks I yes want a good story which this was but not a short one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this booking the 4th grade and forgot about it until i was in 8th grade. This book was suspencefull and mysterious. I couldn't put it down. While was reading it i could feel the fear that the characters were feeling. Even a chaeaxter was out of breath i had to breathe in the words as i read the book. Just remember to take a moment to breathe.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this at my school . It sort of gave me the shivers at sometimes but over all a good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love thus book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book. I told my friends to read it they have I TOTALLY LOVE THIS BOOK!!!! They loved it to sugest this book to your friends ;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ghost mother is scary nice book though
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is so awesome i think ghost mother is creepy....SPOILER ALERT!so awesome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I only have the sample, but i want this sooooooooooooo bad! I love ghost stories SOOO MUCH!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago