Dial-a-Ghostby Eva Ibbotson, Morwenna Banks
When little Oliver Smith inherits the gloomy mansion Helton Hall, his scheming cousins, the Snodde-Brittles, are determined to rid themselves of the orphan heir. They have a perfect plan. They will hire some terrifying ghosts from the Dial-a-Ghost Agency to scare the boy to death. But, as in any Eva Ibbotson novel, the fantastic creatures do not necessarily behave as expected-they are a little too human for that. Soon the ghosts, led by a mysterious girl spirit named Adopta, have joined with Oliver against his cousins. But they may have underestimated the depths of the Snodde-Brittles' evil....
The laughs and frights are thick in this spooky story, which is sure to join Eva Ibbotson's other books as classics of the genre.
Take one 10-year-old orphan, add a pair of conniving relatives, top it off with a mix-up by the dithering owners of a placement agency for ghosts, and the result is this utterly delectable farce.
- Pan Macmillan
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 4.90(w) x 5.70(h) x 1.00(d)
- Age Range:
- 8 - 12 Years
Read an Excerpt
Oliver did not think he would be able to sleep, but he did sleep -- a restless, twitchy sleep filled with hideous dreams.
Then suddenly he was awake... A hand! A pale hand coming through the wardrobe door, its fingers searching and turning...The hand was attached to an arm in a white sleeve: a wan and lightless limb, sinister and ghastly.
The wailing nun? The murdered bride?
The other arm was coming through the fly-stained mirror now -- and dangling from it on a kind of string was something round and horrible and loose.
Its head. The phantom was carrying its head.
Knowing that his end had come gave Oliver a sudden spurt of strength. Managing to draw air through his lungs, he sat bolt upright and switched on the light. "Come out of there," he called, "and show yourself."
The figure did as it was told. If it was a nun or a bride, it was a very small one, and it seemed to be dressed for bed.
"Who are you?" asked Oliver, between the chattering of his teeth.
The ghost came forward. "I'm Adopta Wilkinson," she said. "There's no problem about that. But who are you, because you're certainly not a nun."
Oliver stared at her. She seemed to be about his own age, with a lot of hair and sticking-out ears. "Why should I be a nun?" he asked. "It's you who are supposed to be a nun. And headless."
"Do I look headless?" she asked, sounding cross.
"No. I thought... your sponge bag was your head."
The ghost thought this was funny. "Would you like to see what's inside?" she asked.
Meet the Author
Eva Ibbotson, born Maria Charlotte Michelle Wiesner (21 January 1925 – 20 October 2010), was an Austrian-born British novelist, known for her children's books. Some of her novels for adults have been successfully reissued for the young adult market in recent years. For the historical novel Journey to the River Sea (Macmillan, 2001), she won the Smarties Prize in category 9–11 years, garnered unusual commendation as runner up for the Guardian Prize, and made the Carnegie, Whitbread, and Blue Peter shortlists. She was a finalist for the 2010 Guardian Prize at the time of her death. Her last book, The Abominables, was one of eight books on the longlist for the same award in 2012.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Oliver Smith, an orphan, finds out he is the rightful owner to his families' mansion, Helton Hall. But his greedy cousins, Fulton and Frieda Snoddle-Brittle, are less than thrilled. They decide to hire ghosts from the Dial-A-Ghost agency and try to scare him to death. Will the ghosts end up being friends or foes? The Wilkinson's are a sweet, loving family that became ghosts when a bomb fell on their house. They were forced to live in a store until they found the Dial-A-Ghost agency. They were due to go to their new home the same day as the nasty, hated Shriekers. But, the guy in charge of the folders that have the homes each ghost is going to have a big secret that might change everything. Eva Ibbotson did an amazing job at making me feel like I was at Oliver's side the whole time. I could feel everything he felt. She made the end very surprising and shocking. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good story with lots of action and stuff you never expected!
Dial-a-ghost is the story of a friendly family of ghosts called the Wilkinsons who were killed by a bomb during an air raid in the Second World War. As many years go by their house is rebuilt and is non longer suitable for them. They move to London to find more space but it is even more crowded there and they are forced to haunt a knickers shop in a shopping mall. In London, Adopta, a young ghost from the Victorian era who is being taken care of by the Wilkinsons, discovers a building with a large flashing sign that says Adopt-a-ghost. The ladies from the Adopt-a-Ghost Agency meet the Wilkinsons and decide to send them to an old abandoned chapel that nuns there have offered up as a home for a suitable family of ghosts. Meanwhile an orphan boy named Oliver is told that he is the owner of Helton Hall. His cousins, a brother and sister, want the inheritance. They visit Oliver's orphanage to tell him the news and to bring him back to Helton hall. They order two terrifying ghosts called the shriekers from the Adopt-a-Ghost Agency to scare Oliver to death. The folders of the Wilkinsons and the shriekers at the agency are mixed so the two ghost families are sent to the wrong addresses where chaos and confusion ensue. Dial-a-ghost is a wonderful story that excites your imagination and makes you feel in sympathy for the characters. Eva Ibbotson writes mainly fictional ghost stories for children and young adults in an easy and strait forward fashion. I would highly recommend this exciting and interesting book to anyone who is looking for something fun to read. Some other books written by Eve Ibbotson are the beasts at Clawsone castle, which witch?, and journey to the river sea.
I don't think that this book is quite as good as the others that she has written. But this book is still very good.
This is probaly the best book EVER! I would HIGHLY recommend this book, for anyone!
This book was excellent! I totally recommend it to any one from ages 8+. If you like Harry Potter, you should try this book!
I love this book. It is one of my favorites because it is such a good storyline, so original, and has plenty of humor. I loved hearing the plight of the ghosts, and the tragic mix-up. The result was one of the funniest books I've ever read. I would'nt reccommend reading this book in public; you'd laugh too hard. But this book is an outstanding piece of literature and I love it and will cherish it forever.
I loved it was so cool. I plan to read 18 more times.
This book was outstanding. I think that everyone should read this book. It was great.
I love this book! I've read it so many times, I've lost count!