Graveyard Shift

Graveyard Shift

4.5 4
by Chris Westwood
     
 

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A spooky fantasy-adventure in which death is only the beginning!

When Ben Harvester meets the mysterious Mr. October in London's Highgate Cemetery, he has no idea what a strange and dramatic turn his life is about to take. But Ben soon discovers that Mr. October works for the Ministry of Pandemonium, a secret organization responsible for tracking down lost souls

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Overview


A spooky fantasy-adventure in which death is only the beginning!

When Ben Harvester meets the mysterious Mr. October in London's Highgate Cemetery, he has no idea what a strange and dramatic turn his life is about to take. But Ben soon discovers that Mr. October works for the Ministry of Pandemonium, a secret organization responsible for tracking down lost souls and guiding them to the afterlife. And Mr. October wants him to be his new recruit.

As Ben's apprenticeship begins, his eyes are opened to a new world of wonder -- a world where magic is real and ghosts haunt every crime scene, accident site, and hospital corridor.

But with the wonder comes horror. Because the Ministry is not the only organization hunting spirits of the dead. The ghoulish Lords of Sundown want those spirits for their own sinister reasons. And as far as they're concerned, Ben's just chosen the wrong side in a very dangerous war.

Ill-mannered spooks and fearsome monsters populate the alternative London of this charming paranormal adventure!

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 6�9—A loner, more content to hang out sketching in graveyards than to hang out at the mall, Ben Harvester has trouble fitting in at school. It does not help that on his first day in a new school, he sees three ghosts in his classroom, beseeching him for help. It is through the intervention of mysterious Mr. October, whom he meets in London's Highgate Cemetery, that Ben learns he has a gift, to see and assist the dead pass on. As he becomes an apprentice in the Ministry of Pandemonium, he also becomes involved in an ongoing war between Mr. October's associates and a league of sinister malcontents intent on stealing lost souls for their own nefarious purposes. As his own powers grow, Ben actually feels more powerless, attempting to understand and accept his mother's cancer diagnosis. When her name appears on a list of the soon-to-be-deceased, though, he makes a decision that could jeopardize not only his position in the Ministry, but also the fate of many, many more souls. The intriguing world Mr. October inhabits sets the stage for a great ghost story. Though the book can stand alone, readers will find themselves longing for a sequel.—Jessica Miller, New Britain Public Library, CT
Kirkus Reviews
Two London teens train to escort souls into the afterlife in this thoroughly muddled fantasy. They have been recruited by Mr. October, a master of disguise given to both cryptic hints and long-winded background explanations. Ben goes out each night either to an office to type the names of the dead onto file cards in the magically disguised "Ministry of Pandemonium" or into the streets with psychic classmate Becky to escort the city's newly minted ghosts through a shining doorway. This latter task is complicated by the menacing Lords of Sundown--a diverse group of baddies with the vague agenda of bringing "disorder and chaos to the world." They achieve this by both kidnapping confused spirits and sucking out the souls of the living like (as Mr. October puts it) "industrial-strength vacuum cleaners of doom." When Ben pockets a card with his own mother's name on it, Mr. October saves his job with a transparent switcheroo, but the lad's failure to follow proper procedure somehow lets the Lords of Sundown into the Ministry for a climactic battle. Ben's filing expertise is key to overcoming them. A jumble of contrived events and nonsensical details, this book is neither suspenseful enough to work as drama nor funny enough to be a sendup. (Fantasy. 11-13)
From the Publisher

"The intriguing world Mr. October inhabits sets the stage for a great ghost story." - SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

"Action, horror, and magic abound. A combination of realistic fiction with horror sets this story apart. It's fast-paced and Ben and Becky are a likeable pair of superheroes." - LIBRARY MEDIA CONNECTION

"A marvelously well-written thriller." - Literary Review (UK)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545399197
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
07/01/2012
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 5.70(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile:
760L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author


Chris Westwood was born in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, the son of a coal miner and a school teacher. He is the author of A Light in the Black, which was a runner up for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, and Calling All Monsters. He now lives part of the time in his native West Yorkshire, part of the time in East London, and the rest of the time in a world of his own.

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Graveyard Shift 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fantastic book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it. I read it at home and i loved it so i got it on my nook
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ReadingForeverJG More than 1 year ago
This novel is pretty good, but does definately have some not-so-good parts. It's not a horrible book, but not that great, either. I don't think that it's a must read, so if you were going to read another book than heard about this one, read the other one first.