The Ghost Prison

The Ghost Prison

3.4 9
by Joseph Delaney
     
 

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Once I felt someone touch the back of my neck. It felt like the tip of an ice-cold finger. But when I turned to look there was nobody there.

Night falls, the moon rises, and fifteen-year-old Billy starts his first night as a prison guard. But this is no ordinary prison. There are haunted cells that can't be used, whispers and cries in the night...and

Overview

Once I felt someone touch the back of my neck. It felt like the tip of an ice-cold finger. But when I turned to look there was nobody there.

Night falls, the moon rises, and fifteen-year-old Billy starts his first night as a prison guard. But this is no ordinary prison. There are haunted cells that can't be used, whispers and cries in the night...and the dreaded Witch Well. Billy is warned to stay away from the prisoner down in the Witch Well. But what prison could be so frightening? Billy is about to find out...

Praise of Joseph Delaney:

"Delaney's mastery of suspense will grip even reluctant readers with his dramatic, beautifully paced proses."—The Times (London)

"The Last Apprentice series continues to be one of the best written of the last several years."—Booklist

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/02/2013
Delaney’s popular Last Apprentice series for HarperCollins jumps to the big screen in early 2014 with Seventh Son; set in the same world as those books, this lightly scary novella might persuade a few readers to check out the original stories beforehand. The story, which unfolds in six short chapters, is narrated by orphan Billy Calder, who is apprehensive about the new job he has landed: helping guard an infamously haunted prison on the night shift. The ghosts and dangers turn out to be all too real, as Billy learns about the prison’s bloody history and has a life-altering encounter one night while on the job. Fischer’s spindly and often gruesome ink illustrations amp up the fear factor—a pile of broken dentures sit in a puddle of blood, and the hanged silhouette of “Long-Neck Netty” appears under a moonlit sky in the prison’s Execution Square. Despite the publisher’s age recommendation and some creepy moments (including talk of neck-stretching and buckets full of blood and gore), this story is appropriate for (and more likely to interest) a middle-grade audience. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"Delaney, author of the Last Apprentice series, packs a lot of scare into this slim volume, and Fischer's black-and-white illustrations delightfully increase the fear factor." - Kirkus Reviews

"A story as deliciously horrifying as those of Edgar Allan Poe.... A frightful pleasure" - Booklist

"A Dickensian/Victorian orphan tale-meets R.L. Stine spooky ghost story" - Book Riot

"Delaney, author of the Last Apprentice fantasy series, which is being adapted as the movie Seventh Son, starring Julianne Moore and Jeff Bridges, delivers a chilling novella" - USA Today

"Delaney's tale may be short, but it's very scary and would make a great read-aloud" - Buffalo News

"A haunting read" - TIME for Kids

"If you love teen ghost stories and enjoy books that offer illustrations that enhance a storyline ... lok no further." - Night Owl Reviews

"A classic tale to read while sitting around the camp fire. ... A great spooky story for kids that like a good scare." - 2 Read or Not 2 Read

School Library Journal
01/01/2014
Gr 4–7—Billy Calder seizes a job opportunity as a castle prison guard, hoping to earn his way to independence from the Home for Unfortunate Boys. After minimal training, the 15-year-old orphan is summoned to work nights under an imposing supervisor named Adam Colne. He tells Billy that a feisty castle ghost, "Long-Neck Netty," had her eyes on him during training and had insisted on his hire. The boy learns that many ghosts haunt the castle, especially at Execution Square, and is advised to be cautious when alone, and to keep close track of his keys. When Colne falls ill, Billy is charged with feeding raw, bloody meat to a dangerous prisoner in the Witch Well. During the frightful task, he leaves the key in the door and someone-or something-seals his fate by locking him in the Well. This suspenseful Dickensian tale boasts black-and-white illustrations on nearly every page, evoking nightmarish scenes of a dark and drafty castle and its grotesque, ghostly inhabitants. Younger, or less fluent, readers may be steered to this abbreviated, and more accessible ghost story before tackling Delaney's wildly popular "Last Apprentice" series. Given its brevity, this book could be used as a spooky read-aloud.—Vicki Reutter, State University of New York at Cortland
Kirkus Reviews
2013-09-15
Billy's new job at the ghost prison may be the death of him. Billy Calder's spent nine years at the Home for Unfortunate Boys, and he's ready to get a job; he takes one as a guard at the prison in an old castle on the hill outside his medieval village. He and the other orphans have always enjoyed frightening one another with tales of witches and ghosts dwelling in the castle, but Billy was never sure if those tales had any truth to them--until he's asked to work the overnight shift. Mr. Adam Colne, Billy's boss, tells him that someone requested that Billy be assigned to the night shift…someone dead. Netty, the ghost of a witch hanged at the prison, asked for Billy, and she usually gets what she wants; her displeasure's hard to bear. Colne tells Billy Netty's story and warns Billy to stay away from the Witch Well, for something awful dwells there. Billy follows that rule until one night when the rest of the guards are sick…and Billy has to feed what lives in the Witch Well. Delaney, author of the Last Apprentice series, packs a lot of scare into this slim volume, and Fischer's black-and-white illustrations delightfully increase the fear factor. Not for the faint of heart, this probably should be read with the lights on…they'll likely have to stay on. (Horror. 8-11)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402293191
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
10/01/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
112
Sales rank:
225,865
File size:
6 MB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Joseph Delaney used to be an English teacher, before becoming the best-selling author of the Spook's series, which has been published in 24 countries. The first book, The Spook's Apprentice, was turned into a major motion picture in 2015.

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The Ghost Prison 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
MC1963 More than 1 year ago
The story itself is not great. I have read every Last Apprentice book and enjoyed them. This 38 page book is not worth the $8.49 they are charging for it. Most other author's that publish a short story charge $1.99 to $2.99. This was a ripoff.
ShannonODonnell More than 1 year ago
Joseph Delaney is the reigning master of middle grade "spooky". His LAST APPRENTICE series made even me a little hesitant to read it before bed (but of course I did anyway). My children and my students all LOVE his books, and I have no doubt that this one will be a new favorite. While it is short, it still packs the goosebump-raising punch that Delaney is known for.and the illustrations only add to that effect. I recommend this for all young fans of spooky stories.
book4children More than 1 year ago
I'm not much of a fan of ghost stories, but this one is pretty good. The first half is a little slow, but the book is also really short, so it doesn't take long to pick up. The ending is just what I hoped it would be. This is definitely intended for the younger end of the YA spectrum unless your teenager is like me and can't handle anything too scary. Most of the black and white illustrations are fantastic. Especially the ones of Netty and the prisoner of the Witch Well. A few of them are kind of awkward when it comes to foreshortening, but most of them are amazing. There are lots of illustrations in the book too; almost on every page. This is a good book for Halloween. It will appeal to kids ages 12 and up that like spooky themes and scary stories. It would be a great book to read out loud or to read in a dark room with a flashlight. Just don't give it to a kid that is easily freaked out because they might have a difficult time falling asleep after they've read it.
224perweek 11 months ago
Very quick read. Had no idea it was this short when I got it from the library. Great story. Totally creepy. Loved the pictures also.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was an extremely short story. Not worth even the $1.99 for it. It was a cute story, but nothing you could sink your teeth into. Kind of a predictable ending. Geared more towards a young teen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im so fancy u already know
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What the heck did I just read?