Ghost Knight

We meet 11-year-old Jon on his reluctant way to boarding school at the behest of his mother's boyfriend, The Beard. Jon had done his best to alienate The Beard, with itching powder in his mouthwash and his face photoshopped onto a WANTED TERRORIST poster, but his plans have backfired badly. It quickly becomes clear that Jon's experience of Salisbury school will be more JK Rowling than Enid Blyton, and worries about The Beard give way to supernatural terrors. In the cobbled cathedral courtyard, Jon is faced with four ghostly riders led by Lord Stourton, who was hanged in the 16th Century for murdering two ancestors of Jon's. The boy's fear is realistically painted, along with his attempt to hide his story from what he knows will be disbelieving classmates. Luckily, an enigmatic student, Ella, takes Jon's story to heart and becomes his lifeline. Help also comes in the form of William Longespee, a knight buried in Salisbury Cathedral, who once vowed to save 'the innocent from the cruel and the weak from the strong.' Some other surprising allies emerge, and all comes good in the end, but the reader is in for some scary moments before then. These are all outlined in dark and dramatic pencil drawings by Andrea Offermann, with shifts in perspectives and fine architectural lines. The author of the well-loved Inkheart trilogy has done it again, with her breezy humour and mix of history and fiction, this time for a slightly younger audience.