Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Time Slip Tuesday-- Ghost Knight

Time Slip Tuesday is a recurring feature at Charlotte's Library, and a great excuse for me to read time travel books! I also recently found another blog, Time Travel Times Two, that deals with the subject.

Can we travel back in time to a decade where there is NOT state wide acchievement testing? Sigh.

Stride, Lottie. The Time Travelers Handbook.
So, perhaps I talk about Time Travel a teeny bit too much, since one of my very sweet readers came across this and felt it had to be mine. It is a lovely overview of the most interesting parts of history-- it gives instructions for how to fry a dormouse witha Roman soldier (or a chicken breast, since dormice are now endangered), how to sweep a chimney, write hieroglyphs, etc. It covers a lot of the time periods our social studies classes study, and aside from the Minoan bull jumping chapter (my archaeology professors were of the firm position that this didn't really occur; it just made for good art), was historically sound. The illustrations by Dusan Pavlic are fun as well.

I'm a little disappointed because it didn't really help with the time traveling mechanics, and that's what I really need. Perhaps this came boxed with the Time Travel Handset and I just didn't get it.

Funke, Cornelia. Ghost Knight.
1 May 2012; Little, Brown Books
Jon doesn't want to go to boarding school-- he blames The Beard, his mother's boyfriend, for making him go. When he gets there, he finds out that the ghost of Stourton, who has spent generations hunting down members of Jon's family-- and now he and his ghost henchmen are coming after Jon. Luckily, Ella, a girl in his school, takes his haunting seriously, since her grandmother gives ghost tours, and the two seek the help of a dead knight, William Longspee, who is buried in Salisbury Cathedral. They make a deal-- Jon will help Longspee get his stolen heart back and bury it at the feet of his wife (also named Ella), and Longspee will help Jon dispatch the evil Stourton. Things get complicated when The Beard turns out to be Ella's uncle, and all of this ghost business keeps getting Jon in trouble at school. Will Jon be able to avert the curse, or will his death finally settle Stourton's blood lust?
Strengths: Lots of action and adventure, and the book design is perfect for middle school, at least from what I've seen of the ARC. Lots of white space, some pictures, fun size to read. (Small but chunky.)
Weaknesses: Audience is a bit tricky. Just about any elementary fantasy reader would pick this up, and maybe Charlie Bone/Harry Potter fans who want a boarding school story. I really liked this one and would like to buy it, but I am not entirely sure about it for older students.


  1. I'm looking forward to Ghost Knight!

  2. Don't you love when young readers start making recommendations to you?? :) I've had 8th graders who really know my taste in books, they have offered some book that are great reads!

  3. You make a good point, Funke's audiences are always a bit tricky. Part of this might be the difference between European and American concepts of children's lit. Funke still writes in German and translates to English.

    My favorite part about her writing (Ink Heart series excluded) is how they hold up to rereads.

    I didn't know she had a new book coming out - thanks to you, Ghost Knight is on my shopping list.