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The Ghost Locket (Allison Rushby, Walker)

Allison Rushby’s latest middle-grade offering is a creative, entertaining blend of genres, the supernatural spilling into a historical mystery in a modern-day setting. Twelve-year-old Lolli and her guardian Freya have travelled from Singapore to London, where they are helping friends set up a walk-through Christmas display in an old terrace house. Lolli, though, is reluctant and fearful, as three years earlier she experienced a terrifying ghostly vision within those walls. As the story progresses, an interesting array of characters are introduced, all of whom make an impact on Lolli—and each other—in different ways. The well-crafted dialogue moves the action swiftly along and there are quite a few end-of-chapter cliffhangers that often, delightfully, lead down unexpected paths. Lolli’s introspections are gently articulated, and young readers will easily understand and identify with her concerns and deliberations, particularly around the themes of self-confidence, trust, making friends and what makes a family. Suspenseful and hauntingly atmospheric, this book will absolutely appeal to readers of the mystery genre as well as existing fans of Rushby’s, and with spirits and ghosts thrown in, it’s also a great introduction to horror and fantasy. There are lots of hold-your-breath moments, some terrific, funny one-liners that will definitely generate laughs, and the plot twists will not only surprise readers but will also no doubt leave them satisfied when they reach the final page.  

Freelance reviewer Alida Galati is a secondary school librarian and reading enthusiast. 


Category: Junior Reviews