Tuesday 8 September 2009

Review - A Ghost in My Suitcase / Gabrielle Wang

Summary - When Celeste travels to China to visit her grandmother, she uncovers an incredible family secret.

And with this secret comes danger and adventure.If Celeste is to save her family and friends, she must learn to harness her rare and powerful gift as a ghost-hunter. . .

Review - Wang has constructed a great story of grief, culture, family history and ghost hunting in this middle grade novel.

Celeste has travelled to China to spend some time with her grandmother after the death of her mother. Celeste is the product of two cultures; her Chinese and French ancestry and her Australian upbringing. Her inital time in China is a culture shock as she adjusts to her grandmother's home, the distance from her father and brother and an unpleasant child that her grandmother has taken in.

What appears to be a simplistic novel seemlessly weaves a family mystery, anger, grief and a family profession that defies expectation. Celeste's grandmother is a ghost catcher through an art that has been passed down through her family. Young readers will love the swords, hand signs and talismans that are the tools of the trade, especially as the key ghost issue of the novel is tied to many of our characters. It's simply written allowing the characters to speak for themselves and for the reader to absorb the issues naturally. The spookiness of the ghost catching methods will also capture the imaginations are they are beautiful, thrilling and scary.

A Ghost in the Suitcase is a great story of the strength of family and the importance of family legacy.

Published: 2 February 2009
Format: Paperback, 192 pages
Publisher: Penguin
Origin: Australia
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Michelle said...

Magic and the supernatural just sit so well in asian settings.

I think I'll add this to my must read list - Thanks for the review Adele!

The Book Owl said...

One more book to read. Stop doing this to me. haha :)