Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Book Review: Ghost Knight
By Cornelia Funke
Read by Elliot Hill
Listening Library, 2012
Audiobook borrowed from Library
Audience: Grades 4 to 8
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Jon is shipped off to boarding school, presumably so his mother can spend more time with her boyfriend. This is insult enough, but it also seems that his school is cursed by a band of terrifying ghosts intent on killing Jon since he is of the Hartguild line. With the help of an eccentric friend, Ella, Jon learns that the only way he might rid himself of these dastardly ghosts is with another ghost, Knight Longsbee, who took an oath to protect the downtrodden. What follows is a tale of ghosts, knights, toads, choir boys, and learning that people are more than they appear.
Sidebar 1: I first heard about this book at ALA two years ago. I went to the Odyssey Awards ceremony and heard Elliot Hill read aloud from this book. Along with the charming British accent, Elliot is rather dreamy looking, causing some of the librarians to swoon. The Odyssey Awards ceremony is very cool, so go if you get the chance, plus you get to take the awarded audiobook of your choice. I took The Fault in Our Stars-which was stupid since I'm officially banned from that book/movie/audiobook/future television or internet series, but there you have it.
Sidebar 2: I borrowed this book from my library's online library. Borrowing audiobooks and downloading them right to my phone is great and super easy. If you are an audiobook person, I highly recommend it. I am not an audiobook person though, so my actual experience was less than stellar.
The story itself is good. To an adult, Jon's feeling about his mother's new boyfriend are largely unfounded and really quite whiny, but to put yourself in a child's position and you can see why he feels that way. Jon's relationship with Ella was the high point for me. Ella and her grandmother were the real stars in my mind. I needed that humor more than the adventure story of deadly ghost knights.
The action is well paced, until the very end, then I felt like it went off the rails a bit. The main plot point is resolved, the secondary plot point is resolved, so why does the book go on for another four chapters? I think that I was getting impatient with the story since I knew when the book ended, I would be home, but to me, it dragged on.
I would recommend The Ghost Knight for reading or listening. But honestly, I'm not a great audiobook girl. It's a big stumbling block for my reading, especially considering that I used to buy audiobooks. Now, I sometimes enjoy listening to a favorite book that I've already read, The Westing Game comes to mind, but on most occasions, I'd rather listen to the radio.
All that said, I broke my rule and did listen to another audiobook last weekend on another long drive. That review is coming up.