The Book That Made Me: Nicola Davies 15/05/19
Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Ada Goth lives at Ghastly-Gorm Hall with her father, the famous cycling poet Lord Goth. There are a host of servants, plenty of eccentric house guests and at least half a dozen ghosts, but Ada is lonely. She doesn't have any friends her own age, and Lord Goth believes children should be 'heard and not seen', making her wear clumpy boots so he can always hear her coming.
Then one night, a ghostly mouse called Ishmael appears in Ada's bedroom and asks for her help. Soon, Ada finds herself joining forces with some young visitors, William and Emily Cabbage, as well as their friends in the Attic Club, to unravel a dastardly plot being hatched by Maltravers, the sinister indoor gamekeeper. Together, can they stop Maltravers before he unleashes his terrible plan on the day of Lord Goth's famous metaphorical bicycle race and indoor hunt?
Fans of Chris Riddell's Ottoline books will love this quirky story. With its purple-edged pages and silver-foiled endpapers, this beautifully-designed book is a real treasure, lavishly illustrated throughout with Riddell's distinctive black and white illustrations. Riddell takes enormous delight in putting a humorous twist on the 18th century Gothic tradition, peopling his story with alternative versions of literary and historical characters, from architect Metaphorical Smith to writer Mary Shellfish and inventor Charles Cabbage and incorporating idiosyncratic historical 'footnotes'. But as well as featuring plenty of tongue-in-cheek jokes that will amuse parents, this is also a delightful adventure for younger children, full of fun and humour that readers of all ages can enjoy.