Arthur Bannister is surprised when he discovers he has been awarded a place at boarding school Shiverton Hall, after winning a scholarship that he didn't even apply for. On arrival, he discovers that his new school is located in a spooky gothic manor house with a strange history of ancient curses and sinister secrets. But in spite of the chilling atmosphere - and the efforts of both school bullies and disapproving teachers - Arthur soon begins to settle down and make new friends, including the school's resident ghost expert, George, Jake, Penny and eccentric Xanthe. Then there's Amber, the prettiest girl in the school, who also seems to want to befriend him...
But as Arthur finds out more about the sinister story of Shiverton Hall, peculiar and frightening things begin to happen - and soon things take a dramatic turn for the deadly. What is going on at Shiverton Hall? Arthur and his new friends are determined to uncover the truth.
This spooky boarding school tale, with shades of the Harry Potter series, is ideal for readers at upper primary level who enjoy all things gruesome and grisly. Debut author Emerald Fennell creates a genuinely spine-tingling and suspenseful atmosphere throughout this pleasingly shivery adventure story, as Arthur finds himself grappling with extraordinary and terrifying events as well as the more mundane challenges of school life. Balancing horror with a touch of comedy, this is a readable and exciting story which will appeal to those who enjoy Chris Priestley and Derek Landy.