The Haunting of Aveline Jones by Phil Hickes

Written by Phil Hickes, Illustrations by Keith Robinson, Publishing October 2020 by Usborne

Aveline Jones loves to read ghost stories, while others her age opt for stories with unicorns or horses. Knowing she is different in this way, she is unstoppable in her quest to find spooky titles.

Being forced to spend October half term with her Aunt Lilian in Malmouth, Aveline is sure to be bored. Her Mum has to travel to Scotland to visit Granny who has been ill. Driving into the town, they are surprised and spooked to see child like figures standing outside of homes. They are creepy and almost too life like from afar.

Within the first day of staying in Malmouth, Aveline has spotted a bookstore and meets the owner Ernst, and his great nephew, Harold. Finding ghost story treasure within the shelves at the back, Aveline takes home her new purchase and sets to reading. To her dismay, she finds the very last short story in the book completely and purposefully crossed out. Disappointed and feeling as though there is a mystery here, Aveline heads back to the shop.

The more she explores the town, the more creepy child like figures keep appearing. Believing it to be some weird Halloween tradition for the town, she hurries past them. When searching for more clues within the bookstore, they discover a young girls diary…Primrose Penberthy. This young girl went missing some 30 years ago on Halloween and the mystery was never solved.

This story had me on the edge of my seat as ghostly sightings, creepy child like figures and Halloween approaching all converged to create this super story. Aveline is the unsuspecting detective and heroine of this story, putting the pieces together and figuring it all out. New friendships are forged and a new fondness for Aunt Lilian is a positive to come out of this spooky and haunting tale.

I read this story in one day and loved it entirely. Feeling spooked, haunted and proud of Aveline all the way through to the end! Whether you read it on a sunny bright day or a rainy grey day, I am sure you will enjoy it! 10 stars for me and the promise of more to come from Aveline Jones!

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