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The Last Ghost: A Belladonna Johnson Adventure (Belladonna Johnson Mystery) Paperback – Unabridged, 1 Oct 2010

33 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books; Unabridged edition (1 Oct. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330467247
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330467247
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,201,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Helen Stringer grew up in Liverpool and currently lives in Los Angeles. She worked briefly for Merseyside Museums before following local (and family) tradition by getting involved in the music business, managing a new wave rock band and editing a local music paper. After moving to the United States to pursue a career in the film industry, she studied at the American Film Institute, winning several student film awards. She lives with a small herd of cats and about thirty fish, and now writes full-time.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Pyewacket TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Nov. 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I can in no way admit to being a child but I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will certainly be purchasing the next of Belladonna's adventures.

Belladonna Johnson is an unusual teenager in so far as she can see ghosts which is pretty handy seeing as there has been an awful tragedy in her family. However, something goes radically wrong on 'the otherside' and suddenly all her 'friends' start to disappear. Somehow, (she isn't exactly popular) she makes friends with a boy from her school and together they set off to find out what is going on.

What a potboiler........the story races along never allowing the reader to become bored and I enjoyed it so much that I sat and read the entire book in one sitting. I would even give it say 6 months and then re-read it because it was that enjoyable. Yes, there are some supremely frightening parts, which even made me squirm a tad, but in my opinion, children like to be scared.

This is a well written, well crafted story and I suspect that Belladonna will gain many fans in the future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Princess Mononoke VINE VOICE on 18 Nov. 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I selected this book because it came under the category of ghost/supernatural stories but it is in fact for a younger reader - I would say anywhere between 10 and 15. Despite that it was extremely enjoyable - sometimes you forget just how good a well written childrens story can be. Belladonna Johnson is not your normal teenager - she can see ghosts and lives with two! Her parents. Slowly the ghosts start to disappear and it is up to Belladonna and her friend Steve to figure out what is going on and why - can they save them in time?

A ripping yarn that goes along at quite a pace - I've passed it on to my 10 year old daughter who is loving in. I can see this being the start of something big and look forward to reading more about Belladonna's adventures.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Insert Witticism Here on 10 Jan. 2010
Format: Hardcover
`The Last Ghost' is the fast paced children's tale of Belladonna Johnson, a girl who can see and communicate with ghosts. Although this strange gift allows her to interact with her dead parents, who died in a tragic accident, Belladonna is not a fan of her ability and, as a result, does her best not to be noticed by anyone. But in spite of her social problems, she does manage to befriend a school troublemaker, Steve Evans, and a ghost named Elsie. Things start going wrong for Belladonna when the doors between the living and the dead start closing and all the ghosts in the world, including her parents, start disappearing. Not wanting to lose her parents completely, Belladonna sets off on journey to discover the truth about the disappearances.

The story is a fun bit of fantasy. The plot is certainly interesting; the villain's grand plan turns out to be a real threat, and there is a definite sense that this first book is one piece in a much larger jigsaw. The characters are engaging and enjoyable. Belladonna is a suitable heroine; Steve and Elsie bring the humour and mischief to the story. All three main characters really bounced off one another which resulted in honest and fun banter. Many of the adults were portrayed as unhelpful and a little annoying, but this is plausible given the fact the story is viewed from a child's perspective.

My main problems with the story were the unresolved plot threads and plot devices. Several mysteries are not fully explained: the issue of Steve's mum, the true identity of the head teacher and the relationship between Belladonna's aunt and the Hunt. I'm sure this was done on purpose to build intrigue for a sequel, but I found the lack of resolution off-putting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dinky VINE VOICE on 18 Dec. 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
...that if this turns into a series, the storylines will evolve. The writing's pretty decent, really, but the ghosts are too corporeal for my liking. I mean, watching the telly I get but actually cooking and reading the paper??? The book poses connections between the living and the dead that arouse interest though, and the action speeds up as it gets to the end -- until then it jogs somewhat -- with a fabulous uber-villainess who sounds as if she should be the Empress Of rather than just a Major Minion. Stringer's intriguing imaginative turns here indicate there's more to come.

Written from the point of view of the child characters, "The Last Ghost" reflects the frustration children must often feel when adults ignore their statements, their questions, THEM because of their youth. Things turn, of course, in this story upon the very children that the adults have diligently bypassed as too young to involve. This wasn't classed as young adult fiction when I first looked at it, but it should have been.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bluecougar25 on 5 Jan. 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Belladonna Johnson sees ghosts. Its more inconvenient and embarrassing than scary, especially when her dad forgets and pops his head through the wall to chat, though having her parents around after death is quite reassuring. Something odd is happening to the ghosts though, and soon Belladonna and her friend Steve are on the track of a mystery that involves finding the Land of the Dead and discovering some strange and exciting new skills.

I really enjoyed this book as an adult. Its fast-paced and well-written, with a nice dose of humour, Belladonna is a great, down-to-earth character who's not going to give in and sit down quietly when there are things to be done. The scary elements are well-done and the plot is logical, without resorting to mad chases or over-the-top set pieces as so many modern children's books seem to. This is good old-fashioned fun, with a modern sensibility that makes it ideal for a wide audience. Definitely worth a read, whatever your age.
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