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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic illustrations!
Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse was provided free of charge by The Book Depository in return for an honest review.

I was on Goth Girl like a magpie!. I was immediately drawn to it when I saw it. It's so beautiful and shiny! There was as much thought put into the design of the book itself as the story.

I have been a fan of Paul Stuart and Chris...
Published 18 months ago by Go Book Yourself

versus
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pure art to look at. For me, the jokes will go above the audience's heads
3.5 stars.

As ever, Chris Riddell's illustrations are stunning: imaginative and beautiful to look at. The cover art and hardback design are great - purple edges a lovely touch. A pleasure to hold and admire.

It's inside I was a little puzzled. It was like watching a Pixar movie, but one in which every joke flew over the heads of the intended audience...
Published 16 months ago by K. J. Noyes


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic illustrations!, 3 Dec. 2013
This review is from: Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse (Hardcover)
Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse was provided free of charge by The Book Depository in return for an honest review.

I was on Goth Girl like a magpie!. I was immediately drawn to it when I saw it. It's so beautiful and shiny! There was as much thought put into the design of the book itself as the story.

I have been a fan of Paul Stuart and Chris Riddell since the original Twig novels were published. Beyond the Deepwoods drew me in and then I was hooked for life!

Now for the book itself. Ada Goth lives with her father in the sprawling Gastly-Gorm Hall. She spends the majority of her time alone. Her father avoids her as she reminds him of his deceased wife. So much so that she must wear big plodding boots around the house so that he can hear her approaching. He limits his time with her to once a week for tea.

One night Ada meets the ghost of a mouse called Ishmael. He was caught in a mouse trap and now fears he will spend eternity floating around Ghastly Ghorm Hall. Something is keeping him from moving on but he can't remember what. Ada is determined to help him.

As this is a Chris Riddell novel you can expect the most wonderful character designs and illustrations. Each page is a feast for the eyes.

Even though the characters are quirky I still found them very relatable. Ada lives in very strange surroundings but suffers from the same woes as many children. She has few friends and feels alienated. As she meets the younger servants of the house she learns that status doesn't need to get in the way of friendship.

I can't think of anyone who wouldn't love this book. The illustrations will entice adults and children. This book would be a great start for anyone wanting to introduce a kid to reading as there will be something for both to enjoy.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, 20 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse (Hardcover)
Quite possibly the silliest thing I've read all year, this is a rollicking tale that will entertain primary age kids, with the added bonus of a slew of sneaky references to Gothic literature and jokes for the adult reading aloud. (Which should be done in ALL the voices. Obviously. Rehearse if you must.)

Superbly illustrated by the author (visual jokes abound), it comes as a handsomely packaged hardback (stitched binding no less!) with metallic purple edging and endpapers embossed with silver skulls that are alone worth the price of admission.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A funny book which all ages should enjoy, 27 Oct. 2013
By 
Brida "izumi" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse (Hardcover)
No matter what your age, there is a lot to delight readers with GOTH GIRL AND THE GHOST OF A MOUSE. Firstly, what attracted me was the design of the book; the pages are edged with a bright purple and the endpapers are decorated with silver skulls. With purple and silver on the cover, this is a book which certainly manages to grab your attention in the bookstore. And, once you start reading it, you'll be pleased to find that it manages to hold your attention as a reader.
The story follows Ada Goth; a young girl who lives with her father, Lord Goth. As an only child, she can find living in Gormly Ghast Hall lonely sometimes, so when she is visited by the ghost of a mouse, she is happy to have someone she can talk to. As she begins to explore the house where she lives, she begins to think that there is something going on there that is not all it seems to be.

This short story is one of the strangest I have read for a while; the characters and goings-on are fantastically imagined. Illustrated throughout by Riddell himself, you are able to see his great ideas just as he imagined them. For young readers there is plenty to keep them entertained. For slightly older readers there are many funny references to the golden age of Gothic literature.

A brilliant book. I hope Goth Girl has more adventures.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goth Girl, 9 Nov. 2013
By 
Jenny, Wondrous Reads (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse (Hardcover)
Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse is one of the best children's books I've read this year. Possibly *the* best. Aside from its truly beautiful presentation, it's a fantastic gothic story with unusual characters, clever writing and amazing illustrations. The whole package really is a work of art.

Ada Goth lives in Ghastly-Gorm Hall with her strange father, Lord Goth, numerous ghosts and an array of servants. One night the ghost of a mouse called Ishmael shows up, explaining that he'd been killed in a mouse trap and was no destined to roam Ghastly-Gorm Hall forever. What he doesn't know is that there's trouble afoot, and he and Ada are the only ones who can solve the mystery.

I absolutely loved Ishmael, especially his own little book included as an extra at the back of Goth Girl. It's the story of his travels, titled Memoirs of a Mouse, and tells the story of how he found his way to Ghastly-Gorm Hall. I wish he'd been featured in the main book more; he's definitely my favourite! Ada is great too, inquisitive and brave and not at all afraid of the many ghosties haunting her house. Also, she has terrible luck with governesses!

This book is so well illustrated that nothing and no-one is left to the imagination. I particularly enjoyed being able to see Ishmael, Ada and the other creatures in the story, and it certainly helps when trying to visualise the gothic, dark surroundings. I'm a big fan of illustrated books, mainly because that extra element adds a certain magic not found in normal, text-only novels. It's also a treat to see an author's own illustrations, which in this case are as much a part of the story as the words.

I don't know whether Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse is the start of a series or a standalone novel, but I hope it's the former. I would love to return to Ghastly-Gorm Hall and see what Ada's up to and whether her new governess, Lucy Borgia, is still there and struggling with an aversion to garlic. This book is perfect for anyone who has read and enjoyed Marcus Sedgwick's The Raven Mysteries, or anyone who just likes a brilliant story. Well done, Chris Riddell!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Gnomes", 29 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse (Hardcover)
Early on, when I hit that line describing Lord Goth, I knew I had a book that I was going to enjoy. The bigger question, though, was whether a younger reader who wouldn't get that joke would enjoy the book.

Well, this is one of the most carefully and sharply written and most elegantly illustrated books I've looked at for younger readers. It's a mystery, an adventure, a ghost story, and a little-girl-lost-story, but it's loaded with puckish good humor and cheerfully dark wit. This is a quirky delight and a testament to what you can produce when you write for younger readers but respect their sensibilities and their abilities. The charm and the sophistication of the book is tailored to younger readers' emerging sensibilities and it rewards them and entertains them without at all patronizing them.

And, the book works for a variety of readers at different reading levels, because the jokes, asides and subtle bits all complement each other and a reader can get a few them, or some, or all, and still enjoy the story immensely. For younger readers the story is at least silly fun; for the oldest readers it is loaded with sly inside jokes about Gothic literature. For everyone it's fantastic and quirky and rollicking, often all at the same time.

So, there really isn't much of a downside to taking a flyer here. At a minimum the book is entertaining and engaging. At best, it could become a favorite. At the absolute very worst it will amuse Mom and Dad and be judged "O.K." by the kid reader. All of those are attractive options to me, and I'm happy to add such a rewarding change of pace to the family shelf.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An 'odd' sort of a book - but fun!, 13 Oct. 2014
By 
FAMOUS NAME (UNITED KINGDOM) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse (Hardcover)
This is one of the most BEAUTIFUL books I've ever come across, with dazzling metallic and rich purple edged pages, with a lovely designed hardback cover!

The full title for this book is `Goth Girl And The Ghost Of A Mouse', but to be honest, I don't really know why the mouse part has been included as it's very misleading; it would in my opinion have been much better to have been simply called `Goth Girl' as this is really who the story is about - the mouse hardly features at all, and for a good portion of the book is not even mentioned... It's a shame, as the mouse (apart from the girl) is the very first character to appear in the story which leads one to believe that he's quite important to the story - but the plot has little if anything at all to do with this poor little creature, which is a real shame... There is a `mini' book tucked inside the back cover about this pretty pointless character which is rather a sweet and novel idea - but this is a bit of an odd thing to do, and if anything really should be read before the main book to give the reader some background on the mouse character, but as said earlier, to no real purpose since he has such a little place in the main story.

This is a crazy - zany kind of a book that is really fun to read, and as it progresses, it becomes crazier and zanier still, until the last few chapters and the end of the story when it almost becomes nonsensical as it reaches its crescendo!

As some have already said; much of the writing, jokes and play on words would be lost on most children as they would be simply too young to `get it' or understand them, and so this is rather an odd book all round... Not quite sure what age group it is really aimed at - still a great and fun read though, but am undecided myself yet as to whether I shall be purchasing the follow up.

NOTE: Drawings and illustrations are quite fabulous!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Teenagers Book, 3 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse (Hardcover)
A fantastic book with beautiful illustration, well written & a Christmas gift my niece loves - age range 11 to 16..

Reviewed on the Radio
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5.0 out of 5 stars All lovers of the Goth should buy this., 3 Mar. 2014
By 
This review is from: Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse (Hardcover)
This is a charming book, which belongs in the library of every reader with an interest in Gothic literature (yes, I know it’s for children, but believe me there is plenty for the adult to appreciate), from its actual appearance - its page edges (glittery purple), its endpapers (glittery silver skulls on a black background) and its cover, which shows the heroine (Ada Goth) in a highly covetable purple evening dress. And the content lives up to its appearance.
Ada is the daughter of Lord Goth of Ghastly-Gorm Hall, a famous poet, known, from his habit of shooting at garden ornaments, as being ‘mad, bad and dangerous to gnomes.’ There are absolutely no prizes for guessing the originals of Lord Goth, Ada, Mary Shellfish, the Polar Explorer (and his ex-girlfriend), or knowing why the chimney caretaker at Ghastly-Gorm is called Kingsley, and his predecessor was Van Dyke – or recognising the procession of the unfortunate Ada’s unsatisfactory governesses from the warty Morag Macbee, through Hebe Poppins (who runs off with Van Dyke), Jane Ear (“Ada suspected early on that she wasn’t really very interested in being a governess at all…Lord Goth had to send her away when she tried to burn down the west wing” ) culminating in the altogether more congenial Lucy Borgia, a vampire who specialises in duelling with umbrellas.
The plot is fairly slight, involving Ada’s meeting with the ghostly mouse (‘Call me Ishmael’) and their attempts to foil the plans of the evil indoor gamekeeper, Maltravers, who is conspiring to provide Rupert von Hellsung with some unusual trophies from the famous Ghastly-Gorm Indoor Hunt, which incidentally results in an improvement of the relationship between Ada and her father (traumatised by the death of her mother he has been unable to bear the sight of her) and Ishmael’s release from his ghostly existence when his Memoirs of a Mouse (which appears as a tiny addition to the book in a pocket at the back) is published by Macmillan.
Completely delightful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic in every sense. A great Gothic adventure, 26 Dec. 2013
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse (Hardcover)
I absolutely loved this book. The production quality is really high, much like the previous Ottoline series by Riddell. The end papers on their own are an absolute pleasure, as is the squat, chunky format of the book, and the additional miniature book that comes with it.

The story is fantastic. Ada Goth lives with her father Lord Goth in Ghastly Gorm Hall. Her mother, a daring tightrope walker has died, and Lord Goth struggles to bring Ada up, reminding her as she does, of his late wife.

Ada lives in a fantastical seclusion in the crazy mansion with an array of weird and wonderful servants and creatures. Discovering the ghost of a mouse, called Ishmael, she sets off with him to find out how he died, and begins to unravel a marvellously silly adventure that will keep you gripped.

For a child this is a great, pacey story with Riddell's glorious illustrations to bring it to life. For an adult there are all sorts of in jokes, particularly if you are a fan of the gothic horror convention, or know anything about 18th century literary figures. You don't need to know anything about them to enjoy the book, but if you do, it will increase your enjoyment tenfold.

I was very, very sad when Riddell stopped writing the Ottoline series. This just about makes up for it. I hope there will be more.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pure art to look at. For me, the jokes will go above the audience's heads, 24 Jan. 2014
By 
K. J. Noyes "Katy Noyes" (Derbyshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse (Hardcover)
3.5 stars.

As ever, Chris Riddell's illustrations are stunning: imaginative and beautiful to look at. The cover art and hardback design are great - purple edges a lovely touch. A pleasure to hold and admire.

It's inside I was a little puzzled. It was like watching a Pixar movie, but one in which every joke flew over the heads of the intended audience of youngsters. As an adult I smirked and smiled to recognise the references (and even I know I didn't know them all), but will a ten-year-old really understand the 'mad, bad and dangerous to gnomes' line? Or the mouse introducing himself as "Call me Ishmael"? One could argue that they might be there for parents reading with their children, but at that age there can't be many parents reading alongside their kids (I hope to be but who knows).

I'm sure young readers will still enjoy the story, the characters, the humour but it did feel strange that so much will fly past the majority of them.

The plot is fun - motherless Ada in her huge Ghastly-Gorm Hall (get it?) with only her grieving father for company discovers a nefarious plot is afoot for the upcoming Indoor Hunt. Ada picks up ghostly friends and explores her huge house and grounds and must try to save the day. Her story starts with the discovery of a ghostly mouse Ishmael, and though he's sweet, I personally saw no need for him to be in the plot at all, other than for the author to include the (frankly marvellous Gulliver-like) mini-book of his previous adventures in the cover.

Overall, I was confused. Who was the target audience? There's lots for a child to enjoy but it really seemed aimed at older readers looking for a light read in many ways. Surprised it won the Costa award. Fantastic illustrations and lots of sly in-jokery.

I'm sure to be proved wrong as I know that I as a smart enough kid would have enjoyed the book but know that so much would have gone over my head.
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Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse
Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse by Chris Riddell (Hardcover - 12 Sept. 2013)
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