Review Blog

Jun 28 2011

Ministry of Pandemonium by Chris Westwood

cover image

Frances Lincoln Children's Books, 2011. ISBN: 9781847801906.
Ministry of Pandemonium is similar to the film The Sixth Sense (2000), as the main protagonist, Ben Harvester, begins to discover that he can 'see dead people.' Set in London, Ben and mother have just moved into a new area and both struggling on the meager waitressing wages and tips that her mother receives. The story begins in the summer before Ben is due to start at a new school, when he develops an interest of visiting cemeteries to draw headstones whilst pondering the lives and deaths of the people that they represent. Soon after Ben meets a homeless person, Mr October, on the street who later turns out to many guises and is constantly his appearance. Mr October is part of a group of spirit people who work to ensure the all dead people are successfully guided on to their next life. Ben has been especially recruited to help them with this task, which includes recording on a type-writer every death that occurs. Meanwhile, Ben has is overcoming common teenage difficulties of being labeled 'weird' at his new school and has found new friends through his talent in art. To complicate Ben's life further, his mum's sister has just died of cancer, his mother is now ill and he has begun to find out information the reason for his father's disappearance when he was younger.
The Ministry of Pandemonium
has many story lines occurring at once, both in the worlds of the living and the dead, and in some ways reflects the types of scenarios faced by some young adolescents. The concepts of the death Register registered other supernatural themes are mostly original and clever. This book would be recommended for 12 to 14 year old students interested in fantasy books with paranormal themes.
Adam Fitzgerald

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
2017 Children's Peace Literature Award Short List
Inkys Awards 2017
2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award
2017 NSW Premier's History Awards
The Queensland Literary Awards 2017
CBCA Awards 2017 winners
Environment Award for Children's Literature 2017
Speech Pathology shortlist 2017
2017 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals
2017 Branford Boase Award
2017 UKLA Book Awards

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Bookmark and poster templates