The lonely lighthouse of Elston-Fright by Reece Carter

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In the second novel based around Elston-Fright and the Lighthouse keepers Flip and his Nan, along with his friends, a girl called Corpse, a ghost called Girl and a very large spider called Simon are the only ones in Elston-Fright who still believe in the magic that surrounds the town.

Before Flip was born the lighthouse had not only protected passing ships but had also kept bad magic at bay, but that is all gone and the light is destroyed.  Nan has forbidden Flip from going up to the light and so he reads the stories written by his ancestors in the journals he keeps under his bed.  When Magic does visit the town, the town people lead by the local policeman, stay inside and lock their doors and pretend it’s not magic!

When Simon, a very large spider who acts more like an oversized puppy than a scary spider, is taken by the Poltergusts; ancient weather ghouls, Flip and his friends must use the ancient Lightkeeper’s journals to rescue their friend.  Along the way they will discover long held truths that are lies and loyalties are tested.  For these friends, rescuing Simon means understanding the past and trusting in each other. 

This is a sequel to A Girl called Corpse, however it works as a standalone novel.  The reader will probably get more from this book if they have read the first book as there are a number of references to what happened prior to where this story starts and this may help younger readers understand how these four characters became friends. 

This book is told by Flip and Corpse in alternating chapters that may be confusing for a younger reader as each character has a very different but interesting perspective on the way the story is developing. 

I would recommend this book to independent readers who have experience with longer novels.  It would also be great as a class novel either as a read aloud or read along.  It will appeal to lovers of magic, mystery, ghost and ghouls but also to those who love family drama and friendship novels.

Themes: Magic, Mystery, Friendship, Ghosts, Monsters.

Mhairi Alcorn