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The Last of the Spirits

Written by Chris Priestley

Key Stage 2 General Fiction

LoveReading View on The Last of the Spirits

December 2015 Book of the Month  What would Christmas be without a ghost story? Chris Priestley, master of the macabre, has written one that while it will send shivers down the spine can be enjoyed by all the family. His starting point is A Christmas Carol and in a clever extension of Dicken’s novel he invests two starving children, who appear as Ignorance and Want in the original, with personalities and a history. In scenes full of atmosphere they too meet the ghost of Jacob Marley and witness the horror of a Christmas Yet to Come before their lives are changed for the better. It’s an effective and moving development of a much-loved classic, with appeal for those who have and haven’t read the original, and perfect reading for this time of year. ~ Andrea Reece



The Last of the Spirits Synopsis

Sam and Lizzie are freezing and hungry on the streets of Victorian London. When Sam asks a wealthy man for some coins, he is rudely turned away. Months of struggle suddenly find their focus, and Sam resolves to kill the man. Huddling in a graveyard for warmth, Sam and Lizzie are horrified to see the earth around one of the tombs begin to shift, shortly followed by the wraithlike figure of a ghostly man. He warns Sam about the future which awaits such a bitter heart, and so begins Sam's journey led by terrifying spirits through the past, present and future, after which Sam must decide whether to take the man, Scrooge's, life or not. A perfectly layered, tense and supremely satisfying twist on Dickens' A Christmas Carol, cleverly reinvented to entice a younger readership.

The Last of the Spirits Press Reviews

 “Ideal for nine-plus…Priestleyesque creepiness combines with true charity for a happy Christmas.” – New Statesman

“A stirring and haunting re-writing of the original Dickens” – The Herald

“A splendid addition to the canon of seasonal ghost stories.” – School Librarian

 “The Last of the Spirits is a perfect book to curl up with on these dark winter nights.” – We Love This Book

 “It's a fascinating treatment of an enduring classic which works because Priestley captures the existing characters so well and introduces a pair of brilliant new ones in Sam and Lizzie.” – The Bookbag

“An excellent read.” - ReadingZone

“An engaging version of a classic story has been created by making the children the focus of the story.” – Booktrust

 “Highly recommended” – The Historical Novel Society

Book Information

ISBN: 9781408851999
Publication date: 8th October 2015
Author: Chris Priestley
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 208 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 2
Topics: General Fiction

About Chris Priestley

Chris Priestley has been a cartoonist and illustrator for many years, working mainly for magazines and newspapers.  He currently has a weekly strip cartoon called 'Payne's Grey' in the New Statesman. Ever since he was a teenager Chris has loved unsettling and creepy stories, with fond memories of buying comics like 'Strange Tales' and 'House of Mystery', watching classic BBC TV adaptations of M R James ghost stories every Christmas and reading assorted weirdness by everyone from Edgar Allen Poe to Ray Bradbury.  He hopes Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror will haunt his readers in the way those ...

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