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The Ghost of Thomas Kempe: Complete & Unabridged [Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

Penelope Lively , Rosalind Adams
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 26 1987
Carnegie Medal Winner.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product Details


Product Description

About the Author

Dame Penelope Lively is an author with a shelf full of awards. For her book, A Stitch in Time, she won the Whitbread award, The Ghost of Thomas Kempe earned her the Carnegie Medal, and she has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize numerous times for her adult novels. In 1987, Penelope Lively won the Booker Prize for her novel, Moon Tiger. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ghost of Thomas Kempe April 25 2004
Format:Paperback
This is a fantastic book for all ages young and old... an easily comprehensible text of a gripping storyline. Once you've started at it, you wouldn't want to put it down.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's ok afterall Oct. 7 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Well, I didn't find this book very interesting but it's okay. I read this book because my English teacher wants us to. But anyways, if you love horror, then don't read this book cuz it's nothing scary or something like that.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ok Book Could be better Nov. 19 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This book was quite good the description was good but the action and excitement. Not a very good bargain. We Read it in English at my School
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ghosts are no match for little children July 8 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Dr. James Harrison, FRS, MP, D.Phil, OBE, writer of The Life Cycle of a British Beetle is a pirate of the Seven Seas, first conqueror of the earth's highest peak, captain of a World-Cup-winning football team and professional hole-digger. In short, he is a normal boy. And if in his made-up adventures windows get broken, cups shatter and his arm gets stuck in a grate - well that's not really his fault, is it? No matter what his father, mother and, sigh, sister think.

After moving into an old house, James discovers that he is sharing a room with a literate poltergeist,Thomas Kempe, who resorts to banging doors and hiding glasses for attention. Of course, it is James who gets blamed and whose allowance has to pay for damages. Things take a turn for the worse for James when Kempe, a sorcerer, leaves notes all over the place offering his magicks and accusing people of witchery. Can he successfully exorcise Thomas so that he can finally eat dessert and not have to be sent to his room all the time?

Penelope Lively takes us to a time in our lives when the world was bright and wide; when every nook, cranny and hole can yield buried treasure and unfettered possibilities. Through James we remember climbing trees, running through grass, cartwheeling, and of course, telling ghost stories among friends. We also remember times when we couldn't ask adults for help because they wouldn't believe us and sadly, neither did our bestfriends.

This is the perfect reading material for children who will certainly know what it's like to be James and for adults who want to be like James again - at least for a short time.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very good Feb. 10 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a book about James Harrisson and his best friend Simon trying to get rid of a 300 year old poltergeist. The writing was really strong and good. The book got better as it went along.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's ok afterall Oct. 7 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Well, I didn't find this book very interesting but it's okay. I read this book because my English teacher wants us to. But anyways, if you love horror, then don't read this book cuz it's nothing scary or something like that.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that will stay in your mind for decades Jan. 16 2013
By West Mountain - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I first read this book when I was in my pre-teens, and at the time I thought it was mainly a ghost story. Reading it again thirty years later I'm realizing that there's a whole lot more -- and as a kid, the vague awareness of this hidden meaning, and the strange wistful feel of Lively's writing, were why I'd kept thinking about it. One thing that makes the story different from a standard adventure tale is that there aren't any entirely bad people. There are characters that the protagonist James doesn't understand, or doesn't feel he has anything in common with .... but nobody like Rowling's Voldemort, even though magic does come into the story.

Time has moved inexorably on, and in some ways the 1970s England of James and Simon is as distant to us now as the world of the 17th century sorcerer Thomas Kempe. Although James does have some contact with Kempe's returned spirit, the real connections he makes in the story are to people from the more recent past: a boy named Arnold who once lived in his own house long ago, and the family's elderly neighbour Mrs. Verity. These relationships are at least as wonderful and unexpected as the ghost of a Renaissance-era enchanter. This is a great book to introduce kids to history, because I've met so many researchers and writers who describe forming very similar relationships in their imaginations, with people who are long gone. As the years pass, I'm understanding how lucky I was to be able to meet people who were a living bridge to the past, like Mrs. Verity -- born in years starting with "18", or who survived the Blitz or fought in the First and Second World Wars. Later this century that will seem unbelievable ... and I'll be in a similar position to James, trying to describe these things to my politely-skeptical family.

There isn't as much action in this book as Harry Potter or The Hunger Games, so it's more of a quiet thought-provoking read than an exciting page-turner -- but I wouldn't be surprised if some of the younger readers find themselves revisiting this story in a few decades, and having a new appreciation for it. Grownups should also read this book, just so they can remember how they felt when adults didn't want to listen to them ... or seemed to have forgotten what it was like, to see the world through a child's eyes. The beauty of the author's final sentence still haunts me when I think about the people who lived in my town before I came along -- and all of those who'll be here in a future I can barely imagine.
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't praise this book enough Aug. 2 2014
By B. Wolinsky - Published on Amazon.com
This is an awesome book , even for adults. A family moves into an old English house and almost immediately, their son is tormented by a ghost. I shouldn’t really say tormented, because the ghost is more of a nuisance than a terror. But it’s great, not because of the ghost, but because of the suspense leading to its discovery and how the boy gets rid of it.
This book is an example of what I call respectful writing for kids. The author assumes that young readers have more than the bare minimum of intelligence, and she lets them figure things out for themselves. It was fun to see the story of the ghost unfold, just as good as reading a Sherlock Holmes mystery.
In the pre Harry Potter days this was typical fare for young adults. It has a kid for a protagonist, written in language that they can read, and just the right length.
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