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.