I am so glad I got my hands on this one, Cornelia Funke has really done it again.
WHAT WAS WRITTEN
Jon is an eleven year old boy who is being sent away to boarding school for the first time, and he feels like it's a way for his mom to get him out of her hair. She has started dating a man who Jon calls "The Beard," a man that Jon loathes.
Once Jon arrives at the boarding school he becomes plagued by a pack of ghosts who seem bent on killing him. The thing is, no one else can see these ghosts except his new friend Ella. It is up to Ella and Jon to solve the mystery of why these ghosts want Jon dead. And in the process Ella introduces Jon to William Longspee, a long dead knight whose ghost happens to reside in the cathedral on the boarding school's grounds. Longspee is sworn to protect all those in need of help, and help is exactly what Jon needs.
WHAT MY BRAIN HAS TO SAY ON THE MATTER
This is such a fun story. I loved listening to it on audio book, as the narrator's voice and interpretation of the characters was just as fun as the story itself. I knew nothing about this story going into it - or even that it was geared at a much younger audience than I was anticipating. It was just on the newly released/recommended shelf at my local library, and since I have loved what I've read from Funke in the past, I figured why not. I'm always really glad when the chances I take on books works out as wonderfully as this one did.
It was interesting that this was a story told from an adult perspective about something that happened to him in his childhood. I thought that it might feel a little disjointed at times because of this, but it wasn't enough to take me out of the story. And, I think it serves the purpose of assuring the younger readers that, since the narrator was still alive as an adult, that he would survive the trials he faced in this story.
I also adored the relationship between Jon and Ella. She is such a fun and headstrong girl. And I particularly loved how often Jon marveled at the fact that he was friends with a girl. Because at ten years old? Boys and girls, for the most part, still have cooties. It was refreshing to have an honest depiction of a friendship at this age rather than the story jump headfirst into an unrealistic romance. He still fumbles and dorks it up around her, but it's so endearing. And he grows so much through this short story, in a completely realistic way.
Other characters I loved: Grandma (so eccentric and fun! what an interesting lady!), The Beard (not gonna spoil anything here), and Longspee (he's awesome, for a ghost. I love his whole story and the development with his character and Jon's along the way).
Overall this was a fun and interesting little story that I would recommend to anyone. The only thing is, despite how much I loved it as an audiobook, apparently the book has some amazing illustrations (which I would love to see). So, pick your format with that in mind.
THE NITTY GRITTY
Title: Ghost Knight
Author: Corneila Funke
Genre: Middle Reader, Fantasy, Ghosts
Medium: Audio Book, 4 CDs
Publisher: Listening Library
Date Read: 30 October 2013
Source: Borrowed from Library
Recommended For: 11+, Lovers of a Good Ghost Story, Those Who Love Knights,
First Line: I was eleven when my mother sent me to boarding school in Salisbury.
Favorite Line: We make our best friends in dark times because we always remember how they helped us out of the darkness.