cover image Ghost Knight

Ghost Knight

Cornelia Funke, trans. from the German by Oliver Latsch, illus. by Andrea Offermann. Little, Brown, $16.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-316-05614-4

Funke follows her foray into YA (Reckless) with a simultaneously creepy and romantic middle-grade ghost story that will please her legions of younger fans. Jon Whitcroft, now 19, recounts his momentous 11th year when, sent against his will to boarding school in Salisbury, England, he raises a dead knight from restless slumber, fights off a murderous ghost, and makes peace with his mother’s fiancé. Having been “the man around the house, uncontested hero to my sisters and apple of my mother’s eye,” until the arrival of his mother’s new boyfriend (dubbed “The Beard”), Jon is homesick and cranky about being “banished.” Those gripes are quickly forgotten when he is harassed by the ghost of a family enemy who has spent the centuries exacting revenge on Jon’s male ancestors. Jon is the next target until Ella, the prettiest girl in school and (conveniently) the granddaughter of the local ghost expert, comes to his aid. Despite the book’s length, the story moves quickly, filled with daring midnight expeditions and close calls with death. Final artwork not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. Agent: Oliver Latsch Literary Agency. (May)