Book review

Scabbit Isle by Tom Pow (2003)

Fancy a good ghost story?Here's one.

Sam is bereaved. He's lost his twin sister in a road accident. Actually the whole family is bereaved, of course. His Dad's taking it the worst. Since losing Alice he just sits in his armchair in front of the telly watching mindless game shows:

Dad was sitting in front of the television when I got back home. When he wasn't working, that's what he did. OK, when Mum shouted, 'Dinner's ready!' he'd come through to join us. But he'd begin eating the moment his plate was set before him. You could tell that annoyed Mum - the rush to be through, so that he'd be back in front of the TV again, watching whatever flickered before him. She'd do her best to keep him at the table, being as jolly as she could.

His Mum, on the other hand, likes to keep busy, with her committees and the playgroup. And his younger brother keeps busy too, doing endless projects. And Sam just lives his life, without the sister who was his best friend.

Perhaps his loss helps him to see the girl in trouble:

As I approached, I made out a girl in a dress. I would have ignored her and passed on by, but it almost appeared as if she were waiting for me. Whether it was some movement of her head, a hand slightly raised that signalled her expectancy, I can't remember now, though it was enough to convince me there was something more here than a case of mistaken identity. But I could only see that she was young - about my own age - with long fair hair, before she was off along the alleyway.

This girl has a terrible story of her own to tell, as you will find out for yourself when you read the book. But it is a strange thing about the healing process - just by helping someone else with their problems, you can help yourself too. See how Sam gets on...

What can I read next?

If you enjoy Scabbit Isle have a look at Tom Pow's other book for younger readers. It's not quite a ghost story but has the same theme of healing within the pages:

If you enjoy a good ghost story have a look at these by Tim Bowler:

And if you enjoy exploring the theme of healing I think you would enjoy almost anything by David Almond:

Also, the Bookchooser has found these books with a similar profile:

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