Jessica’s Ghost


Francis decides to sit alone on a school bench in plain sight of the school, knowing that nobody will join him. Yet somebody does, somebody in a striped Victoria Beckham style dress, who can slip through the bench seamlessly and is surprised that Francis can see her. It is Jessica, and Jessica is a ghost.

The author said that unlike his other titles, ‘Jessica’s Ghost‘ almost wrote itself. He let the writing, the characters, lead. They led him, as they lead us, through a first friendship between Francis and Jessica, to Andi and Roland, an appreciation of differences, a support of each other and, significantly, realising what they, and Jessica, have in common. This commonality is the bond that holds, and will, ultimately, strengthen and break them.

This is an essential novel for all young adult readers and their families and teachers. In a subtle, surprising, yet very strong way, it rallies for a real appreciation of difference, for a societal need to speak up and value individuality. It calls for us to ensure young people know they must and can talk  if they are unhappy or isolated. It is a raw, honest and necessary.

We recommend ‘Jessica’s Ghost‘ to all readers aged from 11 or 12 years.


Jessica’s Ghost

Andrew Norriss

(David Fickling Books)

Francis sits on an unvisited lunchtime, school bench in plain sight, determined to be alone. Neither he, nor the girl who joins him, know why he has this determination, but the realisation of this, and each other, is the start of something altogether different, life enhancing, and necessary. ‘Jessica’s Ghost‘ is an essential book for every growing older reader and his/her parent and teacher.

An Amnesty International UK endorsed title. A nominee for the Costa Book Award.


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