The Brockenspectre


Tomas looks up to his heroic, mountaineering father. When he is home, everything is better, Momma smiles, baby Johanna is happy , there is steady money, and all is content. Yet, Pappi longs for the mountains always. Time at home leads him to become short-tempered and desperate for escape.

At first, when Pappi fails to return from a mountain journey, the family is not worried. Yet days turn into weeks, into months, into a year. Eventually Tomas feels he has no alternative but to face his fear of ‘The Brockenspectre’, the shadow monster that lives in the mountains and haunts his dreams. Tomas heads for the mountains, following his father’s path.

What will he find? Can Tomas live up to Pappi? Will he overcome the mocking words of Franz? Tomas knows that he must stand firm and tread carefully as he follows his father’s tracks and advice.

Linda Newbery is a writer/ magician. Every title I’ve read by her has a complete sense of character and setting. She is able to get right inside the reader so that we are fully immersed in her story. The potential of ‘The Brockenspectre’ is imagined by us, yet so are The Alps, Tomas’s village, his fears for his father and his family. ‘The Brockenspectre’ is a subtle, captivating book that we recommend highly.


The Brockenspectre

Linda Newbery, illustrated by Pam Smy

(Corgi Yearling)

Tomas knows that his father loves the mountains more than anything else. Tomas hopes that he can become the sort of mountaineer that would make Pappi proud. He listens to all of Pappi’s advice. Yet the threat of ‘The Brockenspectre’ haunts him. What would Pappi do if he was in Tomas’s shoes? Would he step into the unknown, face his fears to track his father if he was missing?
With Tomas’ authentic voice of fear, hope and mountain life, Linda Newbery has created a truly inspiring story in ‘The Brockenspectre’. 


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