The Haunting of Aveline Jones


Aveline is forced to seek out ghost stories, her favourite genre, shortly after coming to stay with Aunt Lilian in Malmouth. She has little to read and the Wifi connection is poor. Yet the battered title she discovers in Mr Lieberman’s bookshop is perplexing, for the final story has been erased by its former owner. Through deduction work with Mr Lieberman’s great-nephew, Harold, Aveline learns that this book was owned once by Primrose Penberthy, a girl who disappeared mysteriously.

While Aveline loves ghost stories, there’s something rather too eerie about Malmouth and Aunt Lilian’s house. There are strange sounds, and then unexplained appearances…. Aveline’s apprehension isn’t helped by the odd child scarecrows prepared ahead of Halloween, that dot along the sea wall. Do they have something to do with the missing story in Primrose Pebnerthy’s book? Thereafter, who is the face that Aveline catches glimpses of, and then, the girl with the savage haircut?

The Haunting of Aveline Jones is a compelling middle grade ghost story. It’s unsettling, gripping, pacy and thrillingly atmospheric and very recommended!

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The Haunting of Aveline Jones

Phil Hickes, with illustrations by Keith Robinson


The Haunting of Aveline Jones begins on the first night of Aveline’s half term stay with Aunt Lilian when she hears sounds against her bedroom window. Although Aunt Lilian had warned her of the quiet in Malmouth, compared to Bristol, Aveline is disturbed by this sound and others too. Thereafter, when she chooses an old book of ghost tales from Mr Lieberman’s bookshop, more uneasiness follows. It seems the book was once the property of Primrose Penberthy who disappeared in 1984. Furthermore, the last story of the book has been scratched out by her. What is the tale told in ‘The Lady in the Waves’?
Although Malmouth seems hostile to Aveline, she befriends Harold, Mr Lieberman’s great-nephew. Despite his cynicism, he is keen to investigate Primrose Penberthy’s disappearance. Thereafter, he is there when Aveline discovers Primrose’s diary abandoned in a box of books donated to the bookshop. Like Aveline, he is wary of the child scarecrow figures that dot amongst the houses and the sea wall of Malmouth. What do they mean? What have they to do with Halloween, Primsrose Penberthy and ‘The Lady in the Waves’? Finally, who is the girl that Aveline sees? Why is Aveline in danger?
The Haunting of Aveline Jones is a genuinely scary story. I can imagine the scarecrow children and the story that Primrose erased. Unlike Aveline I do not have a fondness for ghost stories, but recognise this is a really engaging tale of a girl who does…



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