The Hungry Ghosts (Julius Lester)

(Note: This review was delayed due to a family illness)

Halloween Week, Day 6: Hello, everyone! Today, we read The Hungry Ghosts, written by Julius Lester and illustrated by Geraldo Valério, an strange and magical tale of a little boy and his new, ghostly friends.

Malcolm David is sleeping in his room one night when he feels a cold breeze blow through his room, and he believes ghosts are the culprit. He asks his ringring bird to wake him the following night so he can investigate, and finds three ghosts making eerie wails. The ghosts assure him that they aren’t the ones making the noises – it’s their stomachs, for they are so hungry! Malcolm David wants to help, but first he has to figure out what ghosts can eat!

This is an interesting book. There is definitely an otherworldly quality to the story and narrative, and it reads like a traditional fairytale. This is both a positive and negative: while the language is flowing and rich with metaphor, it’s a bit lengthy for a baby bookworm. Older children would probably enjoy it much more, but JJ was definitely squirming only about halfway through the book. Still, the artwork is lovely and fitting with the supernatural theme, and this is definitely one to check out if you have older readers. 


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