The Ghost of Thomas Kempe, Paperback
3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


The classic ghost story from Penelope Lively, one of the modern greats of British fiction for adults and children alike.

James is fed up. His family has moved to a new cottage - with grounds that are great for excavations, and trees that are perfect for climbing - and stuff is happening.

Stuff that is normally the kind of thing he does. And he's getting blamed for it. But it's not him who's writing strange things on shopping lists and fences.

It's not him who smashes bottles and pours tea in the Vicar's lap.

It's a ghost - honestly. Thomas Kempe the apothecary has returned and he wants James to be his apprentice.

No one else believes in ghosts. It's up to James to get rid of him. Or he'll have no pocket money or pudding ever again.

An iconic ghost story for children, The Ghost of Thomas Kempe is adored by thousands of children.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Egmont UK Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Horror & ghost
  • ISBN: 9781405225427



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What a delightful, fun ghost story. What I really enjoyed about this story is not so much the ghost aspect - which was still fun - but the great way that Lively captures the wonderment of being a young boy and living with his parents and sister in an old cottage in a small Oxfordshire town. Its a quaint, more simplistic life than is presented on the pages than the hustle and bustle of today and I can see why this book would be a popular one for children young and old..... I consider myself one the old ones. ;-) As for the writing style, I love that Lively does not dumb down or talk down to her reading audience, which give the story such a great audience age range. It also has a somewhat timeless quality to it. Even the small town of Ledsham is going through its growing pains, with the older center of town finding itself being surrounding by newer housing communities, leaving James' sister Helen pining to live in one of the newer houses like her friends do and not the centuries old East End Cottage her family now calls home. Overall, a quick and rather enjoyable read.