by Eva Ibbotson

Paperback, 2002



Local notes

PB Ibb






A family of nice ghosts protects a British orphan from the diabolical plans of his evil guardians.


Original publication date


Physical description

7.5 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member D-gal
this book is abnout a boy who is a orphen and he is told he owns hellton hall. But his uncle whats to kill him so he cab own it,so he orderd ghost to scar him. but the ghost got mixed up so he gets the nice ghosts and he ownes hellotn hall
LibraryThing member rachelsticka
I don't know if i would necessarily use this in my classroom, but i would definitely recommend it to older children. This is a fun, interesting novel that they will enjoy. I was hooked in the first few pages due to it's odd plot. I loved it! They will too!
LibraryThing member shomskie
An entertainin story that chronicles the adventures of two seperate families of ghosts and a young orphan boy who just inherited a giant mansion. The boy's cold-hearted cousins plot to scare him out of his new house, but their efforts eventually unite the ghosts and child together and create a
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unique family bond between the ghosts and the boy as they help him overcome his fear and his cousins to find happiness he thought he would never find.
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LibraryThing member FINNIAN11
This is a funny book about good ghosts, bad ghosts, orphans, and greedy snobby people.
LibraryThing member Kaihills
Two of the strengths of this novel lie in its characters and in its plot. The author, Eva Ibbotson, uses skillful description to form two round characters to which readers can easily relate and also root for. In addition, the characters exhibit growth throughout the story. For example, Oliver was
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once vulnerable and scared, but by the end of the story he is assertive and able to care for himself as well as others. Similarly, Adopta knew nothing of her background outside of the Wilkinsons, but by the end she was able to accept her new identity and learn to love her long lost family. The plot was also full of twists and turns that kept the reader guessing. One of the biggest twists was when Oliver and the Wilkinsons worked together with the Shriekers to get rid of Fulton and Frieda. Both the characters and plot work together to create a high-quality fantasy story that is an enjoyable read for both adults and children.
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LibraryThing member KristySP
A great children's book in the tradition of Roald Dahl--a young orphan must battle his evil relatives, who are determined to scare him to death. Ibbotsen is delightful, clever and rather inventive with the cast of ghosts she creates to go along with this story.
LibraryThing member rebeccabrooke
I read this for the Partner Book choice, and it was such a cute book. I don't normally like books about ghosts and the paranormal, so this was out of my comfort zone. Fortunately, I actually really enjoyed it.
LibraryThing member mstrust
The new owner of Helton Hall is orphaned Oliver. Having no guardian, his distant cousins suddenly appear to care for him, and that includes having a ghost placement agency send their most hard-to-control spirits to keep the young boy company in his scary old home.
LibraryThing member BrynDahlquis
It's hardly a work of art, but it has a certain charm and sense of fun. It's hard to tell if the ghosts are thought-out or not, but either way they're fairly consistent and the story is purely for fun, not really for philosophy or deep thought.

Also, the end of the Shriekers is a little...
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convenient. But other than that, I actually really like the ending. It's very fitting for the story.

So while most of the book is all fun and ghostly adventures, I must say that the Shriekers are pretty darn terrifying. Or at least, definitely grotesque. And when Oliver's deep in depression? Honestly, that's one of the most tragic things ever.

"And for a child to think like that is not good at all."
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LibraryThing member Tahleen
I was worried after I read this because I chose it for a 3rd/4th grade book club, because it was kind of violent despite its humor. But the kids loved it. Not my favorite, but I'm glad it went over well with the book's intended audience.
LibraryThing member kbesaw
Oliver is an orphaned boy who unexpectedly comes to be the sole owner of Helton Hall, a large and spooky mansion. Oliver's cousins, Frieda and Fulton, are less than happy about this fact and make it their mission to get rid of Oliver and claim the mansion. They decide to call the Dial-a-Ghost
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agency in search of some spooks that will frighten Oliver to death. But what they get is a nice family of ghosts, the Wilkinsons, that immediately befriend Oliver and help him feel comfortable in his new home.
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LibraryThing member atuson
This has just been made into a movie in Britain. Ok - but not nearly as good as the book.
LibraryThing member klamproe
Dial-A-Ghost tells the story of Oliver Smith who is an orphan who finds out that he is the heir of a mansion called Helton Hall. Oliver's cousins who thought that they would be the next to inherent to house and fortune are furious and plot to get rid of Oliver. Fulton, Oliver's cousin, decides to
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hire an agency that finds homes for homeless ghosts, he wants to get the scariest ones there are. When there is a switch up at the agency a nice family of ghosts are sent to Helton hall and the instantly fall in love with Oliver. They decide to protect Oliver from his cousins plots and they run the evil cousins away. With his new money and large house Oliver decides to begin a ghost research facility so they can learn more about ghosts and he offers a home to any ghost who needs it.
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½ (128 ratings; 3.8)
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