Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse



Title: Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse

Author: Chris Riddell

Publisher: Macmillan

Number of pages: 219

Type of Book: Contemporary, Fiction

Age: 8+

Available here:; audio download:

Price: 8.24 GBP; 4.63 GBP


Ada Goth is the protagonist in the Goth Girl series. Living in Ghastly-Gorm Hall, an enormous house with enormous grounds, (six gardens, a racecourse, two stables, two ice houses, a deer park, etc.) Ada is lonely until she meets the ghost of Ishmael, the mouse, the Cabbage siblings, Emily and William and the rest of the Attic Club members. Together, they trail Maltravers, the scary and sneaky indoor gamekeeper to uncover his sinister plot set to take place during the Ghastly-Gorm House Party. The much awaited Ghastly-Gorm Hall House Party features the Annual Metaphorical Bicycle Race and the Indoor hunt and is usually attended by Lord Goth’s friends and the villagers from the nearby hamlet of Gormless. Read the book to find out all the interesting creatures Maltravers tricked into coming to Ghaslty-Gorm Hall, the rest of his sinister plot and how Ada and her friends foiled his plans, if they did! 🙂

NB: This book won the 2013 COSTA Book Awards and was shortlisted for the 2015 CIUP KATE GREENWAY Medal


UP: I loved the play with words: Ishmael, the sea-faring mouse (think Ishmael in Moby Dick); the clock called little ben (London Big Ben); Charles Cabbage, the inventor (Charles Babbage); Rupert Von Hellsung, the hunter of strange creatures (Van Helsing) with guns called Hansel and Gretel (the witch hunters); the Monster of Mecklenburg (who looked oddly like Frankenstein and had the same birth story) and his talkative bird which kept repeating ‘Icebergs icebergs everywhere, nor any drop to drink’ like Long John Silver’s bird, etc. I found myself trying to figure out the hidden meaning behind each word. This made the book like a puzzle of some sort and I LOVE puzzles!

The quirky characters made this book a fun read especially, Ishmael the mouse, William Cabbage, Lucy the umbrella-fencing vampire governess and even the sneaky Maltravers! Expect some hearty laughs from these characters.

The illustrations were a major highlight too!

The icing on the cake was the teeny weeny book attached to the book titled “The Memoirs of a Mouse” featuring the memoirs of Ishmael written in rhyme. (pictured below)

DOWN: It draaaaaaggggged, read, slow-paced. It’s a bit dark (just a wee bit) Not for the mom/child who doesn’t like weird creatures, vampires, etc.


4 Stars


  1. Ada’s first friend at Ghastly-Gorm Hall. The ghost of Ishmael, the mouse.
  2. The Attic Club? The secret club formed by all the young servants and children of the workers at Ghastly-Gorm Hall. They met daily at 10pm and helped Ada foil Maltravers’ plans.
  3. Ada’s second set of friends? The Cabbage siblings: Emily, the painter who walked with a paint box and stool strapped to her back and William, with the chameleon syndrome, who could literally blend into his surroundings.
  4. Ada didn’t trust him. Maltravers, the indoor gamekeeper.
  5. The creatures Maltravers lined up for the indoor hunt instead of Pheasants. The singing bird woman, Sesta the siren and her back up singers, Orphia, Eurydice and Persephone (the harpies); Hamish the Shetland Centaur and Mr. Omalos the Faun; the great apes: the Wildman of Putney and the Wife of Barnes.
  6. How old was Lucy Ada’s new governess and what was her special talent? 300 years old!! She was excellent at fencing, with her umbrella! 

Visit Ada and her friends here:

CHALLENGE: Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse


  1. Write a short 600-word essay on the topic: Hunting


  1. Draw a picture of Siesta the Siren using the details below:

“With the head of a woman and the body of a large bird … Her eyes were the colour of a wine-dark sea, while her hair was cormorant black, the dark curls swept back and held in place by a headdress of shimmering bronze. Her body was covered in feathers the colour of dark seaweed, while her tail and wings were a bright gold and matched the glittering talons on her feet.”


  1. Write a 600-word short story with any of the following themes: Friendship OR Honesty

Send your answers to

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8-12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.

Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Sunday, February 28th 2016. 

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