Ghost Granny, by Melanie Guile

There was no doubt about it – Granny was much nicer dead.
It was a shock of course, losing Granny. Everyone went around looking a bit dazed for a day or two afterwards. But she was eighty-four – ‘a good innings’ as Uncle Jim remarked – and they’d always said she had a weak heart. And to go the way she did – falling down like a skittle on the back path while she was booting the cat out of her petunias – well, you couldn’t want a fairer finish than that.

Granny has been making everyone’s life a misery for years. Only Anna, Granny’s youngest grandchild, has anything nice to say for her when she dies. And only Anna is pleased when Granny re-appears as a ghost. However, Granny doesn’t seem to understand that she’s a ghost and the scene is set for all sorts of accidental fun. Not only has ‘41’ (apprentice angel) forgotten to keep an eye on her, it seems there’s a bit of a problem about whether Granny is destined to head to the heavens or through Hell’s Gate. Enter Mr Brimstone and the race for Granny’s soul is on! Granny stumbles through the afterlife, largely unaware of the growing chaos caused by her uncertain status.

Ghost Granny is a humorous look at life after death, particularly the struggle for a soul when earthly good deeds are balanced by not-so-good offerings. Melanie’s Guile’s tongue is firmly in her cheek as she introduces the reader to the random appearances of a neither-here-or-gone granny, angel education classes and embittered souls in the endless abyss of Hell. Ghost Granny is both funny and a fast-moving adventure, full of puns and good-versus-evil struggles. Ghost Granny takes an omniscient point of view, letting the reader move closer to all the main characters. Rather than one main character, several characters take turns at driving the action, until the end when all major players are present. Recommended for mid- to upper-primary readers.

Ghost Granny, by Melanie Guile
Lothian Children’s Books 2007
ISBN: 9780734410085