The Ghost at the Point, by Charlotte Calder

If Gah noticed that she was quieter than usual during the meal, he did’t say anything. One thing was for sure, she thought, absently chewing. Half-light or not, roos didn’t wear pants and a shirt, and have big eyes staring out from under a tangled mass of dark curls.
It was a boy she’d seen vanishing around that stringybark. A boy about her own age.

Before she died, Dorrie’s Aunt Gertrude was sure there was a ghost that haunted the family home, but Dorrie didn’t believe her. But then she catches sight of a boy lurking under the stringybarks at night, and then strange things start happening around the house. Her grandfather, Gah, says there is no such thing as ghosts, but now Dorrie isn’t so sure. She is going to get to the bottom of what’s happening, even if she has to catch the ghost herself.

The Ghost at the Point is absorbing historical fiction, set in 1931 on an island on Australia’s south coast. Although seemingly a ghost story in the early chapters, it becomes a blend of mystery and action, as Dorrie and her two new friends are unwittingly drawn into a hunt for treasure.

Dorrie is a brave girl whose times and lifestyle will intrigue young readers. She rides to school, barefoot, on the back of a Clydesdale, and lives in a house with no electricity. Her friend Alonso is shipwrecked on the island and hides in the dunes near her house in a shelter made of corrugated iron. Their friendship is formed in spite of speaking different languages, and they come to rely on each other for survival.

The Ghost at the Point

An action-packed read, suitable for upper primary aged readers.
The Ghost at the Point, by Charlotte Calder
Walker Books, 2012
ISBN 9781921977732

This book can be purchased online from Fishpond or from good bookstores.

Stuck by Charlotte Calder ill Mark Jackson

Kites and windy days – is there a better combination?

One warm and windy day Charlie decided to fly his kite.

It took off, and soared and swooped and plunged …

Kites and windy days – is there a better combination? Charlie’s kite flies beautifully before becoming stuck in a tree. Nothing, it seems, will dislodge it. Everyone has a potential solution, but nothing works. Of course there is a solution eventually, but not the one anyone expects. Illustrations are soft watercolours set in plenty of white space.

Stuck! is a lovely picture book. The text is simple and believable and it’s delightful to see the play of a group of young children so beautifully portrayed. The language is delightful. Look out particularly for the littlest member of the group and the assured Athena. Mark Jackson’s illustrations convey emotions and body language so very clearly. Recommended for pre- and early-schoolers.


Stuck!, Charlotte Calder ill Mark Jackson
Walker Books 2012
ISBN: 9781921720581

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author

This book is available in good bookstores or online from Fishpond.