Hungry Ghosts, by Sally Heinrich

We sat in silence while she finished the cake…
‘Well, I’ve given you food now. I guess there’s no need to haunt me any more.’
She gave me a strange piercing look.
‘I see you again.’ Then she was gone.
And the cake that I’d watched her devour was still on the plate…

Sarah isn’t happy about moving to Australia.. She’s had to leave behind her friends, her home and her school in Singapore and start all over in a country where even the English spoken is different. Now Dad is trying to turn her into a dinkum Aussie – complete with Vegemite sandwiches in her lunchbox – and Mum is clinging to Chinese traditions. Then, on the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts, Sarah realises someone is talking to her – someone who seems to be a ghost.

As Sarah tries to figure out how to help her new difficult friend, Pei, she has to also deal with being bullied at school, parents who have troubles of their own, the arrival of a Great Grandmother who needs to share her bedroom, and a crush on a boy.

Hungry Ghosts is a beautiful novel about issues including displacement, family roles, belonging and more. Sarah deals with these issues herself but also witnesses their impact on others around her, including the ghost Pei, and her family and friends. The story also provides an insight into Chinese settlement in Australia, a topic which many readers would know little about.

Suitable for readers aged 12 and over.

Hungry Ghosts

Hungry Ghosts, by Sally Heinrich
Lothian, 2007

This title can be purchased online from Fishpond.