Cover image for The great ghost rescue
The great ghost rescue
Ibbotson, Eva.
Personal Author:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Waterville, Me. : Thorndike Press, 2002.

Physical Description:
197 pages ; 23 cm
A young English boy decides to establish a sanctuary for an assortment of ghosts when the homes they have haunted are replaced by highways and other modern "improvements."
General Note:
Originally published: New York : Dutton Children's Books, 1975.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.8 5.0 62760.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Large Print Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A young English boy decides to establish a sanctuary for an assortment of ghosts when the homes they have haunted are replaced by highways and other modern "improvements."

Author Notes

Eva Ibbotson was born in Vienna, Austria, on January 21, 1925. She graduated from Bedford College, London with a degree in physiology in 1945 and the University of Durham with a degree in education in 1965. Her first book, The Great Ghost Rescue, was published in 1975. She primarily wrote children's book and romance novels for adults and young adults. Her other works include The Secret of Platform 13, The Star of Kazan, Which Witch?, Island of the Aunts, Dial-a-Ghost, The Ogre of Oglefort, A Company of Swans, and A Song For Summer. She won the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize for Journey to the River Sea. She died on October 20, 2010 at the age of 85.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3^-6. Hilariously disgusting descriptions of ghouls' various scary attributes keep the tone light in this humorous ghost story with an environmental twist. Ghosts all over England are being driven out of their creepy habitats as castles are renovated for tourists, and not-so-scary Humphrey and his ghost family must flee their ancestral home. Attracted to a boys' school by the particularly smelly socks of one of the students, they meet up with student activist Rick Henderson, who is intrigued by the ghosts' plight and agrees to conduct them to Parliament to convince the Prime Minister to create a ghost sanctuary. Rick thinks success is at hand when Lord Bullhaven donates his deserted, seaside castle to the cause, but the sneaky Lord actually intends to trap all the ghosts and exorcise them. Unlikely hero Humphrey saves the day in this appealing tale that is scary enough to thrill and funny enough to provide some good laughs. --Diane Foote

Publisher's Weekly Review

Fans of Dial-A-Ghost will eagerly welcome the new flock of floating phantoms in The Great Ghost Rescue, Eva Ibbotson's wry companion novel, illus. by Kevin Hawkes. The ghosts' housing shortage continues, and human hero Rick wants the British government to do something about it. But even after the ghosts are settled, they're greeted by some unwelcome visitors: the exorcists (could there be another sequel in the works?). (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-7-Cast out when their spooky castle gets modernized into a holiday camp, Humphrey and his ghost family search for a new home. They meet a friendly schoolboy named Rick who decides they should start a "ghost sanctuary," since human expansion has ruined so many ghoulish spots in England. When the sanctuary turns out to be a trap meant to exorcise all of the ghosts, Rick and Humphrey must save the day. Ibbotson's sense of humor is in fine form, especially in her detailed descriptions of the various ghostly characters. Headless Aunt Hortensia and Humphrey's brother, George the Screaming Skull, are just two of the repulsive, yet endearing figures. There's a bizarre warmth of feeling between humans and ghosts, as when Rick agrees to let a sickly young vampire bat suck a bit of his blood in a gross, but weirdly tender scene. The humans are mostly exaggerated caricatures, which works fine for most of them, including the evil exorcist, who neatly ends up as a ghost in need of sanctuary himself. However, Rick and his human friends who help are less engaging than other Ibbotson protagonists. Plot contrivances that keep the story moving, including a convenient local witch coven and a surprisingly understanding Prime Minister, fit with the lighthearted tone, but also prevent the story from becoming truly involving. The book still has considerable appeal, though, because of the deliciously consistent macabre humor and the entertaining ensemble of ghosts.-Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.