Ghastly Ghostly Adventure: Read Our Review of The Vexatious Haunting of Lily Griffin by Paula Hayes

Ghastly Ghostly Adventure: Read Our Review of The Vexatious Haunting of Lily Griffin by Paula Hayes

Bookworm Lily Griffin has a lot to handle with a bullying big brother and a frenetic family. But going to stay with her beloved grandfather changes everything. In his rambling country house, long-forgotten secrets lurk in locked rooms. When Lily finds a girl trapped inside a magic mirror, she uncovers a long-forgotten family secret and sets in motion a remarkable chain of events.

With her gift of intuition and imagination, Lily is the perfect person to investigate the strange goings-on. And as magical mysteries unravel, Lily finds herself surrounded by weird and wonderful pals – both dead and alive.

Paula Hayes is an Australian writer whose first novel, Lily in the Mirror, was a CBCA Notable in 2017. The Vexatious Haunting of Lily Griffin is Hayes’ latest novel, sure to inspire middle-grade readers. It’s funny, heartfelt and very charming.

Lily is a singular character, hilarious, sweetly poignant and deeply daggy. Plagued by social doubts and her own peculiarities, she doesn’t think she’s the right person to investigate the many secrets of her grandfather’s house. But really, her quirky personality works to her advantage. Lily goes on a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs throughout the novel, yet it allows her to come into her own, mend some family relationships and discover enduring friendships.

Through the portal of magical realism, Hayes tells a heartfelt story that explores realistic and challenging themes in a comprehensible way. While Lily faces an array of challenges, I appreciated how sensitively Hayes tackles the topic of dementia, its realities and coping mechanisms. Ultimately, this is an uplifting and funny story that sheds light on the reality of how messy life can get, while showing that things can and do fall into place. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

The book is sectioned into three parts, each with vivid illustrations by Katy Jiang that bring the characters and elements of the story to life. Recommended for readers aged 9+, there are lessons of love and loss, family and friendships, and learning to believe in yourself. I loved it. The Vexatious Haunting of Lily Griffin is the perfect book for children to bury their noses in these school holidays.

Buy a copy of The Vexatious Haunting of Lily Griffin here.

Publisher details

The Vexatious Haunting of Lily Griffin
Authors
Katy Jiang, Paula Hayes
Publisher
Fremantle Press
Genre
Children’s Fiction
Released
05 July, 2022
ISBN
9781760991753

Synopsis

Ages 9+

When Lily Griffin finds a girl trapped inside a magic mirror, she uncovers a long-forgotten family secret and sets in motion a remarkable chain of events. Lily is a singular character, hilariously funny, sweetly poignant and deeply daggy. Plagued by social doubts and her own pecularities, she is the perfect person to investigate the many secrets of her grandfather’s house and, along the way, mend some family relationships, discover enduring friendships and learn to play netball.

Katy Jiang
About the author

Katy Jiang

Katy Jiang, also known as Hong Jiang (江泓), was born, raised and educated in Shanghai, China. From a young age, Katy learned traditional Chinese ink painting. Later, she studied Western painting directed by Chinese artist, illustrator and art educator Chen Youqun. She excelled at still-life drawing, figure painting, Chinese ink painting and Chinese Baimiao drawing. Katy also has a bachelor’s degree in interior design, but after she immigrated to Australia in 2006, she quit design and returned to art and illustration. Katy lives in Fremantle, Western Australia, with her husband and two boys. Since she joined the SCBWI West in 2017, she has contributed her artistic talent and knowledge to create children’s picture books.

Books by Katy Jiang

Paula Hayes
About the author

Paula Hayes

Paula Hayes is an Australian writer who enjoys writing magical realism for young people. This means she is good at making strange stuff up and setting it in real life. Her first novel, Lily in the Mirror, was a CBCA Notable in 2017. She has four adult kids, two grandkids and has worked in education which gives her an endless spring of inspiration for stories for young people. In a parallel universe she studied at UWA but now writes from a desk in her pantry. This has its pros and cons. Paula is passionate about children’s literature and literacy and has a foot in each camp.

Books by Paula Hayes

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