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The Haunting of Aveline Jones

The Haunting of Aveline Jones

Published: 17 Sep 2020

Paperback / softback, 224 pages

Recommended for age 11+

By Phil Hickes

Illustrated by Keith Robinson

Published by Usborne Publishing Ltd

Regular price
£5.17
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£5.17
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RRP £6.99
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This book features in the Upper KS2 Spooky Steppe collection which is part of The Reading Journey

Aveline Jones loves reading ghost stories, so a dreary half-term becomes much more exciting when she discovers a spooky old book. Not only are the stories spine-tingling, but it once belonged to Primrose Penberthy, who vanished mysteriously, never to be seen again. Intrigued, Aveline decides to investigate Primrose's disappearance.

Tagged ghosts and Halloween

The Aveline Jones series

The Bewitching of Aveline Jones
The Haunting of Aveline Jones
Phil Hickes talks to Nikki Gamble about his fascination with folk horror and his second book about intrepid investigator, Aveline Jones.

The Best Books Year 5 pack

Easy purchase - add our curated pack to your basket with one click

An Easy Purchase pack of 50 curated books. This pack includes recently published picturebooks, fiction, nonfiction and poetry with a focus on Reading for Pleasure. The books are chosen by the Just Imagine selection panel, chaired by Just Imagine's Director, Nikki Gamble, author of Exploring Children's Literature and co-author of Guiding Readers.
  • World Burn Down
  • The Dream Team: Jaz Santos vs. the World
  • My Big Mouth
  • Adam-2
  • Utterly Dark and the Face of the Deep
  • The Biggest Footprint : Eight billion humans. One clumsy giant.
  • Arctic Star
  • Inside Animals
  • Rescuing Titanic : A true story of quiet bravery in the North Atlantic
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles
  • Atlas of Amazing Architecture
  • The Great (Food) Bank Heist
  • Fledgling
  • Fourteen Wolves : A Rewilding Story
  • Jummy at the River School
  • Wonder: The Natural History Museum Poetry Book
  • Would You Rather?
  • Yorick and Bones
  • Football School Terrific Teams: 50 True Stories of Football's Greatest Sides
  • The Secret of Haven Point
  • Carnival of the Lost
  • The Secret of the Treasure Keepers
  • The Invisible World of Germs
  • The Secrets of the Universe
  • Wished
  • How to Steal the Mona Lisa
  • The Hunt for the Nightingale
  • The Good Turn
  • The Great Fox Illusion
  • The Thief Who Sang Storms
  • When the War Came Home
  • The Boy Whose Wishes Came True
  • Olga: Out of Control
  • DWAYNE ('The Rock' Johnson)
  • The Book of Not Entirely Useful Advice
  • The Haunting of Aveline Jones
  • Bruno and Frida
  • Teamwork
  • The Silver Arrow
  • The Tide Singer
  • If I Ran the Country
  • Dread Wood #1
  • Yesterday Crumb
  • The Song of Lewis Carmichael
  • The Girl Who Lost a Leopard
  • Stick Boy and the Rise of the Robots : 2
  • The Sky Over Rebecca
  • Hedgewitch
  • Ghostcloud
  • Song of the River

The Spooky Steppe,Upper Key Stage 2 pack

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  • The Haunting of Aveline Jones
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Reviewed by Kate Hitchings

The Haunting of Aveline Jones is a powerful book with a cracking plot. Has a second-hand book ever made you ponder the mysterious connections with those who possessed it before you? If so, then this story will colour that calm wondering with a new element of terror!

Aveline Jones is left with an aunt due to a family crisis. Phil Hickes quickly adds fresh tension to this familiar scenario, creating in Malmouth the unsettled air of a town with ‘all the right ingredients for a haunting’. Or is it perhaps Aveline’s obsession with ghost stories that has heightened her imagination so that she sees an innocent Halloween decoration and fears something ‘otherworldly’?

Practical Aunt Lilian dismisses her fears and provides rational explanations for the creepy disturbances, but as the mood gradually ratchets up from unsettling to menacing the reader becomes less sure. Why is the bookseller horrified over the book he has just given Aveline? What is the significance of the missing story? Who is the mysterious Primrose Penberthy? Aveline herself becomes desperate, despite her better judgment, to discover the answers. However terrified, she cannot stop reading until she knows; immersed in this gripping book, we share her predicament.

The tension increases as the story proceeds so that unease gradually becomes terror. When Aveline thinks that ‘For the first time in her life she understood the phrase blood-chilling‘ there is no sense of exaggeration. For that reason, this is one for upper KS2 and beyond in my opinion. It is a masterclass in suspense writing, and the ending of Primrose’s story is fraught with emotion.

It would work well read aloud in class, with rich opportunities for discussion and prediction. The main narrative includes intriguing snippets from Primrose’s diary and a wonderful chapter of dramatic storytelling; it would be interesting to compare the different writing styles. In addition to the compelling plot, there is a vivid setting that almost has a character’s presence and potency. Phil Hickes uses a wealth of similes, always deftly. It is a challenge to create a comparison that is at once fresh, apt and readily understood by children, but ‘chip wrappers…like greasy ghosts’ is an example of how he succeeds time and time again.

This is a book to devour, but also to savour. We leave Aveline keen for a long and boring journey home, but there are more Aveline books to come. Readers of this first adventure will be glad that her life is not to stay uneventful for long.

Kate recently trained as a teacher, after many years as a TA, and now works in a large Cambridgeshire primary school. One of her favourite parts of the job is sharing the love of reading, both with children who already have the passion and with those whose enthusiasm needs whetting. As well as children's books she enjoys crime fiction and historical novels, biography and Christian theology... and anything else that looks appealing. When not reading, she will probably be knitting, walking her energetic springer spaniel or chatting over coffee. She has three grown up children, and doesn't notice when clutter accumulates, so it invariably does.

The Halloween set

A collection of spooky stories featuring ghosts, monsters and witches to thrill you this Halloween.  Selected by our experienced and qualified team of teachers, librarians and education consultants.