Ghost Boy is a timeslip novel set partly in the grisly past of the Quarantine Station in Sydney.
Froggy dreams about drowning. When his nightmare begins to come true, he is saved by the mysterious ghost boy, Tad. Froggy learns that his future lies in understanding the past, when Sydney was gripped by disease and there was death and disorder at the Quarantine Station.
Tad has something to hide, and Froggy doesn't trust him. Cassie could help, but she doesn't like Froggy and she doesn't believe in ghosts either! They will have to learn to trust each other if they want to solve the secrets of the past. The final test needs all of Froggy's courage and strength. If he can find what has been lost for more than a hundred years, maybe he and Tad can both be set free.
Extract: 'His fear of the water began when they came to live at this place. Froggy couldn't explain it. It was like a dark cloud that shadowed his day and crept into his dreams at night. Fear of the ocean. Drowning. He could feel the salt water seeping through his eyes, his ears, his nose, washing out his skull, dragging his body down into the darkness.
A new version of the Ghost Boy tour is now available at the Quarantine Station in Sydney. This tour is for students (primary and lower secondary) who are reading the novel in school, and it's a great way to bring the novel and its characters 'to life' as well as immersing students in the past, giving them information about immigration and the class system plus the early treatment of disease.
The station is a magnificent site but it has a really creepy past; it is full of atmosphere and guides who work there swear the place is haunted! Phone the Education Co-ordinator on (02) 9466 1500 to make a booking for the Ghost Boy tour, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Bookings essential. For further information go to www.qstation.com.au NB Teachers notes on the tour are available to download from the Q-station site. See also 'For teachers', or visit www.randomhouse.com.au for teachers' notes.
PLEASE NOTE: There are now teachers' notes available to download from the QS website. Click on 'education' in the top bar, and scroll down to where the Ghost Boy tour is featured. The notes are fantastic and very comprehensive, with information on the book and on the history of the QS + there are learning and fun activities for students. Teachers' notes about the book are available from Random House Australia: go to www.randomhouse.com.au.
Why I wrote this book?
I've always been fascinated by the unknown in our world - because I don't think we understand everything about it, even if we might think we do. Things like ghosts, and time travel, and parallel universes and reincarnation - they may or may not be true, but they all have wonderful imaginative possibilities! I loved the idea of exploring the notion of ghosts, set against the grim and grisly past of the Quarantine Station near where I live. When I first wrote the novel, I gave it to my daughter to read. She was most indignant because it was all about Froggy and Tad - there were no girls in it! And so I invented Cassie - and she's great; she really 'makes' the story, I think. This is a story about facing your fears and having the courage to act. It's also about 'treasure' and family identity ...
Random House Australia, Level 3, 100 Pacific Highway, North Sydney, NSW 2060. Website: www.randomhouse.com.au
Please note that Ghost Boy is covered by a Print on Demand order with the publisher and is therefore always available.