A massive thank you to Pushkin Press for inviting me to be part of The Hungry Ghost blog tour.
I don't usually review or ask for advance proofs of YA books, but when the characters and the settings are as diverse as they are in The Hungry Ghost, I can't resist.
Freja arrives in Singapore during the month of the hungry ghost, when old spirits are said to roam the streets. As she struggles to adapt to her father's new family, she finds herself befriending one of the spirits is searching for their ancestry.
I loved reading this adventure/mystery/ghost story set in Singapore -- which brings to life the hungry ghost festival that is celebrated in Singaporean culture. Having never come across this festival before, learning about it through the story was what made the book complete for me.
Around this time of year, we tend to see a lot of children's ghost stories hitting the shelves. I loved just how different this was and how the story took us beyond the standard Westernised ghost story, introducing readers to a whole new world of myths and monsters.
It's this sort of literature that I hope we will begin to see more of in the years to come. More and more, children need to not only be transported beyond their cultural bubble -- but they need to be able to read and identify with characters who look more like themselves.
I can honestly only commend Norup for her work on this book, it's a brilliant read for young readers of all backgrounds, a fascinating ghost story, an emotional family saga, and a book that will transport you to worlds previously undiscovered.