Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Book Review: The Ballerina Ghost


It's nice to be back after a long break finishing my Msc in Social Work and packing up my house to move to Edinburgh.  I haven't quite finished packing yet but it's great to take a break to review this wonderful book from the "Pack-N-Go Girls Adventure" series.  

The Pack and Go Girls series was set up to deliver positive messages around independence, adventure, and global awareness. 

So far the books have been based in Mexico, Thailand and Austria and the publishers hope to publish a Brazilian based book in the near future...

We were asked to review a book based in Austria called the "Mystery of the Ballerina Ghost."  This sounded like the exact kind of book Malika (5) and Ameenah (2) would love!  The book is divided into ten short chapters,which were the perfect length to engage Malika.  We haven't read too many chapter books but as this book was a real page-turner it proved a perfect introduction and is suitable for Malika's age range (5+).

The story is based in Austria and effortlessly introduces Austrian German into the story.  The end of the book also has a small Say It In German!  vocab list as well as a recipe for Kaiserschmarrn, which is a type of raisin pancake.

The book also contains a Where to Go, What to Do and What to Pack section at the back with
blank pages that can be used as a travel journal on a trip to Austria - we were definitely 
inspired to travel to Austria to discover more after reading the book and may well plan a trip 
in the future!

It was wonderful to look at the map of Austria in the front of the book and then find it on our globe.

Here is Ameenah looking for Austria on our globe!


Malika loved the characters Brooke and Eva and could really relate to them....She loved the fact they rode horses, loved ice-cream and enjoyed going on adventures.  


Malika also loved Eva's curly hair!  Malika went through a long phase of hating her curls and really wanted to have straight hair!  Now that Malika loves her curls, it is great that Malika can relate to a character with curls!

The book is set in the wonderful setting of Schloss Mueller (Castle Mueller) and Malika loved imagining what it would be like to live in the Castle with Brooke and Eva and of course the mysterious Ballerina Ghost.  We loved the effortless way the book compared the differences between buildings in Colorado and Austria, the amazing Austrian foods and cafe life in Austria.

Malika's Review: 

"My favourite part of the story was when Eva told the truth about the ghost.  
Eva had lied to Brooke about the ghost before and told her that the ghost was real.  She tried to make the ghost look real by taking a ballerina toy and positioning it in the Castle window so it looked real.

I think that if you don't tell the truth to people some people will find out and you will get into big trouble.  

I also liked the drawings as they had nice details.  I also liked the bit in the story when Brooke said the housekeeper was cute.  I also liked the fact this was a Chapter Book as it was the first one I have read.

I really liked the fact the book was set in Austria and I learned that Austria is not like Australia!  It's been really nice learning new things and I would love to read more in this series. xx"

The book also contains links to many online resources about Austria to find out further information such as a website on facts with Austria as well as a link to Malika's favourite Austrian based musical, The Sound of Music!

The Pack-N-Go Girls Series have currently launched a Kickstarter Campaign to raise funds to help them publish a book based in a new country - Brazil!!  Please click here for further details of this campaign: