A Girl Called Corpse
Allen & Unwin, 2022
352pp., pbk., RRP $A17.99
Find the thing the Witches call a treasure,’ says Old Man, ‘and you’ll get back all those memories you’re missing.’
With a body made of wax, seaweed for hair and polished abalone shells for eyes, Corpse is bound to haunt the Witches’ sea shack forever. She has no memory of the kid she was before she was snatched and ended up on the rock-that-doesn’t-exist, using magic to hold herself together so she doesn’t cross over the Death Proper. Her dearest wish is to escape the rock, find her family and live. But she appears to be bound on the rock off the coast of the tiny forgotten town of Elston-Fright forever, until the delivery of an unexpected message sets her off on a surprising quest, searching for answers to the old and familiar questions that have filled her not-brain since the day she first woke up a ghost. Questions about her name. Questions about her family. With only her eight-legged friend Simon for company, Corpse heads into the unknown. There will be danger – cruel witches, a silver-eyed sea monster and a cunning merchant with a hungry grin – but Corpse is not afraid. She’ll stop at nothing to uncover the truth about her past. Only some answers, it turns out, are much closer than she thinks.
Shortlisted for the ABIA Book of the Year for Younger Children (7-12 years) this is a debut novel that has a strong message about the power of family, friendship, trust and believing and trusting in yourself and what you stand for. For older, independent readers who can let reality go and cope with twists and turns in the plot, this is a new series that will captivate those who like the Nevermoor series, with a sequel The Lonely Lighthouse of Elston-Fright being released in October 2023.