Embassy of the Dead by Will Mabbitt

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Ill. by Chris Mould. Orion Children's Books, 2018. ISBN: 9781510104556.
(Age: 8-10 ) Recommended. Themes: Fantasy. Opening a strange box is the starting point of this amazing adventure for Jake Green as it contains a severed finger, summoning the Grim Reaper which takes him into the Eternal Void, a place to be avoided.  In this place he must run for his life, but finds he can communicate with the other inhabitants: the ghosts. In this appalling place, Jake teams up with several other creatures, Cora who uses a hockey stick for protection, Stiffley the undertaker and Zorro the ghost fox, all of whom, like Jake are searching for the Embassy of the Dead, a place where they will find refuge.
In the background of this tale, in the only too real world, Jake's life is being torn apart with his parent's decision to split, bringing to an end all that Jake knows. It is an issue he must deal with. Mabbitt, the author of the Mabel Jones series for slightly younger readers, lives in England and enjoys wandering through graveyards, which seems to me where he gets his great ideas. Full of humour and adventure, this story is full of laugh out loud lines, the strangest situations anyone can get themselves into and a nod to the lives of modern children, alluding to some of the things they must deal with.
The illustrations by Chris Mould add to the zany adventures of Jake Green.
Fran Knight