In ‘The Tower Ghost,’ set in 1963 at Sycamore Hill Boarding School in Donegal, three schoolgirls, Clare, Rose, and Molly, dive into a mystery to find out who is the ghostly girl seen in the school’s old tower. My sister always told me “If a book has a map at the beginning, then it’s going to be a good book.” And she was definitely right!

From the moment Clare sees the ghost in a window, hears crying and footsteps, the adventure kicks off with real intensity. Each of the girls is distinct: Clare’s kindness, Rose’s readiness to face danger, and Molly’s growth from a shy to a vital member of the group, drive their quest forward. Important scenes like Rose going up to the haunted tower with Clare, saving Molly from a terrible truth, in truth or dare, adds excitement and a sense of real risk to their journey.

The absence of modern gadgets like phones, makes their investigation tougher and the story more suspenseful, making every clue they find feel like a significant victory. My favourite bit was definitely when Rose stood up for Molly, which meant she didn’t have to do a truth in ‘Truth or Dare’ even though Rose then had to do a dare instead.

I was a bit delighted when I found a mistake I think the editors missed! Stumbling upon that blunder sent me reaching for Google when it mentioned about the school having a movie night and watching Mary Poppins. The blurb says the story takes place in 1963, but Mary Poppins came out in 1964. In the end, this mistake wasn’t a big deal, but it did make me feel kind of clever finding it.

The ending was just as strong as the rest of the book, providing a satisfying wrap-up to the spooky mystery. This story isn’t just a thrilling mystery; it’s also about finding your people and facing the unknown together. I really liked how it showed that new challenges can bring the best out of us, and how joining a new school isn’t as scary when you have new friends by your side.

I’d recommend this book for anyone aged 8-12 who loves a mystery. Overall, I’d give this book a 9.5 out of 10.

By Emma, age 10, Drogheda, Co. Meath

The Tower Ghost” by Natasha Mac A’ Bhaird, published by O’ Brien Press, is on sale now for €9.99 (P/B).

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher, O’ Brien Press, free of charge to Seomra Ranga for the purposes of this review.