Felicity Pulman
Ghost Boy by Felicity Pulman

Ghost Boy

with Felicity Pulman


Felicity Pulman’s love of history, fantasy and crime is reflected in her numerous novels for children and teenagers, most notably Ghost Boy, the Shalott trilogy and her medieval crime series for teenagers, The Janna Mysteries, set in the 1140s at the time of the ‘Anarchy’ the civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Matilda. The first Janna Mystery, Rosemary for Remembrance, was a CBC Notable book in 2005. Book 4, Willows for Weeping and Shalott have both won the Society of Women Writers Biennial Book Awards. Her books are listed in the Premier’s Reading Challenge in NSW, VIC and SA. Felicity has many years experience speaking about researching and writing her novels (and about the history that informs many of them), and conducting workshops for students and adults across a variety of genres.

www.felicitypulman.com.au / www.youtube.com/felicitypulman


Felicity starts by asking students if they believe in ghosts and then invites them to share their stories. She also asks if they have visited the Quarantine Station here in Sydney. If they haven’t read Ghost Boy she tells them a little of what it’s about.

Ghost Boy tells the story of a young boy who has nightmares about drowning when his family moves to live near the QS. The novel is set partly during the grisly past of the QS and an outbreak of smallpox in 1881 and involves a ghost and a family mystery. A power point presentation helps Felicity show how she wove historical research into her story. She describes how her novel evolved: from a ‘what if’ question to later adding Cassie to the story after her daughter objected there were no girls in it! She shows the students her first hand-written version and describes the steps that followed to publication.

Felicity also explains the essential ingredients of a good story: characters, plot and setting and invites students to share their own ‘what if...?’ suggestions and how they might work them into a story. There is also a fun worksheet for the students to fill out later: a Ghost Boy word square and how to send a message in a secret code.

NOTE: There is a special Ghost Boy Tour at the Quarantine Station for schools studying the novel: website www.qstation.com.au. Contact education@qstation.com.au or tel: 02.9466.1566. The QS is a wonderfully ghostly and atmospheric place and the tour helps to bring the book ‘alive’ for students, while giving them the opportunity to find out more about early immigration, the early treatment of disease and the rigid class system of the 19th century.

Years 3-6
60 minutes (including question time)
$3.50 + 35c GST
$500.50 ($455 + $45.50 gst if less than 130 students)
Laptop, projector and screen or smartboard
**Teachers’ notes available on request