Callum Fox and the Mousehole Ghost

Callum Fox and the Mousehole Ghost

From A.C.Hatter

Callum Fox is a funny adventure for 8 - 12 yr olds. Callum has high hopes for his summer in Cornwall - but then he meets the ghost of a WW2 evacuee ...

Callum Fox and the Mousehole Ghost

Target Readers

Aimed at 8 – 12 year olds, and loved by teens and adults too

Setting

The story is set in the beautiful Cornish harbour, Mousehole.

Two stories told in parallel

The historical story line follows Jim, a WWII evacuee, sent to Mousehole to billet with Bob Fox and his family. Whilst the contemporary story line follows Callum Fox, in his attempts to get rid of the ghosts that haunt his family.

Mystery…

Seventy years separate Callum and Jim, but as their stories unfold Callum realises they have more in common than anyone could have imagined, and that some secrets last a lifetime...

70th anniversary of WW2

The story ties in with the 70th anniversary of the war and also references the 1981 Penlee Lifeboat disaster and Cornish tin mining.

Holiday Reading

Callum Fox and the Mousehole Ghost would make a fantastic holiday read for children, and adults.

Samples from Callum Fox and the Mousehole Ghost

A short sample from the first few chapters – for the complete opening chapters please see the blog

Chapter 1

Friday 25th July 2014

Callum hoisted his rucksack up onto his shoulder — he was good to go. He double-checked the Paddington Station departures board. With a flurry of orange on black his train was confirmed.
‘Right,’ said Mum, fumbling in her purse for her Oyster card. ‘All you have to do is stay on the train till the last stop. Grandad will meet you at the station. Are you sure you don’t mind doing this on your own?’
‘Don’t worry,’ Callum replied, flicking his fringe out of his eyes. ‘What can go wrong?’
Mum shook her head and led the way, expertly manoeuvring through the constant stream of morning commuters.
There was a muffled tannoy announcement that Callum couldn’t make out. Mum let out a cry of ‘That’s yours!’ and broke into her ineffective ‘mum jog’. Callum lengthened his stride and kept pace with her easily enough. By the time they reached his train she had slowed right down and was puffing and panting.
‘I’m going to miss you so much,’ she said, giving him an enormous hug. He pulled back — he wasn’t a kid any more.
‘Miss you too,’ he whispered, trying to sneak on board before she could embarrass him any further. It didn’t work. She grabbed hold of his T-shirt and caught him off-guard with a smacker of a kiss. He could have sworn that a girl walking past with a pink tartan holdall laughed out loud.

Chapter 2

Monday 4th September 1939 – Operation Pied Piper

‘I told you, Mam, I told you. I ain’t going.’ Jim shouted over the uproar of the station, the screech of the steam trains and the yells of the other kids. He didn’t care if every other kid in London had agreed to be evacuated; he hadn’t, and that was that.
‘I ain’t doin’ it,’ he shouted again, before his voice cracked and he buried his face deep in the folds of his mam’s red coat, wrapping his arms round her waist and holding on as if his life depended upon it. ‘You can’t make me. You can’t!’ The brass buckle of her belt poked him in the eye — it didn’t bother him, he’d take a black eye any day if it meant he could stay at home instead of getting on that train and going off to… well, wherever it was going.
Mam stood her ground while the crowds rushed round them, jostling and knocking into the two of them. ‘You can’t stay, Jim — it ain’t safe,’ she smoothed down his messy black hair and leant over to kiss the top of his head. He nuzzled in even closer, filling his lungs with the familiar smell of honeysuckle perfume and home cooking. Somewhere behind him he heard a shrill whistle and a cry of ‘All aboard.’

Chapter 3

Friday 25th July 2014

Callum’s train powered on across Dartmoor, speeding through smaller and smaller stations without stopping. He looked around the carriage, desperate for something to do. He was hot, sweaty and bored.
He got up to visit the loo. The tiny cubicle smelt foul and the floor was sticky. When he tried to leave the bolt refused to slide back, holding the door firmly in place. His pulse quickened. It was like the walls were closing in on him. He knew the feeling well — claustrophobia.
He examined the lock again. It secured a folding door that should have opened as he pushed it. He tried shoving it with the bolt in place but this really jammed the lock. He leant against the back wall of the cubicle and tried to push the bolt hard with both hands and then one foot. Nothing. He smothered the whole mechanism with soap. This made a mess of him, the lock and the door. Still nothing.

Chapter 4

Monday 4th September 1939

‘Form a line. Come on now. Yes, you!’ The uniformed woman in charge of the billeting waved her papers at Jim. ‘Stop lurking at the back there, we need to see all of you.’ He shuffled forward, scraping his boots on the stone floor until he fell in line with all the other kids standing to attention on the platform of the Penzance Railway Station.
It was even worse than he’d imagined. There was no one here to look after him and no home to go to. Instead, all the ‘vacees’ were being put on display, like a load of tatty old veg on a back-street market stall. And overseeing it all was the bossy billeting lady, marching up and down, shouting, ‘Roll up, roll up. Take your pick, all fresh today, brothers and sisters — two for the price of one.’ Oh, she thought she was so funny.
And the people doing the picking were a rough lot, miserable old men and even more miserable looking women. Jim caught a great big scary farmer sizing him up —checking him out for farm work. Jim thought the man was going to ask him to trot round in a circle, to check he weren’t lame. Bleedin’ cheek!

Choose a chapter

  • Chapter 1

    - Friday 25th July 2014 Callum […]
  • Chapter 2

    - Monday 4th September 1939 – […]
  • Chapter 3

    - Friday 25th July 2014 Callum’s […]
  • Chapter 4

    - Monday 4th September 1939 ‘Form […]

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Chapter overviews

Here’s a sample from the first four chapters to get you started.

Ch1a

Chapter 1

Friday 25th July 2014

Callum hoisted his rucksack up onto his shoulder — he was good to go. He double-checked the Paddington Station departures board. With a flurry of orange on black his train was confirmed.

ch2

Chapter 2

Monday 4th September 1939 – Operation Pied Piper

‘I told you Mam, I told you. I ain’t going.’ Jim Shouted over the uproar of the station, the screech of the steam trains and the yells of the other kids. He didn’t care if every other kid in London had agreed to be evacuated; he hadn’t, and that was that.

Ch3

Chapter 3

Friday 25th July 2014

Callum’s train powered on across Dartmoor, speeding through smaller and smaller stations without stopping. He looked around the carriage, desperate for something to do. He was hot, sweaty and bored.

Ch4

Chapter 4

Monday 4th September 1939

‘Form a line. Come on now. Yes, you!’ The uniformed woman in charge of the billeting waved her papers at Jim. ‘Stop lurking at the back there, we need to see all of you.’ He shuffled forward, scraping his boots on the stone floor until he fell in line with all the other kids standing to attention on the platform of the Penzance Railway Station.

Ch5

Chapter 5

Friday 25th July 2014

The doors of Linda’s battered old Land Rover rattled when they slammed shut. ‘Don’t worry,’ Linda shouted over the noise of the engine. ‘No one’s fallen out yet.’

Ch6

Chapter 6

Monday 4th September 1939

It was dark inside the house, as dark as it had been outside. Jim could hear someone huffing and puffing. He pressed his back hard against the door; if it had been open he would have made a run for it. There was a rustling, a click, and then a low light flickered on, giving off a faint yellow glow which cast long shadows over the uneven walls.

ch7

Chapter 7

Friday 25th July 2014

‘Oh Callum!’ Nana cried. ‘It’s so good to see you. Hasn’t he grown, Bob? Hasn’t he grown? Have you seen the boy’s feet! Will you look at those feet? Oh he’s going to be so tall; he’s going to be a true Fox. Your mum must be so proud! We’re so proud!’

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Messages from readers

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RNLI Storm Force Magazine

RNLI Storm Force Magazine

This book is about two children, Sophie and Callum, who meet on a train. They go on an adventure together to try to solve a mystery involving a German WW2 pilot, a naked professor with a soap on a rope and lots of other crazy ghosts. I like it becuase its a story about friendship and it's exciting and interesting. You learn about the differences between WW2 and today. I give it 5 stars out of 5. Reviewed by Abigail (8½) from Dorset.

The St Ives Times & Echo

The St Ives Times & Echo

At times merry and at times sad, it is a mix the author copes well with. Altogether a good-humoured tale of grandparents and ghosts... A rattling good read which both older and younger readers alike will enjoy.

Margaret Graham, author

Margaret Graham, author

Callum is a fabulous, funny and fiesty character who takes us all on a roller-coaster of a ride around Cornwall. Read and enjoy!

Amazon Review

Amazon Review

This is a well plotted book that will keep even the most demanding pre teen readers hooked to the end. Nice juxtaposition of current day story interwoven with a second world war story makes it a particularly good book to buy if your child has grandparents who grew up during that era. The ever appealing backdrop of Cornwall and a very funny writing style makes this a truly joyful reading experience.

Perry Illes

Perry Illes

Here is a fine debut - a children's novel that's original, exciting and tense - a book that never disappoints and never loses its focus. Callum Fox is a great role model for children - fallible yet somehow cool in his awkwardness, still scared silly of girls but easily able to cope with a whole gaggle of ghosts. He's a modern boy, flicking his fringe out of his eyes as he deals with ancient pirates, mariners and a naked professor who is perhaps the finest minor character in recent memory. The Cornish setting is finely drawn - not a tourist overkill, but a bright and vibrant background for the adventure that befalls Callum and his friends, both corporeal and spiritual. Callum Fox and the Mousehole Ghost is a great summer read for children and adults alike.

Pricing

Choose the paperback from Amazon UK or US.

About the author

ach

Biography

Callum Fox and the Mousehole Ghost is A C Hatter’s first novel.
Hatter has had several short stories published, including a competition winning flash fiction piece judged by Fay Weldon. Fay said of the story:
… ‘Thoughtful, moving and simply written, seizes an idea and carries it through. It puts a shape upon ordinary human experience and makes it un-ordinary, which is what the best writing does.’…

Hatter works as a management consultant, is married with two children and lives in Buckinghamshire. She is currently working on the second Callum Fox book and a romantic comedy for adults.

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