The Girl and the Ghost (Paperback)

The Girl and the Ghost By Hanna Alkaf Cover Image

The Girl and the Ghost (Paperback)


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Fall 2020 Kids Indie Next List

“A marvelously unique story that incorporates both an unfamiliar modern-day world and an uncommon mythology. Should be a great fit for fans of Percy Jackson and the books of Erin Entrada Kelly.”
— Rosie Lee-Parks, Readers' Books, Sonoma, CA

* Chosen as a 2020 Kirkus Prize Finalist for Young Readers' Literature! *

A Malaysian folk tale comes to life in this emotionally layered, chilling middle grade debut, perfect for fans of The Book of Boy and The Jumbies.

I am a dark spirit, the ghost announced grandly. I am your inheritance, your grandmother’s legacy. I am yours to command.

Suraya is delighted when her witch grandmother gifts her a pelesit. She names her ghostly companion Pink, and the two quickly become inseparable.

But Suraya doesn’t know that pelesits have a dark side—and when Pink’s shadows threaten to consume them both, they must find enough light to survive . . . before they are both lost to the darkness.

Fans of Holly Black’s Doll Bones and Tahereh Mafi’s Furthermore series will love this ghostly middle grade debut that explores jealousy, love, and the extraordinary power of friendship.

Hanna Alkaf is the author of several books for kids and teens, including The Girl and the Ghost, Hamra and the Jungle of Memories, and the upcoming Tales from Cabin 23: Night of the Living Head. Hanna lives in Kuala Lumpur with her family and can be visited at

Product Details ISBN: 9780062940964
ISBN-10: 0062940961
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: February 15th, 2022
Pages: 288
Language: English

“Grippingly heart-wrenching and speaks to deeper themes of family, trauma, and friendship…a fascinating, page-turning tale.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Alkaf’s middle-grade debut is unapologetically—and beautifully—Malaysian… it sizzles with tension and safe-but-ghoulish imagery, without letting go of the heartfelt thread of love between a girl and her ghost.” — Booklist

"I can’t stop thinking about THE GIRL AND THE GHOST, a desperately beautiful novel about the many ways people can be haunted and the transformative power of friendship and love. A spellbinding story, told with an enormous heart."Anne Ursu, author of the National Book Award Longlist title, The Real Boy

"Delightfully gruesome, humorous, haunted and heart wrenching, The Girl and the Ghost is an intense tale of grief, family, friendship and forgiveness.”  — Robin Yardi, author of The Midnight War of Mateo Martinez

“An entertaining convergence of the supernatural with the everyday… touches of contemporary Malaysian life enrich the background: ethnic and religious diversity, layers of rapid social change, and loving descriptions of food abound." — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books