Ghoulish Song by William Alexander

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A brave girl flees a ghoul while trying to save her city in this lively companion to Goblin Secrets, the National Book Award winner that Kirkus Reviews calls “humorous, poignant, and convincing.”

Kaile lives in Zombay, an astonishing city where goblins walk the streets and witches work their charms and curses. Kaile wants to be a musician and is delighted when a goblin gives her a flute carved out of bone. But the flute’s single, mournful song has a dangerous consequence: it separates Kaile and her shadow.

Anyone without a shadow is considered dead, and despite Kaile’s protests that she’s alive and breathing, her family forces her to leave so she can’t haunt their home. Kaile and her shadow soon learn that the troublesome flute is tied to a terrifying ghoul made from the bones of those who drowned in the Zombay River. With the ghoul chasing her and the river threatening to flood, Kaile has an important role to play in keeping Zombay safe. Will Kaile and her shadow be able to learn the right tune in time?

Set in the delightful and dangerous world of Goblin Secrets, Ghoulish Song is a gripping adventure laced with humor and mystery from National Book Award–winning author William Alexander. His “graceful prose weaves an engaging fantasy that embraces the power of music” (Publishers Weekly).

About William Alexander

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William Alexander won the National Book Award for his debut novel, Goblin Secrets—praised by Kirkus Reviews as “gripping and tantalizing” in a starred review—and won the Earphones Award for his narration of the audiobook. He studied theater and folklore at Oberlin College and English at the University of Vermont and currently lives, writes, and teaches in Minneapolis. Ghoulish Song is his second novel. Visit him at and
Published March 5, 2013 by Margaret K. McElderry Books. 177 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Arts & Photography. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Ghoulish Song

Publishers Weekly

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In this more focused companion to Alexander’s National Book Award–winning debut, Goblin Secrets, the author revisits the macabre city of Zombay to tell another tale of art as the fundamental underpinn

Feb 04 2013 | Read Full Review of Ghoulish Song

Gr 4–8—In this companion (2013) to the National Book Award winning Goblin Secrets (2012, both Margaret K. McElderry Books), Alexander tells the story of the baker's daughter briefly mentioned in the first book. Kaile is forced by her parents and community to leave her home because they believe sh...

Aug 01 2013 | Read Full Review of Ghoulish Song

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