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The Death of Yorik Mortwell
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The Death of Yorik Mortwell

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  119 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Inspired by the artwork of Edward Gorey, Windblowne author Stephen Messer delivers a mock-Gothic tale about poor Yorick (alas!), son of the Gamekeeper at venerable Ravenby Manor, who meets an untimely demise—in chapter one! Worry not, dear reader, for Yorick returns in ghostly form, intent on revenge. In the course of his hauntings, however, ghostly Yorick discovers that a ...more
ebook, 192 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2011)
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Oct 24, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
If you have to die at age twelve, being able to hang around as a ghost and keep an eye on your dear little sister seems to be an acceptable afterlife.
And being able to haunt the fat, little toad who murdered you would almost be the icing on the cake, right?

But, alas for Yorik . . .

Things don't work out quite that way.

The estate he's supposed to haunt is already beset by unworldly characters and lots of 'em. Yorik quickly falls in with two puzzling spirits, one of whom is pretty bossy. And befor
Leigh Statham
Sep 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
I *loved* this little book so much! Mostly because it was little, beautifully illustrated, and told an original tale of good vs evil that I can't wait to share with my kids. Also, Stephen Messer is just a really nice guy. If you have little ones who enjoy ghost stories, pick this up and read it with them. It's wonderful!
Rating: 3.5 stars.

The Death of Yorik Mortwell was entertaining, to say the least. It's a simplistic-yet-fun story of a boy who dies and comes back as a ghost intent on protecting an orphan sister we are given absolutely no reason to care about, as she appears in about six (or less) pages, and is hardly focused on beyond a springboard for Yorik's demise.

My main problem with this story (besides the lack of "Sister," who was focused on so little I have to call "Sister" because I forgot her name al
Alexis Neal
An excerpt:
It’s not every day you come across a book where the hero dies in the first chapter. But in The Death of Yorik Mortwell, that’s exactly what happens to 12-year-old Yorik Mortwell, orphaned son of a gamekeeper at Ravenby Manor: he dies. Fortunately for the readers, Yorik does not pass quietly into the great beyond, but returns as a ghost.

[...] a delicious spooky and morbid tale that never loses its buoyant, childlike spirit. And with a [SPOILER] happy ending to boot, all but the most se
Monica Kulling
Oct 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Death of Yorik Mortwell by Stephen Messer

“Rest in peace. Here lies So-and-So in their eternal repose.” These words are usually meant to be final, but not in poor Yorik Mortwell’s case. Alas! No sooner has the orphaned servant boy died then he’s up and running to avenge his death at the hands of Lord Ravenby’s son and to haunt Ravenby Manor, if only he can get past the demon-hounds and avoid having his mind “blasted into a million fragments” by the Dark Ones. Yorik is bullied by the officious
Oct 20, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not fully sure how I feel about this one.

Of course, I love the artwork, as Gris Grimly is one of my favorites, and I tend to buy everything I can that he's a part of.

Story-wise, there is plenty to like, as the world is interesting, and the themes it's working with run deeper than the surface.

But where I start to be unsure is with the pacing. Yes, it's a book for younger readers, and it should move along quickly, but it's almost too fast. And even at that pace, it feels as if not much happens. P
Clare Rossetter
Interesting ghost tale where the title character dies in the first chapter. The story was not really scary despite the subject matter. Yorik is charged as a ghost to haunt the manor house. As a ghost Yorik is not very threatening and he ends up following his own orders and not the others who try to use him in his ghostly form. The illustrations and the text reminded me of a Tim Burton creation. This is not my favorite type of illustration but I know the kids like it and the tale, while not frigh ...more
Dec 28, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My son was given this book at his school's literacy night. Since he was in the middle of another book, I took the opportunity to read it.
It's unique in that it starts with the main character dying. From that point on he's a ghost, aided by a princess in a glade and the dogs he knew in life, trying to stop strange little creatures from taking over the world of the living.
It's a short book, easily read in an hour or two if you're uninterrupted, but it's an entertaining story. The illustrations ar
Dec 10, 2014 rated it liked it
ketakutan terbesar itu ternyata bukan pada sesosok hantu, monster, apalagi kematian. Yorik belajar itu semua dalam hidupnya yang singkat sebagai hantu baru. tewas dengan cara tak wajar, Yorik menyimpan kebencian terhadap pembunuhnya. tapi kebencian itu perlahan memudar saat dia tahu siapa (atau apa) yang ada di balik semua itu. ceritanya sih simpel, ga berbelit-belit. good versus evil. dan si hantu messer menciptakan karakter yang mudah sekali dibenci, macam si putri penunggu hutan itu.
Jul 14, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tween
Yorik and his family are servants to the Manor, and after his father dies it's up to him to take care of his sister. This get complicated when he falls out of a tree and dies. When he wakes up as a ghost, he becomes the servant to another girl who wants him to spy on the Manor. But as things happen he comes to realize he no longer needs to serve anyone, and in fact, must stop the destruction of the world and everyone in it.
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Author of Windblowne (May 25th, 2010) and The Death of Yorik Mortwell (Summer 2011), both from Random House Books for Young Readers.
More about Stephen Messer...