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Breathe: A Ghost Story
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Breathe: A Ghost Story

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  3,174 ratings  ·  469 reviews
Jack is used to danger. His asthma has nearly killed him more than once. But his new home has a danger he’s never known before - the spirits of the dead.
They can’t breathe, but in Jack’s house they chase, hide, scream.
Only Jack can see them. Only he can hear them. And only he can learn their secrets in time to save himself... and his mother...

Winner of the Salford Book
Paperback, 240 pages
Published November 6th 2017 by Doomspell Books (first published June 6th 2006)
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Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,174 ratings  ·  469 reviews

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Sep 11, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, horror, ya
Original post at One More Page

I may be one of the biggest scaredy-cats in the world, or at least, among my group of friends. I know this doesn't make sense when it comes to my love for all things zombie. I like all the shambling, brain-moaning creatures, but when it comes to ghosts and other supernatural stuff? I cower under my covers. When I was a kid I used to like scaring myself silly by watching those Halloween specials that all local TV shows air during those times and no fail, I always end
Breathe by Cliff McNish is about a boy named Jack. Jack's father just died. His mom moves to an old house because Jack likes those types of houses. But something strange is happening to him. After his dad died, he would run his fingers over everything, sensing his dad. When he first arrives, he sees four faces looking out a window in the house. Those faces belong to Oliver, Ann, Charlie, and Gwyneth. They are ghost. Jack goes into his new room where a lady died. He does not know this, but he ...more
KK Helfen
Feb 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book surprisingly! I was faced with so many emotions at times. Not your typical "happy ending' and quite a few "pins and needles" moments. I had never heard of this story or the author until 2 of my friends told me how good it was. I am so impressed with this story that I would likely read another of Cliff McNish's novels.

Jack and Sarah have moved to an old farmhouse for a new beginning after Jack's father died. Jack has chronic and deadly asthma and must keep in control of
Beth Bonini
This ghost story, aimed at 11-14 year old readers, would probably not appeal to any children who have had real experience with death. All horror and ghost stories delve into the frightening mysteries of what happens to us after we die, but this story explores that idea in a way that might properly disturb those of sensitive imagination. Unlike many ghost stories -- I'm thinking of the humorous Eva Ibbotson variety -- this story really touches on loss and mourning.

At the beginning of the novel,
I can best describe this kid’s horror/paranormal story by McNish as a cross between two of Neil Gaiman’s most popular children's books—Coraline and The Graveyard Book.

Basically this is the gist: asthmatic boy Jack and her mom moves into a big old house where ghost children Gwyneth, Ann, Oliver, and Charlie are incarcerated. Once they realize that Jack can see and talk to them, they start to ask for his help. Supposedly they should be crossing to the other side now, but the devilish Ghost Mother
Jewels Faulkner
First of all, i've never read anything like this. Absolutely nothing horror related. So it kind of freaked me out to read it on a page. You know? It's different when you read it, not see it. Parts of the book, let me rephrase that, the whole book is really seductive. I can't really put a pinger on it but when I was reading it all I could think about is that it sounded a lot like Jaycee Dugard. Even though the children in the house weren't tortured in that way it seemed to sort of resemble that. ...more
Fans of The Sixth Sense (yep, it's about a boy who "talks to dead people") and general creepiness will like the concept, but the pieces did not make a satisfying whole for me. Too much build up, too convenient a resolution, and the plot was thin in places. Lone Star winner for 2008-09.
Sep 26, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: To teenagers looking for a creepy story.
Recommended to Cheney by: Amy Botts my mentor
I enjoyed reading this book to my students. I do wish it had been a little shorter in length. It was thrilling and at times a little creepy. But if your are looking for a scary book that will give chills this is not the one.
Jade Long
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a very tense story that focuses on the thrill and suspense of ghost stories, not very bloody or gross like some horror stories I have read, which I appreciate but still reasonably scary. It really opened my eyes to how dangerous illnesses can be, particularly asthma, and how lucky we are today to have the medicine we have. The end was quite satisfactory with the code which I remembered from earlier in the book, that really nicely wrapped up the entire story. It's a spine chilling tale ...more
Jan 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Breathe, by Cliff McNish is a thrilling and shivering novel about a young boy who has a sense for feeling ghosts. This assiduous author, I can tell, really put thought into this novel because of the way it is written. I never really thought of the things that were written into this book and never really thought of ghosts this way before. That is the reason why I think this book was intensely amazing.
Jack, the main character who has asthma, moves into a new, antiquated home after the recent death
Oct 20, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 17, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no-one
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Megan Lynn Foss
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this when I was nine and from what I remember, the book is amazing. I loved the way it was written and the vision it gives. I would definitely read it again if I get the chance to.
Megan Halili
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is wonderful for younger writers wanting to explore different genres - in this case, paranormal and mystery.

The characters felt very much fleshed out - yes, even the ghosts without any! - and made me feel the deepest sympathies for all involved. From the Ghost Mother and her child's tragic backstories, to her daughter's last moments, I constantly had a tear threatening to fall from beginning to end.

Thank you Cliff, for inspiring me and I'm sure many other young minds in the world of
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
McNish's idea of the after-life is very disturbing.
James Perkins
Feb 09, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's got a deliciously creepy cover, of ghost faces peering out of windows, clearly old photographs blown up to fuzzy proportions, but very effective. It's got a good title: Breathe suggests tiredness, desperation, holding still in fear. The cross hatch drawings by Geoff Taylor that start each chapter add a wonderful old-style atmosphere to the text.

But that's all I can find to say positive about this book. From page two it fails. The book was published in 2006, with the children its ghosts used
Charlotte (Bookmarks and Vlogging)
Also view at Bookmarks and Blogging
3.5 stars

I class myself as a horror fan. Not a big one, mind you, but I do enjoy a scary story every now and again. I like being left shaken and wondering if the things from the book are actually real and are coming to get me, even if it means I don't get to sleep for a week.

Maybe it's because I mainly read Stephen King when I read horror, or maybe it's because I'm not as much as a wimp as I first thought, but Breathe wasn't very scary. Quite creepy, yes, but
Avery Riebel
May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ann, Oliver, Gwyneth, and Charlie are just like all the other kids. They like to play, joke around, and just have fun. There’s only one thing that sets them apart from everyone else- they’re dead. These ghost children have been trapped in the same house for years, unable to pass on to the Other Side because of the spirit energy sucking Ghost Mother, feeding off the children simply to stay in the living world. Yet after a ghost’s soul is deficient of energy, they are claimed by the Nightmare ...more
Nov 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elaina Aragona
Breathe by Cliff McNish is a ghost story. It is about this boy named Jack who moves in with his mom to a farmhouse that is haunted. This book describes places that we don't really know about like the Other Side and the Nightmare Passage. It's clear that the author has put a lot of thought into describing these two places when you read the book.
In the story Jack meets the Ghost Mother who has been in this house since her daughter died and she blames herself for what happened to her. She wants
Synopis- 15 yr old Jack Dose has a gift, a 6th sense to be precise. When he and his family move to the quiet and peaceful New England Dose farmhouse , they find it more than a coincedence; they find spirits of the dead, and they want a mediem.

Audience- 14 and up, young adults
Purpose- to thrill readers w/ a good ghost story
Mediam- Novel
Genre Setting- Fiction
Genre Style- Fantasy, Tradegy
Genre Plot-Suspense

Critisism- WOW!!! What a macrabre novel! Mcnish has really impressed me with
I got so caught up in reading this story that my daughter was an hour late to bedtime last night, I just had to finish it before sleep.

Jack is a young teen with asthma who moves into an old English house with his mother after the recent death of his father. Jack has always had a level of extrasensory perception; being able to touch objects and learn something of their history. But, his father's death seems to have amplified this ability and his mother feels he needs a change of environment to
Jul 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book takes place in an old farm house where a mother and her child with tuberculosis(or consumption)previousley lived.The mother has a problem... she is stuck in the house, and can't go to the other side because she choose not to leave. She steals ghost children's souls for her consumption to keep her soul alive and out of the nightmare passage, a place for all ghost souls who did not pass into the other side, all of the ghost children she consumes will eventually find themselves in the ...more
Laura (Booksforbreakfast)
This was another novel I wasn't sure I'd like and ended up really loving it! There was a deep sense of darkness in this novel, and it was almost a whimsical ghost story, if that makes sense. I was reminded of Coraline in this story, such as the ghost children and the evil mother but I really liked it.

The writing was really well done and I liked the ease in which he transitioned into a new chapter or section. The book did make me look around the room a few times I was pleasantly surprised at that
Aug 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i love mcnish so much i have everyone of his books i love him and his books.i ...more
Ella♥'s Hugs
This book is a little disappointing, when compared to othr ghost stories. Jack is a 12 year old boy, who has a really bad case of asthma. He can also detect the dead, or in other words, see ghost. When Jack and his mother, Sarah, move to an eerie old house after his father's death, the Ghost Mother appears and wishes him to be his pretend son. But soon enough, Jack discovers the Ghost Children. He learns that the Ghost Mother feeds on the dead children's spirits, to keep her from entering the ...more
Lynetta Halat
Apr 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was the best book I've ever read. In fact, it was so good I read it 3 times. It was a thrilling, horrifying, heart racer in which kept me stuck trapped in the book like the ghost children in the house. It was a ride of EVERY EMOTION! I was glad I have read this because at first I thought it would be a dull ,stereotypical ghost book. After I read this book, I HAD TO BUY IT!! Trust me nobody would dislike this.
Beth Kendall
This story is about a boy with asthma who after his dad dying can feel traces of the dead in old furniture well it was only traces until he moves to a creepy old house (yes very clique I know) It was a good book however it was a bit like other ones with the whole breathing/asthma thing but I did enjoy it and raced through it.
Apr 03, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: younger, ghosts
Creepy but unconvincing ghost story about a severely asthmatic boy who can sense the dead.

Jack's widowed mother decides, for not very plausible reasons, to move with her son to an isolated old country house. House turns out to be haunted (no surprise there) by the ravenous Ghost Mother and the trapped souls of her victims.

I found the after-death aspects of the story least satisfactory.
Sep 10, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Texas Lonestar for the '08-'09 school year.

I'm not all into ghost stories all that much, so this book was just an okay read. It was about a boy that had a special connection with the dead. After moving into an old home with his mother, he soon learns that there are 5 ghosts that live in the house that are trapped and need his help.
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What do you like most about "Breathe"? 5 12 Jan 31, 2014 08:31AM  
Okay 2 36 Nov 28, 2009 09:46AM  

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I was born in Sunderland, a city in the north-east of England.
I don’t recall too much about my first 8 years of life other than I loved being outdoors especially in the woods near our house. I came home every night covered in scratches.
My first real book memory is being given C.S. Lewis’s The Magician’s Nephew by my English teacher, Mrs Baldwin. I loved that, and all the other Narnia books.

So how