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The Hungry Ghost

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  79 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Freja arrives in Singapore during the month of the hungry ghost, when old spirits are said to roam the streets and families must make offerings to appease their ancestors. She's homesick for her Danish hometown and isn't sure she fits in with the 'happy family' of her father, her step-mother and twin step-brothers.

As Freja tries to settle into her new life, a mysterious gi
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 24th 2020 by Pushkin Children's Books
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Average rating 4.34  · 
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Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
A truly captivating ghost story set in Singapore that totally transported me to another world and gave me all the great ghostly vibes.

Freja moves to Singapore to live with her dad and stepmom for a summer, leaving behind her mother to get hospital care. While in Singapore, she discovers it is the month of the Hungry Ghost festival, and she just so happens to meet a ghost named Ling. As Freja delves deeper into Ling's past and how it could possibly connect to her own, we get a stunning tour of Si
Nov 13, 2020 rated it liked it
ARC received in exchange for an honest review 👻

I want to first state that there are triggers in this book for (view spoiler) that I did not expect and that did affect my overall enjoyment of this book. Please be aware of the trigger warnings before reading if you're sensitive to these subjects.

Freja has started a new journey to live with her father, step mother and half twin brothers in Singapore. It's a world vastly different from the on
Resh (The Book Satchel)
The Hungry Ghost was a nice read but it didn't really work for me. While I loved the premise (which is why I read the book), I found it quite disorienting to read about the characters in Singapore, their history (the Chinese ancestors). Here the girl Freja misses her hometown in Denmark, and her mother. She is trying to adjust with her father and his new family in Singapore. Now she finds a ghost friend and then tries to find the history of her family, how she is related to the ghost etc. Being ...more
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
ᴀʀᴇ ᴛʜᴇ ꜱᴛᴀʀꜱ ɪɴᴠɪꜱɪʙʟᴇ ʜᴇʀᴇ, ᴏʀ ɪꜱ ɪᴛ ᴊᴜꜱᴛ ᴍᴇ?
Thank you to Poppy Stimpson at Pushkin Press and to NetGalley for approving me to read ᴛʜᴇ ʜᴜɴɢʀʏ ɢʜᴏꜱᴛ by H S Norup.
I LOVED this book. Although it is categorised as Pushkin Childrens, The Hungry Ghost can clearly can be appreciated and enjoyed by all ages, and it really piqued my interest in Singaporean Buddhist/Taoist culture.
ɪᴛ'ꜱ ᴛʜᴇ ʜᴜɴɢʀʏ ɢʜᴏꜱᴛ ꜰᴇꜱᴛɪᴠᴀʟ. ᴡᴇ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴍᴀᴋᴇ ᴏꜰꜰᴇʀɪɴɢꜱ ᴛᴏ ᴏᴜʀ ᴀɴᴄᴇꜱᴛᴏʀꜱ - ꜰᴇᴇᴅ ᴛʜᴇᴍ ᴀɴᴅ ʙᴜʀɴ ᴍᴏɴᴇʏ ᴀɴᴅ ꜱᴏ ᴏɴ. ᴏᴛʜᴇʀᴡɪ
Belles Middle Grade Library
Apr 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Such a gripping, beautiful story! I had no idea this would have so many things from mythology that I read in my last book, but I loved that! The Monkey King is even mentioned! Lol Freja arrives in Singapore during the month of the hungry ghost, when old spirits are said to roam the streets & families must make offerings to appease their ancestors. She's homesick for her Danish hometown, & isn’t sure she fits in w/the “happy family” of her dad, step-mom, & twin brothers. As she’s trying to settle ...more
rina dunn
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Hungry Ghost is a truly gorgeous read that compelled me to keep turning page after page.
A captivating ghost story set in Singapore we meet Freja who arrives in Singapore during the month of The Hungry Ghost festival where old spirits are said to roam and families leave offerings for their ancestors.

Seperated from her Mother who needs hospital treatment I really empathised with Freja, she's left her home country to move essentially around the world to be with her Father and his Wife and new C
Sinéad O'Hart
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Vivid, moving, and beautifully told, this is a story to treasure. I devoured it in one day, unable to put it down until the mysteries in its pages were resolved. Freja is a fabulous character, brave and loyal; her vulnerabilities are sensitively explored and I loved how her personal journey intertwined with the book's overall plot. Among this novel's other strengths are its marvellously rendered setting, its fascinating use of folklore, and its powerful emotional heft. One of the best books I've ...more
Naomi Forrest
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The long awaited follow-up to Helle Norup’s The Missing Barbegazi, The Hungry Ghost is about as wonderfully different as you can get! While the former had me snuggled up, dreaming of Christmas, snow and hot chocolate, Helle’s newest offering transported me to the tropical humidity of Singapore and was a cultural delight.

It’s no secret that I adored Helle’s debut and thought it was action-packed, the theme of grief was gently addressed. The Hungry Ghost packs more of an emotional punch and defini
Nadia King
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Hungry Ghost is the second middle-grade novel by H S Norup. When Freja arrives in Singapore to live with her dad and his new family, she feels guilty about her mother’s illness and leaving her behind in Denmark. In Singapore it’s the seventh Chinese month – the ghost month – when deceased ancestors roam the earth to eat. Life in Singapore is very different to Freja’s normal life at home and she doesn’t want to fit into her dad’s new family. When she discovers a ghost in the back garden, Frej ...more
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The beautiful bright cover caught my eye and as soon as I read the description I just knew I had to get my hands on this book. It sounded like such a wonderful story and just a couple of pages in, I knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed.

The Hungry Ghost takes place in Singapore during the month of the hungry ghost, where the doors to the realm of the dead are open and ghosts and spirits wander the streets accepting offerings left out by their ancestors. Freja arrives in Singapore to live with
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
Nov 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: purchased
Yes this is a kids book, but it is wonderful! I love Singapore and its people... after reading this book makes me want to go back and explore its history.
Juliette Forrest
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An atmospheric, hauntingly exquisite and poignant story that will hold you gripped until the end where it will snap your heartstrings. I visited Singapore in the 90s and was taken right back there with this book. H.S.Norup's writing is exceptional and this is one of my top recommendations for 2020. Read it! ...more
Mrs Kuyateh - Primary Teacher Bookshelf
'What could be worse than dying and no-one remembering you existed?"

The Hungry Ghost is a tale of two forgotten lives; of memories locked away and finding the key to unlock peace.

It really is an atmospheric read - an absolute feast for the senses. I was transported to Singapore where I inhaled the peachy aroma of Frangipani trees and the sweet smell of night flowers heavy in the air, breathed in the bonfire smoke and incense and felt the humid heat of the rainforest. I became totally immersed i
Sep 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I was sent an advance copy of The Hungry Ghost by Pushkin Press in exchange for an honest review.

At the beginning of The Hungry Ghost, Freja has left her Danish hometown and her mum behind, to spend a year with her dad, step-mother and twin step-brothers in Singapore. Freja is not sure why she had to leave home, whether she fits in with her dad’s ‘new family’, or what to make of the dense humidity and unusual customs of Singapore. One evening, she notices a mysterious girl in a white
Oct 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Posted a longer review on my blog, please click here to read!

This book follows Freja, a 12-year-old who arrives in Singapore to live with her father, step-mother, and their toddler twin children. She had to leave behind her sick mother in Denmark and is supposed to start a new school and a new life with her new family. It sounds like a hellish situation even for an adult, so Freja handles it just about how you’d expect a kid to. Freja, who is an avid scout and a generally adventurous kid, holes
Oct 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Powerfully emotional and haunting, The Hungry Ghost is a beautiful tale about loss, grieving and remembering the dead, that had me in tears.

In The Hungry Ghost, H S Norup has created an incredible sense of place, with the Singapore setting an intrinsic and essential part of the story. This comes through so many different elements of the book, and combines to create something very special. It's in the food, it's in the shopping, in the wonderful descriptions of areas and wildlife, but most of all
Sep 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is slightly different to the types of books I normally review. The Hungry Ghost is a Middle Grade / YA novel set in Singapore during the month of the Hungry Ghost which is a traditional Buddhist and Taoist festival held in certain East Asian countries.

The Hungry Ghost Festival is observed during the seventh month of the lunar calendar. During this month, Buddhists and Taoists believe that the souls of the deceased roam among the living, so they prepare offerings of food and entertainment to
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful and interesting story to read! Since the beginning you are dragged to the story and the characters; with a mixture of cultures and traditions, you’ll be immersed in Freja’s life without even noticing!
This is not a scary story, but bittersweet and emotive, you’ll learn the power of love, loss and family; sometimes remembering is more difficult than forgetting.
Freja, the main character has moved to Singapore to live with her father and the new family while her mother is recovering
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Poignant, vibrant and beautifully written. The Hungry Ghost is a book that deserves to be read widely and I simply cannot wait to buy my own copy in September and champion it with the children I teach.
The Hungrey Ghost is a delightful experience of emotion and vivid description entwined with mystery and heartfelt characters that the reader wants to spend time with.
Helle has managed to ensure that the reader has a strong emotional connection with Freja, the main Protagonist. The story begins with
Jan 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book is written for an age group that I left a long time ago, and it does show. I do read, and often enjoy, children’s books, but I thought this was not as well-developed as it could have been. That being said, having grown up in this part of the world, books set in South East Asia tend to evoke a sense of nostalgia in me, and I did find it an enjoyable read to see the hungry ghost festival (something that I am very familiar with) from the eyes of a foreigner child.

The author did well in d
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this and cried. I'll come back with an actual review once I can think past *eeee*

Thank you to NetGalley and the Publishers for giving me this eARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I originally requested this for a readathon I was doing over Summer, but ran out of time to read it -- before (stupidly) getting my plots of multiple novels muddled up. This meant I put this off until I started my Believeathon tbr this month - and man am I glad I finally read this. This book is gorgeous
Victoria Williamson
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A must read family drama filled with atmosphere, suspense and mystery.
Freja's quest to discover the identity of the strange girl who haunts her when she arrives at her distant new home leads Freja to explore an eerie cemetery deep in the forest during the month of the Hungry Ghost. The lost girl's spirit will only find peace if Freja can help her remember her identity, which means using the cemetery portal to enter a dangerous world of mythical creatures and saving the forest from a magical red
Fabienne Schwizer
Oct 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
So, I just raced through The Hungry Ghost. I could not put it down. Although I found Freja’s character equally frustrating and endearing, her story is compelling, and the mystery around her and Ling is incredibly suspenseful. Freja is the kind of girl who doesn’t take no for an answer, is outdoor-savy, but still manages to navigate her way around Singapore decently well after growing up in Denmark. It just felt like she was doing too well in this very foreign environment while also adjusting to ...more
Jul 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-book
I love books that transport me to another place and The Hungry Ghost is just such a book. Singapore and its sights and sounds and smells and tastes is one of the main characters in this creepy mystery. At a time when travel is so restricted for so many, it was lovely to be imersed in somewhere that seems so exotic! The use of myth, folklore and tradition made the setting so vivid and alive and was one of the most enjoyable aspects of the story for me.
How how to describe this book? Its a story of
Aug 06, 2020 added it
Book #55 of the year was The Hungry Ghost, H.S.Norup’s second title for Pushkin Children’s, which is published in September. I adored her debut title, 2018’s The Missing Barbegazi so was very excited to begin this as soon as it arrived.

Set in Singapore, The Hungry Ghost is the story of Freja, a young girl who has moved from her native Denmark to live with her father and his new family for a year. An avid scout, Freja meets a spirit girl, Ling, in her explorations of the Bukit Brown cemetery, an
May 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I love stories involving multicultural settings and multicultural characters! This one ticks both boxes, as Freya is Danish-English and at the start of the story has moved to multicultural Singapore. One of my favourite moments in the book is when Freya stops herself from correcting a classmate's expression, remembering her friend is at least trilingual, which justifies the occasional mix-up. (I'm trilingual too and I can confirm it does.)
I was also intrigued about all the cultural aspects of th
Loris Owen
Mar 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful storytelling of the meeting of two cultures that swirl together and find their natural path again, like two great seas meeting. Danish tomboy Freja finds herself a reluctant new resident of the melting-pot city of Singapore during the month of the Hungry Ghost. Interweaved with the day-to-day discoveries she makes about the customs and people of this new country, an age-old legend transports her to another world, where unexpected allies befriend her and help to find compassion for he ...more
Pip Harry
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Freja is thrown into a puzzling ghost story when she arrives in Singapore to stay with her father during the annual Hungry Ghost Festival. Resourceful and curious, Freja finds herself haunted by a restless spirit and she won't rest until she figures out who the ghost is and why she's come to play.

My 10-year-old daughter and I both adored this thrilling, cleverly constructed tale, set in the steamy tropics of Singapore. The author weaves a compelling family mystery and captures the spiritual sid
Jun 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Firstly thank you the Pushkin press for allowing me a chance to read this book.

I was intrigued by the description of the book having not heard of the author previously.

This book is actually the second by this author and although it has the same characters as the first story, I was able to read it as a stand alone novel.

Having lived in the far East and visited Singapore, I was transported back to this fantastic part of the globe. The humidity, beautiful gardens and shrubbery and the genuinely am
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H. S. Norup is the author of The Missing Barbegazi, a Sunday Times Book of the Year in 2018.
Originally from Denmark, she has lived in six different countries and now resides in Switzerland with her husband and two teenage sons. She has a Master’s degree in Economics and Business Administration and sixteen years’ experience in corporate marketing strategy and communications.
When she’s not writing o

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