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Chasing Ghosts

Chasing Ghosts

An Arctic Adventure

Francis Crozier, second-in-command to Sir John Franklin, is arctic-bound with HMS Erebus and Terror, in search of the fabled North-West Passage. In Derry, Ann and brother William are convinced that the spirit of their dead sister Weesy is haunting them. An enthralling novel based on real events.

Paperback: €8.99
Paperback: 320 pages
Size:196x130 mm
ISBN: 9781788490177

E-Book (ePub): €5.99
Also available as an E-Book (ePub)
ISBN: 9781788492003

Category: Historical Fiction

An enthralling novel of two intertwining stories based on real events in 19th century Ireland and the Canadian Arctic.

Two ships Arctic-bound, HMS Erebus and Terror, leave London in 1845, captained by the aging Sir John Franklin. How long they’ll be gone depends on the ice. Meanwhile, second-in-command, Francis Crozier, worries about their inexperienced crew.  

In Derry, little Weesy Coppin dies of a fever but, as far as her sister Ann and brother William are concerned, her spirit returns to haunt them. While an anxious world waits for news of the Artic explorers, the Coppin family try to understand what is going in their home. But, then, one night, all is revealed when the truth literally steps out of the shadows.

Nicola Pierce

Nicola Pierce published her first book for children, Spirit of the Titanic, to rave reviews and five printings within its first twelve months. City of Fate, her second book, transported the reader deep into the Russian city of Stalingrad during World War II. The novel was shortlisted for the Warwickshire School Library Service Award, 2014. Nicola went on to bring seventeenth-century Ireland vividly to life in Behind the Walls (2015), a rich emotional novel set in the besieged city of Derry in 1689, followed by Kings of the Boyne (2016), a moving and gritty account capturing the Battle of the Boyne (1690), which was shortlisted for the Library Association of Ireland (LAI) awards. In 2018 Nicola delved in to the true stories of the passengers, crew and the legacy of the fated ship Titanic, in her illustrated book of the same name. To read more about Nicola, go to her Facebook page, and on Twitter @NicolaPierce3.

eminently credible

Irish Examiner

eerily brilliant … vivid and gripping … engrossing … mesmerising … compelling … reading experience that mixes fact and fiction to shattering effect

Young Post/South China Morning Post

a gripping new tale by Nicola Pierce that follows two series of true events that unfolded thousands of miles apart yet are inextricably linked … Pierce creates a truly atmospheric depiction of Northern Ireland in the 1840s and the unforgiving, harsh emptiness of the freezing cold Arctic, deftly balancing the gravity of the sailors’ situation with scenes of childhood innocence and mischief. Through her portrayal of complex themes such as grief, family, love and friendship, Pierce brings new life to the story of Ann Coppins and the Franklin expedition, creating well-rounded fictional representations of real historical figures. This account of the fate of HMS Erebus and Terror is both educational and captivating. The author’s notes at the end of the novel are a fascinating insight into the sources that Pierce consulted when writing this novel. At times amusing, endearing and heartbreaking, this book is guaranteed to have the reader hungering for the next page 

Inis Magazine Joanna Geoghegan

a gripping tale … I would highly recommend this book

Ireland's Own Magazine

captivating novel … absolutely enthralling … Nicola Pierce brings history to life in this gripping, exciting, brutal, tragic, at times heart-wrenching, and very well-written novel … suitable for use with fifth and sixth classes

InTouch Magazine

the fictional narrative is driven by solid characters, strong dialogue and a swift narrative arc, weaving plotlines back and forth, and inviting readers on an emotional journey through hope and darkness … admirable

Celtic Life Magazine

another brilliantly written book [by Nicola Pierce] ... brings together two completely different stories … weaves them together really brilliantly

RTE Radio 1’s Sean O’Rourke show Elaina Ryan, CEO of Children's Books Ireland


NI 4 Kids Magazine

has much to recommend it. In both strands of her carefully constructed plot, strong characters shine through

Evening Echo

There are two stories to Nicola Pierce’s Chasing Ghosts ... The two narrative strands are equally vivid and gripping, and Pierce instils both with a matching sense of the totally prosaic (details of daily life) and the truly uncanny ... Pierce has a gift for putting young readers at the heart of important moments in history in books including City of Fate and Behind the Walls. While filled with the same inspiring sense of real life events, this seems also to be asking questions about truth, perception and the stories we want to believe

Books for Keeps

a compulsive tale for young readers … beautiful, poignant … Chasing Ghosts burns with a cold, fierce flame, telling an enthralling story of bravery, tragedy and grim determination … quietly and insidiously drawing the reader in until gripped, like ice trapping fast an unwary vessel .. will appeal to both girls and boys, not to mention teachers looking for a book that gives a springboard to useful learning … thrilling … riveting and compulsive, Chasing Ghosts is a book which only goes to enhance Nicola Pierce’s reputation as one of the best writers for young readers

Derry Journal, Lurgan Mail, Londonderry & Roe Valley Sentinel

a novel, for younger readers, which you won’t want to miss

Belfast Telegraph

Nicola Pierce returns with another eerie, haunting, sea-going historical fiction and it is stunning … the reader is taken on an intrepid and ill-fated mission filled with determination and mystery … gripping, wrapping us in the chilling blanket of never-ending cold and ice to labour on with the adventurers, praying for a heroic, positive outcome.  It calls us to suspend our disbelief and embrace the possibility of the other world. You may not want to believe any of this, but its' all there in history. Atmospheric, articulate and intelligent, wonderfully imaginative, impossibly true...this is historical fiction at its' very best

Fallen Star Stories

beautifully written … based on real events ... this is a gripping and fascinating story. Perfect for readers of any age with adventure in their hearts

Irish Independent

In 1845 HMS Erebus and Terror under the command of John Franklin and Francis Crozier set sail to discover the Northwest Passage across the Arctic. In 1849 in Derry a young girl dies of a fever, but her brother and sister are convinced she is still alive. As the story unfolds, the connection between these two seemingly unrelated events is revealed, and the heartbreaking true story of the ill-fated Franklin expedition is brought to life by one of Ireland’s finest historical authors for children.

Children's Books Ireland

Based on real events, this is a fascinating story about Arctic exploration, full of historical detail and populated with interesting characters. Perfect for readers with adventure in their hearts


Irish Independent

An eerie, haunting, sea-going historical fiction, the story is based on two events, separate, but forever linked in time. The reader is taken on the ill-fated mission to find the Northwest passage. A few years after their departure, the death of a little girl brings heartbreak to her family. Now, she has come back with a message from beyond the grave. Atmospheric, articulate, wonderfully imaginative and impossibly true

Fallen Star Stories

The master historical storyteller @NicolaPierce3. Her writing is sublime - effortless, gripping, as clear and cool as mountain water - she is a huge talent and everyone should buy her books for their children AND for themselves


I would recommend the book for age 10 and over

Evening Echo

Teaching Resources: free to view and download

Also by Nicola Pierce:

Spirit of the Titanic
City of Fate
Behind the Walls
Kings of the Boyne
O'Connell Street

Go to author page...

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