WINNER OF THE SALFORD BOOK AWARD
WINNER OF THE CALDERDALE BOOK AWARD
WINNER OF THE VIRGINIA READER'S CHOICE AWARD
SHORTLISTED FOR THE RHODE ISLAND TEEN BOOK AWARD
SHORTLISTED FOR THE TEXAS LONESTAR AWARD
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...
CLIFF MCNISH INTRODUCES HIS AWARD WINNING GHOST STORY BREATHE
READ AN EXCERPT FROM BREATHE
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A DISCUSSION MODULE ON BREATHE BY THE RHODE ISLAND TEEN BOOK AWARD
My wife said, "Why don't you write a proper, scary story for a change? A ghost story?"
My wife said to me one day, “You’re always writing these dark and scary fantasies. Why don’t you write a proper scary story for a change — a ghost story?”
I didn't think much about it at the time, but the idea must have lodged somewhere in my head because I started to talk to young people about ghost stories, and I soon realized two things: first, that everyone loves a real, true frightener of a ghost story; and second, that hardly any of them could name a single novel-length ghost story of any substance.
So I started to think a bit more about this, and pretty soon the image of Isabella came into my mind: an ill girl, stuck in a chair, barely able even to move any longer, but somehow holding onto life. The rest of the story flowed from that eerie image.
This is a very different book from my other novels. It has a more realistic setting for a start. Plus I had to do plenty of historical research to get the feel of the ghosts right. The whole novel was intriguing to work on, but perhaps I had most enjoyment when I donned my pure fantasy hat again to create the desolation of the Nightmare Passage. I’ll let you find out about that for yourself...
Read more about Breathe on the excellent Just Imagine Story Centre website.
CLIFF MCNISH IN CONVERSATION WITH AUTHOR AND CRITIC PHILIP ARDAGH ABOUT BREATHE
A true ghost story — the kind that lays its cold fingers on you, grips tight and doesn't let go even when the last page has been turned - Wonderfully spine-chilling.
Such is McNish's skill that when you read of the young hero Jack's asthma attacks, you'll find your own breathing feels constricted. He evokes the same empathy when dealing with the ghosts who haunt Jack, taking us into the realms of inventiveness that are his trademark. Breathtaking. The Guardian
An intense supernatural story that haunts the reader. The Funday Times
Just the thing for adolescents in search of something engagingly horrible ... startling.
Scary, disturbing and intense, a thoroughbred amongst haunted house tales. SFX
Jack's susceptibility to frightening asthma attacks matches the consumptive sufferings of a long dead girl - readers aged ten and above with be gripped and spooked. The Times Educational Supplement
Breathe is a brilliantly inventive ghost story, compellingly written. It is spine-chilling, disturbing and truly frightening. A real page turner. Booktrust
An astoundingly creative story, with some truly scary moments ... the remarkable way in which Mcnish develops the theme of breathing, including an acutely well-drawn represntation of Jack's chronic asthma, and you find yourself with a multi-layered story that will genuinely unnerve the reader, in a way so many ghost stories fail to do. Books for Keeps
A genuinely spooky ghost story that leaves you breathless. First News
This is a tautly-written psychological thriller. A genuinely spooky story; the kind you read at arm's length, neck prickling and with the lights on. School library Association
Nothing is as simple as it seems until the very last explosive climax. A brilliant winter warmer. Insight
A terrifyingly well-written and disturbing story — the ending is moving testament to the transforming power of love. Undercover
If you're after a seriously spooky story, this is the one for you — a truly terrifying tale. TBK
This title is pure, traditional ghost story. It sets out to chill and it does ... a suspenseful page-turner ... a spine-tingler. Achuka
Gripping in its claustrophobic intensity ... An irresistable page-turner. Carousel
You shouldn't really read this before you go to sleep. The Independent on Sunday
A brilliant ghost story — the descriptions are wonderfully vivid. Dunmow Observer