The Phantom Isles

Three friends discover a lost community of ghosts that once inhabited an island in the Indian Ocean.  These forgotten phantoms are pressed inside old books in a public library in Massachusetts where they were imprisoned years ago.  The children must free them from captivity, even as their middle-school teacher tries to ban books with unhappy endings. Helped by a courageous librarian and fascinated by the mythology of the Isle of Phantoms, where human beings and ghosts co-exist, the three friends uncover magical secrets of life and death.


This has the air of an old-fashioned adventure … an entertaining read.

– Kirkus Reviews

A memorable ghost story…lovers of atmospheric chills will embrace this tasteful bit of haunting.

– Publishers Weekly

The Phantom Isles is creative and visually appealing, with stories within stories and images of arora watermarked on its pages. Told from several points of view, including the spirits trapped within the pages of obscure texts, The Phantom Isles succeeds as an entertaining, informative and engaging novel.

– and

It’s the fun kind of scary book that is a great story for anyone. It also seems like just the kind of book that parents could read to their kids.


The Phantom Isles by Stephen Alter has what it takes to become a children’s classic, imbued with the type of found in other great children’s literature like the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling, or the books of Roald Dahl, like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and The Fantastic Mister Fox.


This unique story is sure to catch the attention of even the most skeptical and dismissive of readers … Completely engrossing and thoroughly satisfying right to the very last page.

– Through the Looking Glass Children’s Book Review