By: Catherine Jinks
Published: February 2013
ISBN: 9781743313060


Monsters have been infesting London's dark places for centuries, eating every child who gets too close. That's why ten-year-old Birdie McAdam works for Alfred Bunce, the bogler. With her beautiful voice and dainty looks, Birdie is the bait that draws bogles from their lairs so that Alfred can kill them.

One life-changing day, Alfred and Birdie are approached by two very different women. Sarah Pickles runs a local gang of pickpockets, three of whom have disappeared. Edith Eames is an educated lady who's studying the mythical beasts of English folklore. Both of them threaten the only life that Birdie's ever known. But Birdie soon realises she needs Miss Eames' help to save her master, defeat Sarah Pickles, and vanquish an altogether nastier villain.

Catherine Jinks, one of Australia's most inventive writers, has created a fast-paced and enthralling adventure story with edge-of-your-seat excitement and chills.


Set in Victorian London and with a certain Dickensian feel, our novel stars ten-year-old Birdie, a 'boglers' girl.

A bogle is a ghost of sorts that come in many shapes and sizes and lurk in various, but always dark, hiding places, and it is Birdie's job to lure the bogles out with her beautiful singing so that her master can kill them with his spear.

We gain a tremendous insight into life in this period, where class structures and divisions will seem unusual to your students. There are lots of accents and slang to contend with which adds to the storyline and the included glossary should provide a great help translating.

With pickpockets, a devious doctor and some truly scary scenes, this is a marvellous novel for 9 - 12 year old avid readers.

This book was included in our February 2013 Primary Fiction Standing Order selection.

Reviewed by Rob