Tag: Richard Mitchley

The Haunting

The Haunting by Margaret Mahy (Atheneum, 1982); audiobook read by Richard Mitchley (Bolinda, 2015) A surprising, decidedly non-formulaic play on genre expectations. The speculative element remains secondary to what Mahy does best—which is to depict relatable child characters (usually of the unheralded variety) surviving and even flourishing in unromanticised, often broken or ‘found’ family settings.


Underrunners by Margaret Mahy (Viking, 1992); audiobook read by Richard Mitchley (Brilliance, 2017) Set in rural New Zealand, a down-to-earth middle-grade exploration of hope, disappointment and making the most of things; of using imagination as a coping mechanism yet still facing up to reality. Mahy plumps for realism and character development over clichéd happy endings.

Johnny and the Bomb

Johnny and the Bomb by Terry Pratchett (Doubleday, 1996); audiobook read by Richard Mitchley (BBC Audiobooks, 1997) Pratchett gifts middle-grade readers the perfect introduction to time travel, albeit that his mid-1990s ‘now’ is itself receding into history, in rapid pursuit of the Second World War ‘then’. Thought-provoking and wryly funny, with memorable characters and a rich vein of dialogue.  …

Johnny and the Dead

Johnny and the Dead by Terry Pratchett (Doubleday, 1993); audiobook read by Richard Mitchley (Chivers, 2001) Inspired by the real-life selling off of cemeteries in Westminister, Pratchett brings back middle-grade protagonist Johnny Maxwell (Only You Can Save Mankind) in this droll commentary on modern society (as it was in 1993) and earnest entreaty that history’s value be recognised.    

The Horribly Haunted School

The Horribly Haunted School by Margaret Mahy (Hamish Hamilton, 1997); audiobook read by Richard Mitchley (AudioGO, 2011) A short but fun and lively middle-grade story with happily dovetailing plot threads and larger-than-life characters for the intended audience (and also some light touches of droll absurdism for adult readers). Where the title is somewhat misleading, Mitchley’s audiobook reading is spot-on.  …