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A beautiful, touching and magical book from the author of Lob.

Tomas wants to be like his father – strong, brave and fearless. Pappi is a mountain guide, often away from home. He has taught Tomas to love the mountains, but also to fear their dangers – the winds and blizzards, the treacherous paths, the giddying slopes.

Above all, Tomas fears the Brockenspectre – a huge, shadowy creature that lives alone in the heights, waiting for unwary climbers. Its looming figure haunts his thoughts and his dreams.

When Pappi goes out one day and fails to return, Tomas knows it’s up to him to search – up on the high mountain passes, where dangers await.

Will Tomas find his father . . . or will the Brockenspectre find him?


The narrative has a classic, fable-esque quality which is complimented by Pam Smy’s beautiful and atmospheric line drawings. Readers, young and old alike will take Tomas to their hearts and be eager to discover how his journey ends. The Brockenspectre is a small but perfectly formed hardback and will make a wonderful gift this Christmas season.

George Hanratty, We Love This Book

This is such a lovely story. It has the traditional feel of a fable but underlying it is Newbery's trademark honesty and compassion . . . As I write this review, we're in the run-up to Christmas and I can't think of a better choice for a gift for a child.

The Bookbag

Tomas' Pappi is a mountain guide – strong, brave and fearless; just the sort of person Tomas wants to be. Tomas knows about the dangers of the mountains and he fears the Brockenspectre the most; a huge, shadowy creature that lives alone in the mountains, preying on unwary climbers. When Pappi goes out one day and fails to return, Tomas knows he must set out in search - so he conquers his fears... and fins himself deep in a mystery as well asfinding who the Brockenspectre is. A haunting and memorable story.

Parents in Touch

Just right for readers growing used to enjoying a novel on their own . . . A novel with psychological complexities and with this shift come expectations of literal credibility . . . There's much for a thoughtful reader to discover and enjoy - perhaps about knowing yourself, about parents and their fallibilities, about the dialogue you can share with a place. Four stars

Books for Keeps

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    January 15, 2017


    192 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    November 6, 2014

    RHCP Digital

    192 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • iBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks

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