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Thornhill

Title:   Thornhill
Author:   Pam Smy
Series:   —
Recommended for:  older tweens and teens who like creepy books
Pages:   533 pages
Call Number/Link:   J FICTION SMY, P.

Rating:   ****

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Parallel plotlines set in different times, one told in text and one in art, inform each other as a young girl unravels the mystery of a ghost next door.

1982:  Mary is a lonely orphan at the Thornhill Institute for Children at the very moment that it’s shutting its doors.  When her few friends are all adopted or re-homed and she’s left to face a volatile bully alone, her revenge will have a lasting effect on the bully, on Mary and on Thornhill itself.

2016:  Ella has just moved to a new town where she knows no one.  From her room on the top floor of her new home, she has a perfect view of the dilapidated, abandoned Thornhill Institute across the way, where she glimpses a girl in the window.  Determined to befriend the girl, Ella resolves to unravel Thornhill’s shadowy past.

Comments:

Some colleagues were surprised that I chose to read this book since I don’t usually read creepy, scary books.

As it works out, I was less scared than horrified by the book.  I was really troubled by the cruelty of the bullying that the girl from the eighties experienced, and that the orphanage’s primary caregivers truly didn’t care.  The girl obviously needed psychological help, as did the bully.

I did not get a complete picture of the contemporary girl’s situation.  I could see that she and her father had moved to a new place where she didn’t have any friends.  Her mother isn’t with them and the father works so many hours that the girl is, for all intensive purposes, an abandoned child.

There was no way that this book could end well….

 

But now for the biggest mystery of all:  should we move to book to Teen Fiction or keep it in J Fiction?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by on September 24, 2017 in Historical, Historical, Horror, Juv, Scary, Teen

 

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Ms. Rapscott’s Girls

Ms. Rapscott's Girls cover

 

Title:   Ms. Rapscott’s Girls
Author:   Elise Primavera
Series:   —
Recommended for:  students in grades 3-5
Pages:   262 p.
Call Number/Link:   J FICTION PRIMAVERA, E.

Rating:  ***

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“At Great Rapscott School for Girls of Busy Parents, Ms. Rapscott teaches her students How to Get Lost on Purpose, resulting in a series of fantastical adventures that makes each learn a little something about courage, strength, bravery, and teamwork”– Provided by publisher.

Comments:

One day, ordinary girls of extraordinarily busy (or neglectful, to be more frank) found themselves arriving at Great Rapscott School for Girls of Busy Parents via large cardboard boxes floating in the air.  This was their first sign that this was not an ordinary school.  Instead of using textbooks to learn academic subjects, they went on adventures to try to find the classmate whose box got lost on the way to the school.  Since the girls had been ignored most of their childhood, they needed to learn about basic things like wishbones, birthday cakes, thank you notes and the difference between tall kitchen bags and heavy duty trash bags.  My favorite part of the experience would have been getting to eat birthday cake regularly.

It’s a pleasant enough book, but it didn’t grab me.  I was able to put the book down after one chapter then not read it again for a week or two, when I read another chapter.  I had to force myself to finish it.  I gave it three stars instead of two, because I felt like I should have enjoyed it more.

I think girls would be more interested in this book than boys, since the teacher and students are all girls (except for the teacher’s two corgies).  There are some boys near the end of the book, but I think boys would have given up reading the book by then.

 

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2016 in Adventure, Fantasy, Juv

 

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