Monday, March 30, 2020

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

I've found myself struggling to focus on reading during the shelter in place. I hope the rest of you are enjoying reading. Stay home and stay safe.

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier was published in 2014. I enjoyed this, just right for middle grade, scary story about two Irish children seeking a place to live. They find employment at an old English manor house. This house has a strange tree growing from the side of it, and the tree is a bit more spooky than they realize. 

I liked the relationship between Molly and Kip. I also liked their relationship with the children of the manor. The magic of the tree was interesting. I liked the theme of storytelling that went all through the story. If you have a middle grade child who enjoys being scared, they will enjoy this story.

Quotes I liked: 

"Doctor Crouch was the sort who needed to be right about everything. You could tell him his head was on fire, and he tell you why you were wrong, even as he burned" (238).

"What's a storyteller but someone who asks folks to believe in impossible things" (267).

"Hester asked me what the difference between a story and a lie was. At the time I told her that a story helps folks. 'Helps 'em do what?' she asked. Well, I  think I know the answer. A story helps folks face the world, even when it frightens 'em. And a lie does the opposite. It helps you hide" (278).

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

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