Book Review: The Night Gardener

16 Jul

9781419711442Let me start by saying, I am not a huge fan of scary things – I don’t like scary movies, haunted houses, or creepy books, but when this book kept popping up again and again, I knew I’d have to read it.  Irish siblings, Molly and Kip are in need of work and when they agree to work as servants at an English manor house, Molly couldn’t be more excited.  That is, until no one on their travels wants anything to do with that house, refuses to give the children directions, and warns them to stay away.  But, Molly and Kip have no choice and finally find the crumbling manor house on an island in the middle of the woods.  What follows is a creepy tale of a mysterious visitor – only seen at night and of a tree that seems to have a mind of its own.

I really liked the characters in this book.  Auxier does an amazing job of keeping them very realistic in a story that is spun with magical elements.  I can’t say I have a favorite, but each character has their own story with a background that makes each choice they make extremely believable.  And the setting was very well-written, I could imagine this huge manor house sitting neglected for so many years with a tree that has weaved itself into the very structure of the house.  Overall, this was a well-written story and creeped me out just the right amount!

As the inside front cover says, “A mesmerizing read and a testament to the magical power of storytelling, The Night Gardener is a spine-chilling fable in the tradition of Washington Irving and Edgar Allan Poe.”  This is right on point, the story lends itself to the familiarity of scary stories and fables from years ago, but is so intriguing, kids won’t want to put it down.  This is a great suggestion for kids looking for the next scary story, especially those who have already read Doll Bones.

Check out more about the author, Jonathan Auxier on his website!

Title: The Night Gardener
Author: Jonathan Auxier
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: 2014
Page Number: 345 pgs.

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