The Night Gardener

 
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Amulet 2014

From Harry Abrams:

A New York Times bestseller, The Night Gardener is a Victorian ghost story with shades of Washington Irving and Henry James. More than just a spooky tale, it’s also a moral fable about human greed and the power of storytelling.

The Night Gardener follows two abandoned Irish siblings who travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious spectre and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives. With Auxier’s exquisite command of language, The Night Gardener is a mesmerizing read and a classic in the making.

978-1419715310 Grades 5-8 380 pages *******

Molly and Kip are a pair of orphans whose parents have been lost at sea. But only Molly knows the truth and she is determined to keep her brother's hopes alives that they will return. Kip is lame and has enough to deal with in their world. Molly makes a deal with an old woman that leads the pair into the home of the Windsor family. Molly and Kip agree to work for the family and little by little the secrets of not only the family but the house itself reveal themselves. The house is built around a tree. Molly wakes in the night to discover that the tree comes alive in the darkness and offers to make dreams come true. Slowly she comes to understand that members of the family have made their own deals with the darkness in this tree and are now paying the price. The family guards the house and the secret of the tree making room for few friends and a small trickle of visitors who have their own nefarious purposes. Molly and Kip seem to be facing dangers from the bullying behavior of the family but as days pass and they discover the power and temptation so close at hand they begin to understand that there is an even greater danger that might destroy them all.

Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com

Tone: Dark, creepy, sad, a touch of horror Pacing: Moderate More character driven than action packed

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