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Saturday, April 23, 2016
The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier
Molly and Kip are siblings traveling from Ireland in order to find work. After leaving (or escaping as Molly knows it) the two set off across the English countryside in order to find work as servants. They find work in the home of the Windsors. As they approach their new home the feel something isn't quite right. The townspeople of have worn them numerous times to turn around and find work elsewhere. Not knowing if there is anything else the two head into the 'sourwoods' and arrive in front of a crumbling estate that is intertwined with a massive black tree. Work begins and the two feel there is hope on the horizon. This hope dwindles as Molly drifts off to sleep in her basement bedroom and hears a "thump, thump, thump" coming from above...
The Night Gardener is a great scary story for those readers that aren't too sure about scary stories (aka me). The book is set in a great time period, the late 1800's. It's a time of horse drawn carriages, when story tellers are still popular (remember there are no television sets), and dark mystery. Auxier does a great job of mixing these elements in throughout the story (Molly even asks the family's doctor about using leeches at one point). He has also created an amazing set of siblings that show such devotion and courage towards one another. I hope that my siblings may look to me as Kip looks up to Molly. This scary (but not too scary) book is located in the Tween section. If you are brave enough to give The Night Gardener a try you'll be lucky enough to notice that Oxford's copy has been signed by the author!