Tuesday, August 22, 2017


In the present, Ella has just moved into a new home following her mother's death.  Her father is always at work, so Ella is left alone to explore her surroundings including a large dilapidated house nearby.  The house is boarded up, but Ella sees a light and a figure in the attic window.

In 1982, Mary is one of a handful of girls in foster care living in Thornhill.  The other girls seem to get along fairly well probably because they follow the whims of the resident bully.  Mary is the outcast.  Her shy and quiet ways coupled with her puppet making hobby make her the main target for physical and psychological bullying.

The two girls are connected by loneliness, living more than 30 years apart.

Amy Smy's book is told in two different time periods and formats.  Ella's story is told almost exclusively in illustrations-the only text coming from documents in the illustrations, and Mary's story is told through journal entries.  This book is an interesting mix of moods and emotions.  Mary's experiences in Thornhill are profoundly sad and, unfortunately, may mirror those of other children who fall through the cracks.  But this book is also a creepy ghost story that will leave readers with just the right amount of uneasiness.

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