The Night Gardener follows two abandoned Irish siblings who travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. Read more...
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.
Praise for The Night Gardener
"Lots of creepiness, memorable characters, a worthy message, Auxier's atmospheric drawings and touches of humor amid the horror make this cautionary tale one readers will not soon forget."
--Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Storytelling and the secret desires of the heart wind together in this atmospheric novel that doubles as a ghost tale."
--School Library Journal, starred review
"Auxier achieves an ideal mix of adventure and horror, offering all of it in elegant, atmospheric language that forces the reader to slow down a bit and revel in both the high-quality plot and the storytelling itself."
--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"All proper scary stories require a spooky, menacing atmosphere, and Auxier (Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes) delivers the goods with his precise descriptions of the gothic setting and teasing hints of mystery and suspense."
--The Horn Book Magazine
Summer 2014 Kids' Indie Next List
- ISBN-13: 9781419711442
- ISBN-10: 141971144X
- Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
- Publish Date: May 2014
- Page Count: 350
- Reading Level: Ages 8-12
- Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.7 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.15 pounds
Unearthing spooky secrets in the garden
From the title of Jonathan Auxier’s fascinating, original (and more than a little creepy) version of a Victorian ghost story, one might suppose that The Night Gardener is, like The Secret Garden, a sweet, perhaps a bit sentimental, coming-of-age story. And while the novel does share some elements with the classic tale, including orphans (Molly and her little brother Kip); a creepy mansion; spoiled children (Penny and Alistair Windsor); and somewhat magical growing things, The Night Gardener is decidedly darker—in the most delicious and delightful way.
When Irish orphans Molly and Kip arrive to work at the Windsor estate, they find a family out of sorts, a father in financial trouble, curious muddy footprints and, of course, a mysterious room at the heart of the house. As Molly and Kip seek to free the Windsors and themselves from the malevolent presence that stalks the family, they find unexpected sources of courage and allies, including an old storyteller.
This is exactly the sort of scary, spooky story kids love.
Deborah Hopkinson lives near Portland, Oregon. Her most recent book for young readers is The Great Trouble.