Thornhill by Pam Smy
Synopsis: ‘As she unpacks in her new bedroom, Ella is irresistibly drawn to the big old house that she can see out of her window.
Surrounded by overgrown gardens, barbed wire fences and ‘keep out’ signs, it looks derelict.
But that night, a light goes on in one of the windows. And the next day she sees a girl in the grounds.
Ella is hooked. The house has a story to tell. She is sure of it.
Enter Thornhill, Institute for Children, and discover the dark secrets that lie within. But once inside, will you ever leave?’
What a fascinating way to tell a tale. This book is set in two different time periods; one in 1982 and the other present time, 2017. The prose is set in 1982 and tells the sad and disturbing tale of Mary, an orphan living at Thornhill a home for abandoned girls. Alternatively is the story of Ella, set in 2017 and living with a mostly absent father and her tale is told by black and white illustrations.
Mary’s story is haunting as she is mercilessly bullied. As a reader you want to jump in and point out all the wrongs to the adults. How can they be so blind? Why doesn’t someone help her?
Ella is fascinated with the old spooky house next door and decides to uncover the imposing building secrets.
This is a chilling story, made even more haunting by the alternate style of pictures and prose.
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