This week, I went back to more SilverBirch Reading. My count is now six books read (four more fiction to go and ten non-fiction).
My focus on the subway was The Night Gardener. As much as I liked this book, which I was reading on an ereader, I kept thinking it was taking me a long time to get to the ending. Not until I got to part three did I realize the slow boil the author, Jonathan Auxier. He has created an atmospheric story, set during the Victorian era. I was reminded of The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett) as Molly and her brother, Kip, enter the Windsor’ family’s home, you have a feeling of dread.
This book gets creepier and creepier as the story enters the garden of your mind and the roots take hold of your imagination. What would you want most in the world? Would you be willing to live with the nightmares this want brings you?
Stories are woven through the story as the reader needs to figure out, with Molly, the difference between a story and a lie. Any student who loves scary stories would love this tale. It takes time but the ending is worth all the time it takes to read this book. Perseverance is key as you find yourself learning about yourself as you learn about the characters.
If you go to Mr. Auxier’s website, you can actually see and hear the music that inspired him throughout the writing of this story. Most importantly, he writes in his author’s notes about the many books that inspired him. As an adult, it was amazing to see many authors and book titles on the list that crept into my mind as I was reading his book. For children, they have lots of books to look forward to reading.
On a different note, I read a picture book, I would like to recognize this week too…
The Right Word by Jen Bryant is one of the best picture book
biographies I have read in a long time. As a child, I would have returned to this book to pore over the pictures to find new clues and ideas to how Mr. Roget created his special thesaurus. I owned a thesaurus when I was a child but a Roget Thesaurus would be a true gift with this book. An amazing tale of a thoughtful person. The right word for this book is: #inspiringwords! (only in Twitterverse world could this word exist).
The book trailer for The Right Word: