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Set aside a special place for children to keep their own books.
Publisher: Greenwillow Books, Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers,
Material: hard cover
Summary: Jenny Liddy who is different from the rest of her family. While the other children are in school, Jenny spends her time in the fields near her house. She has friends in the field: Púka, a goat that can talk and change shape; and the ghost of a boy who has been guarding what he believes is keeping peace between the nature gods and the people on Earth. This book is an Irish fairy tale, a ghost story, and a tale of mystery all wrapped up in one volume. This young adult mystery/ghost story is set in Ireland.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, independent reading, family reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 10 to 12; read yourself: 12 and up
Young Reader Reaction: I love the way this book flows. You just want to keep reading. Even though I didn't read the prequel, I still understood and enjoyed this story. It has a great plot that keeps you guessing the whole way. The author describes the characters so you felt like you know them personally. Her descriptions of the scenes make the book easier to understand. There really isn't anything I don't like about the book, and I recommend it for kids ages 12 to 15. This book would make an excellent gift to a kid who likes fantasy books. I liked this book a lot and would definitely recommend it.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is an enjoyable and fun read. Kate Thompson, the author, lives on the west coast of Ireland and is steeped in the lore of her native land. She has written a delightful and enjoyable book. You'll meet ghosts, talking goats, and travel time warps. If that’s not enough to stop one’s heart from beating, scary, bizarre, and very peculiar characters will have the reader pulling the covers up over their heads from fright. Do you really want to be that scared?
Pros: This book is an excellent, well crafted, and engaging literary achievement. Pre-teens will enjoy the ghosts, fantasy elements, and a fear-factor to keep them reading.
Cons: This book is filled with Irish fairy tales, legends, and customs. For some non-Irish readers the vernacular will take some time to digest. To help that situation, the author has provided a glossary of terms.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a delightful and enjoyable book. The audience at whom this book is targeted is the adolescent reader. If one is looking for a book that will excite young readers, look no further, buy the book.
Educational Themes: Irish Folklore permeates the story. The readers for whom this book was written, young adolescents, have an innate interest in ghost stories, fairy tales, and folklore. Creative teachers and parents will find this to be a treasure trove of class discussion topics, creative writing assignments, and classroom theatre projects.
Notes: The Reading Tub read an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.
Literary Categories: Fiction - Young Adult, fantasy, mystery, ghost story