Well, I guess I can’t blame my reaction to this one on an irrational fear of clowns. There are no clowns of any kind in Thornhill, although there appear to be quite a lot of puppets, which in the right light might look creepy. Who is this girl with the diary, and why has it just been sitting around on a ledge for 35 years? Who is this awful child tormenting her? Have the adults in this book had absolutely no training for working with troubled children although it appears to be their line of work? Really?
There is much to find troubling in this book. It is riveting and scary and frightening, and you feel one girl’s fear of the THUMP THUMP THUMP intensely. Frankly, I don’t even know why I read it after seeing the four words above — lonely ghostly derelict mystery — on the back of it, since I am a complete scaredy-cat. Could I not pick out that it might be a little on the dark and creepy side of things?
However, two things made me read on: my love of The Graveyard Book (Neil Gaiman) and my love of Brian Selznick’s work. This book has a combination of illustrations and text, like Brian Selznick’s work, and it is also a kind of gripping scary, like The Graveyard Book.
I found the ending very unsettling, and I’m not sure I can say I loved the book, because I am still a little freaked out by it. But for readers who love ghost stories and chilling evil sorts of things – go for it! It’s incredibly well-written and plotted, and you certainly won’t forget it soon. And the puppets are not creepy at all.
Thornhill by Pam Smy