By Jonathan Auxier
AR level: 4.9
AR points: 12.0
Word count: 79,193
I suggest 4th through 8th grade.
It’s that time of year when we’re all ready for something a little spooky, right? Well, I’ve got a few scary ideas for you, but I definitely want to mention The Night Gardener.
This book has a seriously creepy vibe to it. It’s got a Victorian setting, which can always add to the sense of drama, but not so “historical” that youngsters who love more contemporary stuff will be put off. Instead, this is a deep tale with intense moments that can makes us sit on the edge of our seats but also think about what it means to want something very much, and what we’d give for that in return.
Here’s the description from B&N:
A New York Times bestseller, The Night Gardener is a Victorian ghost story with shades of Washington Irving and Henry James. More than just a spooky tale, it’s also a moral fable about human greed and the power of storytelling.
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