Book - 2017
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Parallel, interwoven stories set in different times, one told through intimate diary entries and the other through art, converge as a girl unravels the mystery of the abandoned building next door.
Publisher: New York : Roaring Brook Press, 2017
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9781626726543
Branch Call Number: YA FIC SMY
Characteristics: 533 p. :,ill. ;,22 cm.


From Library Staff

ReadingAdviser_Sally Nov 14, 2017

Absolutely stunning story. I love how the pictures had as much to do with the story as the journal entries. It was a very dark and sad story but superb. I highly recommend.

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Feb 09, 2018

Thornhill is listed as a recommended book for children which is inappropriate. It is 533 pages and clearly a book for teens.

Jan 11, 2018

Two lonely lives reach across time and space to form a bond, bringing comfort and friendship to two forgotten teens. Tormented and alone Mary finally reaches a point of no return. Life among her incredible creations is no longer enough. Her counterpart, Ella, discovers her diary and travels towards a meeting. Being able to have this accessible on-line as an ebook was a great advantage, the illustrations came across beautifully.

JCLChrisK Jan 02, 2018

An attractively dark package containing an alternating, linked pair of haunting stories, one text without pictures and one illustrations without words. Atmospheric and creepy.

AL_KATI Nov 27, 2017

I loved the mix of part novel plus part graphic novel because it really upped the creep factor. Awesome illustrations! I blew through reading this in one evening.

samcmar Nov 18, 2017

Thornhill is easily the creepiest middle grade book I've read. Hands down. It's a book that is spooky, unnerving, and heartbreaking. It's a story from two perspectives, Mary Baines who is writing a diary in 1982 while living in Thornhill Institute, and in present day we have Ella, who has moved next door to the historical site and becomes entranced by the idea of uncovering the mystery behind the building.

What makes this novel even more interesting is that Mary's sections are written as a diary, and Ella's are fully illustrated without dialogue. Mary's sections are difficult to read given they focus on her lack of friendship, her deeply rooted abandonment problems, and that she has been bullied her whole life. Her diary entries are dark and uncomfortable to read. You really feel for her even though towards the end of the book you see that her sanity and emotions are deteriorating. I really felt for her.

Meanwhile, Ella continues to see Mary from her window, which is why she becomes fascinated by Thornhill. She even breaks in the abandoned building because she is convinced she has seen a young girl from her window. She leaves Mary messages and gifts. She wants to befriend her. What I loved in Ella's sections is that Smy's illustrations do a great job of capturing the emotions and intent behind the story. You get a sense that Ella has empathy for Mary and wants to gain a sense of understanding so many years later. The art is mostly great, though it has some awkward moments as well.

Thornhill is a book that is very dark and comes from a deeply emotional place. It's not for reader's looking for a whimsy time, and that's where I'd recommend this to older middle grade readers who can understand concepts such as bullying and death. The ending hurts, and there's no other way to describe it. Pam Smy's Thornhill is a unique but difficult read. Reader's need to be in a particular headspace to really grasp how loaded this story truly is.

ReadingAdviser_Sally Nov 14, 2017

Absolutely stunning story. I love how the pictures had as much to do with the story as the journal entries. It was a very dark and sad story but superb. I highly recommend.

JCLJessecaB Jun 30, 2017

This graphic novel is a fun, spooky read with fantastic illustrations. I read it in one sitting (with all the lights on and with a cozy mug of tea, of course).

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