Thursday, February 21, 2019

The Light Jar

Thompson, Lisa. The Light Jar 
February 26th 2019 by Scholastic Press
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Nate and his mother leave their home in the middle of the night to get away from Gary, an emotionally abusive boyfriend. At first, Nate thinks that they are going to stay with his grandmother, but she and his mother are not on great terms. The two end up in a very run down cottage belonging to a deceased friend of the grandmother's, far off in the woods. Nate settles in, and his mother goes to get some groceries. It takes her longer than he expects, and the imaginary friend from his childhood, Sam, shows up and is rather helpful. He also meets Kitty, who lives in a the large manor house on the property. Kitty is trying to solve a treasure map that her aunt was not able to solve because she had a fatal asthma attack as a child. Nate's concern over his mother grows as the time passes, but he talks to Sam about his life with his father (who left when he was small) and Gary. He also helps Kitty with the search for the treasure, and manages to feed and warm himself in the chilly cottage. Just when Nate's worry motivates him to go to contact his grandmother, secrets about his own life and Kitty's emerge, and he is able to save the day.
Strengths: This had some very intriguing moments. It has the abusive step parent so prevalent in British tween literature, which my students find fascinating, but also has abandonment in a cottage, a historical secret, and an interesting take on imaginary friends. I'm not usually a fan, but Sam really worked well in this novel. Kitty's plight had deeper and deeper layers, and I don't want to ruin the fantastic twist at the ending. The happy ending also had a lot of supportive family. Really enjoyed this one!
Weaknesses: A few slow bits with Kitty's family mystery and with Sam, but I think that the way this starts, coupled with the nicely creepy cover, will entice students to pick it up and move them quickly through it.
What I really think: Definitely purchasing and think it will do well with readers who like Currie's The House of Shady Street, Oh's Spirit Hunters, and Hahn's The Girl in the Locked Room.

1 comment:

  1. Oooh, gorgeous cover! And the story sounds intriguing (in fact, you said it was intriguing! Consider me intrigued!)