Friday, January 12, 2018

ReadItDaddy's Chapter Book of the Week - Week Ending 12th January 2018 - "The Light Jar" by Lisa Thompson, cover illustration by Mike Lowery (Scholastic)

Our Chapter Book of the Week this week finds us once again held in thrall by the imagination of one of 2017's most awesome breakout writers...
Lisa Thompson's "The Goldfish Boy" wowed our socks off with a tense and tautly written tale of a 12 year old boy with OCD.

Lisa turns her lantern light on another character placed in an unfortunate situation through no fault of their own.

In "The Light Jar" we meet Nate, a kid with a secret, who is forced to hide out and take refuge in a tumbledown cottage in the middle of a forest - with only his mum for company.

Nate's world is tipped upside down when mum mysteriously disappears while out searching for provisions.

Nate is left alone and afraid, with the dark closing in all around him.

Then there's a faint light of hope - Nate is discovered by a mysterious young girl who is embroiled in a treasure hunt. There's also the welcome reappearance of a friend from Nate's past.

Slowly but surely, despite mum's absence Nate starts to feel like there may be hope in the darkness after all.

Lisa's writing has an electrifying effect on us as I'm sure it does on many readers. She has an amazing gift for taking a relatively simple premise and making it buzz with magic, anticipation and nail-biting page-turning addictiveness, mostly through her exploration of what it's like to be a child dealing with the hopes and fears of the past, present and future, of relationships, friendships and all that 'growing up' stuff.

We've often described books like this as being like therapy, removing us from the world for long enough to revel in a story that wraps itself around us like a warm blanket.

Something tells me this one's going to prove to be hugely popular, just as "The Goldfish Boy" was.

"The Light Jar" by Lisa Thompson (with cover by Mike Lowery) is out now, published by Scholastic (kindly supplied for review). 

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