- Paperback: 213 pages
- Publisher: Sunburst Books; Reprint edition (8 Sept. 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0374408874
- ISBN-13: 978-0374408879
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.3 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,716,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Boy in the Burning House Paperback – 8 Sep 2003
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More About the Author
"Wynne-Jones builds an action-packed thriller around the mysterious disappearance of a Canadian farmer . . . His son, Jim, starts to suspect foul play . . . after a teenage acquaintance, "crazy" Ruth Rose, makes some startling accusations . . . Will keep the pages turning." "--Publishers Weekly" "Wynne-Jones weaves a strong, sensitively observed cast, plus themes of inner conflict, unlikely friendships, and the enduring power of hate, into a powerful tale."" --Kirkus Reviews" "A gripping, fast-moving plot that offers the pure adrenaline rush of a thriller." --Starred, "The Horn Book" --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Tim Wynne-Jones was born in Cheshire, but has lived in Canada since he was three, where he now has a considerable reputation and following. The Boy in the Burning House is the first of his books to be published in the UK. It has won the Crime Writers of Canada's Arthur Ellis Award and the prestigious 'Edgar' Trophy for the best mystery story of the year for young adults, voted for by the Mystery Writers of America. Tim has twice won the Canadian Library Assocation's Book of the Year for Children Award, as well as the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Jim Hawkins is trying to rebuild his life with his mother, after the disappearance of his father. Ruth Rose is the wild and seemingly mentally peculiar stepdaughter of a local preacher.Ruth thinks she knows the the truth behind Hub Hawkins' disappearance, and tries to convince Jim - much against his will - to believe her. Gradually, it emerges that this and another local mystery - the body of a local boy found in the burnt-out wreckage of a derelict farmhouse - are linked, and Father Fisher is not what he seems.
The characterisation in this taut tale is terrific, the author gets inside the teenage mind, and the story really sucks the reader in. I found it impossible to put down, and read it at one gulp. It is a story that gets darker as it moves on, and the climax, when Jim and Ruth Rose confront a truly dangerous and evil man, is satisfactorily frightening! The author writes in a style that I particularly admire - never wasting a word, or using half a page when one sentence will do.
This book will appeal to competent teenage readers, but I have never subscribed to the theory that a book is necessarily only good for readers of the same age as the main characters. As an adult reader I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The story revolves around a 14 year old loner named Jim, whose father disappears under mysterious circumstances, and is presumed to have committed suicide. While the boy and his mother struggle with the day to day challenges that inevitably result, the boy meets up with Ruth Rose, a very unusual and erratic teen, who believes her stepfather is a murderer. Jim doesn't want to get involved in Ruth Rose's rantings, but he can't help but get drawn into the mystery.
Although the subject matter deals with some very heavy topics, the author manages to inject some humorous moments and plenty of suspense, which keep the story from becoming too intense for youthful readers. I thought the author did a commendable job exploring the topics of mental health and social acceptance.
I would highly recommend this book for anyone 11 and over.
When Ruth Rose surprises Jim while he's taking down a beaver dam on his farm one day he thinks she's playing some sort of elaborate game on him. She has been spying on Jim and his mother for long enough to know both of their schedules. Freaky. Even freakier, Ruth-Rose insists that Jim's father, Hub, who's been missing for a year, is dead. And not just dead, murdered --- by Ruth Rose's step-father, Father Fisher, to be exact.
Jim doesn't want to believe Ruth Rose, but when the crazy-bad girl tells him about a fire that links Father and Hub, he begins to think that maybe Ruth Rose isn't completely insane in this case and that there may be a connection between the long-ago fire and his father's disappearance.
THE BOY IN THE BURNING HOUSE is a fast paced, thrilling ride that begins
quietly and builds intensity as the pages fly by. At its center, is Jim Hawkins, a completely average young guy who finds he can no longer place his faith in his knowledge of the world. And with only Ruth Rose to help him piece together all the mysteries, Jim feels as if he's gotten into something he can't control. He knows he must find the truth or he won't have a future.
Tim Wynne-Jones sets his tale in the most unlikely of places --- a quiet, isolated town in rural Ontario --- and plops the reader into boiling emotions and the swift moving currents of events both past and present. The result is a wild plot filled with suspense. The reader will be panting for breath as Jim gets caught up in a series of events he cannot fathom or control until the story ends!
--- Reviewed by Cassia Van Arsdale
By Tim Wynne-Jones
Two years after his father mysteriously disappeared, Jim Hawkins' life is leading toward uncertainty and grief. He then meats this moody, punky stepdaughter of Father Fisher. She was known as Ruth Rose. She shocks him by telling him that his stepfather is a murderer. Jim of course was in denial, but Ruth Rose asks him this question, and that was all to arouse Jim's suspicion. In spite of his fear, he wants Rose to tell him the truth. As Jim gets closer to the truth everyday, danger is also closing in. Jim then must decide if this is worth it. Should he risk his life and find out what happened to his father or should he keep a sacred memory?
Why I liked this book:
I'm not very used to reading books about killing. I never would have thought it would be crime. It has been a long time for me when I have read a crime book, and it just sounded good to me. The books I'm used to are all science fiction, and it really has good suspense like "Don't you want to know who he murdered?" or when somebody sprayed these words "Father killed Hub" in anger red. It's just like an entire new taste to me when I was reading that crazy scaring book.
My favorite part of the book:
It was really at the end when Jim was captured, and had to escape out a mysterious, maze-like cave. I had predicted that Jim would get out of course, and would be like those good ending books. One thing that aroused my attention though was the action in the air. It had so many turns I was confused, but I really liked it even though I had to read it twice. This book took the breath out of me!