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Thursday's Child (Walker world fiction) [Paperback]

Sonya Hartnett
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Jan 2002 Walker world fiction
Now I would like to tell you about my brother, Tin. James Augustin Barnabas Flute, he was, born on a Thursday and so fated to his wanderings...During the long, hungry years of the Great Depression, Harper Flute's family struggles to cope with life on the hot, dusty land. Her younger brother Tin seeks refuge in the contrast of an ancient subterranean world. A world that nurtures but - as disturbing events in the community reveal - can also kill. A world that is silent, yet absorbs secrets. A world that has the power to change lives for ever. Young readers will find themselves both challenged and entertained by this sophisticated, entertaining new title from an internationally acclaimed author.

Product details

  • Paperback: 217 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Books Ltd (2 Jan 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0744559960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0744559965
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"* "Sonya Hartnett, the Australian author of slick, chilly psychological thrillers for teenagers, is at last being published in the UK." The Times Educational Supplement

About the Author

Sonja Hartnett's first book, Trouble All the Way, was written when she was just thirteen and published two years later. Since then she has gone on to write numerous successful novels, many of which have received awards in her native Australia, in particular Wilful Blue, which won an IBBY award in 1996 and was adapted for theatre. Thursday's Child is Sonja's first title to be published in the United Kingdom.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars unexpectedly involving 31 Mar 2007
I read another book by this author (What The Birds See) and I found the ending too upsetting for me, so I was apprehensive about reading this... but it was one of those books which is so beautifully written that you could read it simply for the taste of the words.

The characters seem real - they are very well crafted - and the plot is involving, too. It reads as an older style book: John Steinbeck, someone compared it to. I don't normally like that sort of thing - I get impatient or feel I can't really relate to it enough - but this was an unexpected jewel. And the ending was unexpected, though completely believable, and hopeful.

Give yourself a good couple of chapters to get into the style and pace of it, and then you will be gripped.

Try it.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Write the story she does 1 Dec 2002
The caving-in of the muddy banks near Harper Flute's home, burying alive her younger brother, sets the tone for this book. It's a life where the characters appear to be suffocating.

The young narrator watches her impoverished family continue to life in isolation while their neighbours move on. Her strange brother, Tin, burrows tunnels for himself underneath the house, to catastrophic effect. But his path echoes their father's self-imposed refuge; a retreat he beat away from his own Pa's bullying demands.

As the family's troubles worsen, Tin, attempts to leave them behind, literally carving out a new place in his interior world. Far from merely 'digging himself a hole', Tin's route is deliberate, becoming the dynamo at its centre. As a reader we're urged on; we need to know what will become of the Flute family. Despite the arid landscape that serves as its backdrop the prose is lyical and its climax expertly built.

Hartnett says there are those that accuse her work of being too old in its approach or bleak to qualify as children's literature. In her defense she says: "I do not really write for children: I write only for me, and for the few people I hope to please, and I write for the story".

And write the story she does, magnificently.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far to go 28 Jun 2010
This is my first taste of Sonya Hartnett's writing and her 11th novel (published in 2000) - no mean feat for a then 32 year old. Thursday's Child is set in rural Australia during the Great Depression although the environment is somewhat generic with little to identify it as antipodean apart from a few sundry references to plant life and some place names. However, this is, first and foremost, a novel about people rather than place.

The story is narrated by Harper Flute with the Thursday's Child of the title being her younger brother "Tin James Augustus Barnabas Flute, he was, born on a Thursday and so fated to his wanderings, but we called him Tin for short". Her other siblings are Caffy, her youngest brother and her older brother and sister, Devon and Audrey. Not only are the name choices quirky but so is the fact that Tin becomes a feral child living in a series of subterranean tunnels and that his parents barely bat an eyelid! As Tin merrily excavates his way underground, literally, his parents, meanwhile, stick their heads in metaphorical sand as they blithely go about life, barely eking out a living on their soldier settlement. The father, ex soldier,Court, knows nothing about farming and doesn't seem interested in learning so he hunts rabbits most of the time whilst his family and home degenerate around him. The mother doesn't contribute much either and it seems that Audrey and Harper are the mother figures here with Harper taking the most interest in Tin and his exploits.

This is a novel for Young Adults so I suppose the author can be forgiven for having a certain lack of depth to her characters but I feel it had so much potential as a novel for all ages.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book that flows 8 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I recently re-read this book, having first read it when I was 11. Some of the themes are probably too dark for an 11 year old, although the book is written in such a way that everything is told through the eyes of a child, and so nothing is explained in a way that is unsuitable.

The writing in this book flows beautifully, the words seem to roll off the tongue, and once you get a few chapters in you struggle to put the book down!
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