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Thursday's Child Paperback – 1 Sep 2003

4.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Paperback, 1 Sep 2003
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Product details

  • Paperback: 261 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA); Reprint edition (Sept. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763622036
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763622039
  • Product Dimensions: 12.1 x 1.9 x 17.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,951,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Sonya Hartnett, the Australian author of slick, chilly psychological thrillers for teenagers, is at last being published in the UK." --The Times Educational Supplement --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A beautiful and complex coming-of-age story." (Booklist)

"Dark, unusual, familiar and slightly miraculous." (Kirkus Reviews)

"A unique and fascinating experience." (School Library Journal) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was recommended by my Tutor - I am studying Creative Writing - as part of my homework. It is a realistic portrayal of spartan times and the knocks and trials of family life post First World War.

The twist is the brother, Tin, of the narrator who has a talent for digging. This book is strange, harsh, bleak and wonderfully descriptive. I would recommend this book for adult as much as children - I have already put my nephews onto it - it is a beautifully written depiction of family life, realistically posed, accepting of family faults etc and wonderfully observed. The twist becomes just part of the story - it's only when you come to explain it to others and see their frowns do you think that Tin and his digging is odd - that's the magic of the book.
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Format: Paperback
"Thursday's Child" by Sonya Hartnett, has exceeded in exporting a stunning debut novel. I like to read some of the finest exponents of children's fiction today, ie writers like Phillip Pullman and David Almond and the writing here is every bit as mesmerising. The narrator is a young girl who lives with her family in a poor, arid landscape, based in the writer's own country of Australia. The story centres around the family's relationships with each other, not least, Tin, a younger brother. Like the old nursery rhyme Tin is a 'Thursday's Child', who has "far to go", pre-destined to roam. But Tin's wanderings take him underneath the earth, into the subterranean tunnels he digs for himself. A poignant story, rich in lyrical prose, it succeeds in drawing out the essence of the main characters and their conflict within themselves and their landscape. There is a dynamo at its core, urging you on so that like Tin, you are forced into a world you have no desire to be released from. You care what will happen to each of them and tears of your own are not very far away. The climax was justly satisying and the whole experience will stay with me for some time.
Melanie Waterfield, Kent, England
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