REMINDER: The East Brunswick Public Library is closed Sundays during the month of August.


Pam Smy
Book Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

About This Book

Parallel plotlines, one told in text and one in art, inform each other as a young girl unravels the mystery of a ghost next door.
Mary is an orphan at the Thornhill Institute for Children at the very moment that it's closing down for good. But when a bully goes too far, Mary's revenge will have a lasting effect on the bully, on Mary, and on Thornhill itself.

Years later, Ella moves to a new town where she has a perfect view of the dilapidated, abandoned Thornhill Institute. Determined to befriend the mysterious, evasive girl she sees there, Ella resolves to unravel Thornhill's history and uncover its secrets.

Ella's story is told through striking, bold art; Mary's is told through diary entries. Each informs the other until the two eventually intersect to reveal the truth behind Thornhill's shadowy past, once and for all. Strikingly told and masterfully illustrated, Pam Smy bends genres and expectations alike. 


Dennis Tsui


Good Twist on a Horror Stereotype

This book is great for all ages. It had creepy undertones without being scary or gory. The language was easy to read but had so much meaning and heart to it. The illustrations added so much to the story to make it complete. This book gives power to kids who are bullied to fight their “demons”. It also gives kids a perspective of how it is like to be bullied. My favorite was how it gave a spin to the “creepy girl with creepy dolls” horror stereotype, which plots like that of "Annabelle" put in a negative light. In the end of the day, it's a dreary, once in a while heartwarming, story about a child's loneliness. The diary format fit well to describe the plot as well.

Find Us on Our Social Media Platforms


You might like these books

Mariko Tamaki, Steve Pugh (Illustrator)
Suzanne Walker
Rainbow Rowell
Carly Usdin, Noah Hayes (Illustrator)
Raina Telgemeier