Creature of the Night

Cover

Title: Creature of the Night

Author: Kate Thompson

Summary: There is no way that 14 year-old Bobby is staying in the rundown, middle-of-nowhere house his mom has rented for them in rural western Ireland. All he can think about is getting back to Dublin, his friends, and the real action – drinking, drugs, racing stolen cars. He doesn’t care about the moneylenders hounding his mom’s family in the city, or that his little brother is sneaking down to the kitchen late at night to leave snacks for a ‘little woman’ that only he can see.

Bobby seems to make one bad decision after another – resulting in his having to do back-breaking farm chores for his landlord, Mr. Dooley, and his family. It is from them that he learns about the history of the house he lives in – and it isn’t good. Is the house built on a dangerous fairy path, like Grandma Dooley says? Or haunted by the ghost of a young girl murdered by her parents? Or is it something else?  Is there truly a creature that inhabits their house or is the only real darkness in Bobby’s heart? The answer will surprise you.

Who will like this book?: People who like slow-building thrillers and stories that are scary because of what is left unsaid (as opposed to spelling it all out for you.) Readers who like a little mystery in their fantasy, and vice versa, or are interested in folklore and mythology.

If you like this, try this: The New Policeman and Last of the High Kings, also by Kate Thompson. Lament by Maggie Steifvater. Solace of the Road by Siobhan Dowd. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian

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Bog Child

Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd

Title: Bog Child

Author: Siobhan Dowd

Summary: Fergus McCann is living in troubled times. At sixteen, he is preparing for his college entrance exams, which he hopes will take him from his small border village in Northern Ireland to Aberdeen for medical school. Life at home has become more and more stressful since his brother was sent to jail for working with the IRA. Fergus takes solace in his early morning runs through the mountains and conversations with his peaceful uncle Tally. It is when cutting turf for fuel one morning with Tally that Fergus makes an incredible discovery: A tiny body buried in the peat. Who is this bog child?

This pitch-perfect historical novel addresses not only the political turmoil of Northern Ireland in the 1980s, but also first love, loyalty, sacrifice and forgiveness. It opens a window to a not-so-distant time, and has moments of sparkling humor as well as tragedy. The troubled history of his land are magnified by the story of the bog child, revealed through flashbacks. In the end, Fergus must come to terms with the chaos all around him, decide what he wants his life to be, and discover his place in the world.

Who will like this book?: Anyone looking for a great historical novel, or coming of age story. I truly cannot think of anyone who would not enjoy this unforgettable book.

If you like this, try this: A Swift Pure Cry, also by Dowd. For more on Ireland in the Iron Age, read Hush by Donna Jo Napoli. For older teens looking for information about the hunger strikers, try Nothing But an Unfinished Song by Dennis O’Hearn.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian