Book: The Light Jar (2019)
Author: Lisa Thompson
Genre: MG, Contemporary
Basic plot: Nate and his mum are running away from her scary boyfriend. They end up in the middle of nowhere at the cottage of an old friend who recently died. When the mum goes to get food, Nate discovers his old imaginary friend turns up. He hasn’t seen Sam in years. But Sam doesn’t seem to stick around when Nate finds Kitty, the girl who lives in the big house. Kitty’s on a treasure hunt and Nate decides to help her. But then she starts to get a little noisy about his situation and he isn’t sure who he can trust.
Opening lines from the book …
I love Mum’s tunnel-singing trick. She always did it when she drove us to Grandma’s for one of her Sunday lunches.
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK…
1) I found this book to be quite compelling. It had just enough mystery that I wanted to keep reading. Little by little, Nate’s situation is revealed.
2) Sam was an interesting character. He’s Nate’s old imaginary friend and becomes a literary device of sorts. It’s a way for us to get to know the events that led up to the escape from the crazy boyfriend Gary. And for Nate, it’s a good way for him to process the events he’s living.
3) I loved the treasure hunt. It’s an old game that was set up for Kitty’s aunt, who tragically died before she could follow all the clues. So, now it’s up to Kitty and Nate to figure things out. And there are hedge mazes involved. Who doesn’t love a hedge maze?
4) The place where Nate and his mum are hiding is a cottage on the property of an old estate in England. Since friend who used to live there has died, the place is in disrepair. Which, of course, makes for an interesting setting.
5) I did figure out one of the twists in the story. I suspected early on and so I wasn’t surprised. But there was another part of the twist that I did not guess, so that’s good. (No spoilers.)
6) This book talks about some tough subjects, but I felt it was done in a good way. It wasn’t too graphic, but it did show the danger of how domestic abuse (even if it’s just verbal/mental abuse) can develop. And how important it is for people like Nate and his mother to get out of that.
THINGS THAT BOTHERED ME…
1) The cheese scone. I’m not going to say much about it except, where did it come from?
I found this book quite compelling. The setting is great and so is the treasure hunt. Or rather, solving the clues was the fun part!
Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday…