14/05/2010

The House With No Name by Pippa Goodhart - Barrington Stoke Book 16

On the surface The House With No Name by Pippa Goodhart is a simple ghost story, but underneath it deals with issues of bereavement, guilt, adoption and they love/hate tensions in families.

Jamie and his Dad arrive from the city to do-up their new house in country. From the start the house seems to have a personality of it's own. When they are visited by Colin, a mysterious boy with links to the house, it is clear the house has history.

Jamie and Colin become friends. After exploring the local area, they spend the night alone in the house. A classic haunted house plot develops into something quite different and unsettling. During their night in the house Colin says to Jamie "I know you don't believe in ghosts, but the ghosts believe in you". And pretty soon history catches up with Jamie and his family.

As I reread the book, I realised how many hints and clues are given early on. On the first read they just added drama to the story, on the second read it is clear a skilled author is at work building the story to an emotional climax.

I must also mention the artwork, which is not just illustrating they story but adding to it and moving it along. Like Luck by Alison Prince there is a dramatic double page spread that shifts the story into another gear. This is a technique that I had not seen before I started with the Barrington Stoke books, I love it!

1 comment:

Vickiehmdg said...

Delicatessen, 1991 - Not only intentionally left blank, but a French movie to boot.32. To see to it - No one however much you may love, he may not equate him to Allah Subhana Wa Taala. Watch as your little doggy becomes a superhero right before your eyes. This visual aid is one of my favorites in explaining Obamas insistence on following what is obviously a failed course of action.