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Month in review

Reviews
Bat and the Waiting Game by Elana K. Arnold
The Bicycle Spy by Yona Zeldis McDonough
Bloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli by Kyo Maclear and Julie Morstad
Canada and the Canadian Question by Goldwin Smith
Dear Mrs Bird by A.J. Pearce
Don't Cosplay with My Heart by Cecil Castellucci
Flo by Kyo Maclear and Jay Fleck
A Friendly Town That's Almost Always by the Ocean! by Kir Fox and M. Shelley Coats
Locke & Key, Volume 3: Crown of Shadows by Joe Hill
The Mad Apprentice by Django Wexler
March: Book Two by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
The Mushroom Fan Club by Elise Gravel
My Little Pony: Micro-Series: #2: Rainbow Dash by Ryan K. Lindsay
My Little Pony: Micro-Series: #5: Pinkie Pie by Ted Anderson
The Night Garden by Polly Horvath
Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf
Ratscalibur by Josh Lieb
Rhymoceros by Janik Coat
Secret at Mystic Lake by Carolyn Keene
Slider by Pete Hautman
Soupy Leaves Home by Cecil Castellucci
Sunny by Jason Reynolds
This is Paris by Miroslav Sasek
The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones by Will Mabbitt
The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant

Miscellaneous
April 2018 sources
April 2018 summary
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (May 07)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (May 14) Reading Current

Road Essays
Getting there: it's the road, stupid
In the upside-down: the hobo life in Oz
Re-Mapping the road narrative project
Small towns and out of the way places

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish


The Night Garden: 05/08/18

The Night Garden

The Night Garden by Polly Horvath is set during WWII, near Beechey Head on Vancouver Island. It's a rural, small town area, that at the time was mostly of interest to the Canadian military as they needed to keep the coast safe from invasion.

Among the full time residents is a girl Franny and her adoptive parents. They've taken in a pair of children whose mother has gone after their father when she realizes he's about to do something fundamentally stupid. Their father is an airplane mechanic on a top secret Canadian airplane.

Franny's family takes in these children and hires a less than stellar cook (who likes to do fortune telling on the side). They can because they're living in an old house that was once a mansion or a hotel or something. It's large enough to have tennis courts as well as numerous themed gardens. I'm picturing a slightly smaller scale Butchart Gardens but with a view of the Juan de Fuca strait.

One garden in particular is the Night Garden. It is off limits to everyone save Old Tom (Franny's adoptive father) and the hermit who comes to garden it. It is said to have the power to grant wishes. Old Tom and Sina don't want the children wasting a wish or making one in haste as wishes can't be unwished.

That is the set up to a quiet adventure involving ghosts, the military, a UFO, and wish-making. The tone of the book is somewhat like Mary Norton's The Magic Bedknob (1943) and Bonfires and Broomsticks (1943) which collectively inspired the film Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

Five stars

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