The Boy in the Burning House (New Longman Literature 11-14)

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9781405843102: The Boy in the Burning House (New Longman Literature 11-14)
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Arthur Ellis Award Winner
Edgar Award Nominee

Two years after his father's mysterious disappearance, Jim Hawkins is barely coping. Inside, he's frozen in uncertainty and grief. Then he meets Ruth Rose, the punky, bad-girl stepdaughter of Jim's father's childhood friend, the town pastor. Ruth shocks Jim when she calls Father Fisher a murderer.

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Product Description:

FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. Trying to solve the mystery of his father's disappearance from their rural Canadian community, 14-year-old Jim gets help from the disturbed Ruth Rose, who suspects her stepfather, a local pastor.

Review:

From its opening scene, in which a teenage girl overhears her stepfather's creepy confessions, to its terrifying conclusion in a deserted mine shaft, Tim Wynne-Jones's The Boy in the Burning House has the magnetic energy of a well-crafted made-for-television thriller, without pausing for commercial breaks. Like the best of the TV thrillers, The Boy in the Burning House features a smiling, unredeemable villain: Father Fisher, who leads the Church of the Blessed Transfiguration in a remote farming community.

Fourteen-year-old Jim Hawkins's father, Hub, has disappeared, and Ruth Rose, the pastor's stepdaughter, tries to convince him that Fisher killed Hub. If that possibility isn't unsavory enough, Jim discovers that his dad and Fisher were both involved in a fire that killed another teenage boy 30 years before. It is the unraveling of this long-hidden mystery that gives The Boy in the Burning House its page-turning edginess. As Jim investigates his father's past, his memories of a gentle and morally upright father are twisted out of shape. "He felt like he was burning up," Wynne-Jones writes, "and there was a boy inside him hammering to get out into the air."

As the novel roars towards its conclusion, some of its psychological richness and narrative consistency are sacrificed to fast-paced action sequences. Fisher's midnight stalking of Jim and Ruth Rose is as terrifying as Jack Nicholson's frenzied house crawl in The Shining, but Wynne-Jones never fully explains how Fisher became a monster. The Boy in the Burning House is a great read, but one that starts to wobble like a house of cards once the thrills are over. --Lisa Alward

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780374408879: The Boy in the Burning House

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0374408874 ISBN 13:  9780374408879
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), 2003
Softcover

9780374309305: The Boy in the Burning House

Farrar..., 2001
Hardcover

9780746064818: The Boy In The Burning House

Usborn..., 2005
Softcover

9780789456212: The Boy in the Burning House

Dk Pub, 2001
Hardcover

9780786244355: The Boy in the Burning House

Thornd..., 2002
Hardcover

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