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The Boy in the Burning House
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The Boy in the Burning House

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  333 ratings  ·  49 reviews
An Edgar Award Winner

Two years after his father's mysterious disappearance, Jim Hawkins is coping -- barely. Underneath, he's frozen in uncertainty and grief. What did happen to his father? Is he dead or just gone? Then Jim meets Ruth Rose. Moody, provocative, she's the bad-girl stepdaughter of Father Fisher, Jim's father's childhood friend and the town pastor, and she sho
Paperback, 214 pages
Published September 8th 2003 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published August 1st 2000)
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(showing 1-30 of 657)
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Allie Randall
Genre/Category: Mystery/suspense/mental illness/murder/frienship
Read for the "Tim Wynne-Jones lit circles"

Summary: This book starts off creepily, foreshadowing the rest of the book: a step-daughter listening to her father's private guilty confessions, and drawing the conclusion of murder. This step-daughter, Ruth Rose, determines that she needs help in order to reveal her father's crimes and she turns to 14-year-old Jim Hawkins. The same Jim Hawkins whose father disappeared two years ago. The sa
I really liked this book.
I am a a big fan of murder/mystery books and this is a good one.
The main characters, Jim, or Jimbo, father disappeared. They say it was suicuide, a mental state. Nobody considered murder. Then along came Ruth Rose with all the answers. She herself is crazy, but only seemingly.

" Somebody was trying to blackmail Father.
She didn't expect it would be easy to find proof
and no one was going to believe her without it.
So she searched when and where she could,
and watched and lis
Marcus Anderson
I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was very good at building suspense without giving anything away, and kept adding several clues that may or may not have contributed to the solution of the overall mystery. Although it was a very compelling story, the one and only thing I would critique is that from the very beginning of the book it was pretty obvious who the killer was.
Andrew Bui
This book was about a young boy who goes off on his own to find out what happened to his father's dissapperence. Soon later he met this girl, whom he thought that he wouldn't get along with, but she helped him by giving him answers to what he was looking for. He learned to listen and opens up and become good friends with her soon.
So eerie that I couldn't put it down and was scared of every little thing afterward.

"Children," boomed the voice of Father Fisher," enough of this foolishness."
The Boy in the Burning House is a short but theatrical novel full of fantastic twist and turns. From the get-go, you know who did it, but in an interesting turn of events it's up to the main character Jim and his somewhat-friend Ruth Rose to uncover the mystery of Jim's father's apparent suicide. Suspense, mystery, good characterization, and a fantastic "creepy" factor through the whole thing make this book a book I really enjoyed. It kept me on the edge of my seat until the end.

(And Tim Wynne-J
Mystery/suspense/mental illness

This was a fun book to read. It has been a long time since I read a murder mystery novel and I forgot how much fun they could be. I couldn't stop reading it once I picked it up, and I was so sad to come to the end because it was so enjoyable. Jim Hawkins's father went missing about a year ago, and then suddenly the preacher's stepdaughter shows up and tells Jim that the preacher murdered him. From there all kinds of suspicions break loose and Jim follows the trail
Brittany Sweeney
When Jim Hawkins loses his father, his whole world crashes down around him. Left to man the farm with only his mother and his anger to guide him, Jim just floats along... unitl he meets Ruth Rose, the step-daughter of the town pastor, who is convinced that Father Fisher is a murderer who wants her dead as well. To get Jim to join her quest in bringing down Fisher, she attempts to convince him that Fisher is the one who had his father killed. As the evidence piles up, Jim begins to feel convinced ...more
Lisa Rathbun
I thought it was well-written and kept your interest. (Some bad language.) I liked the themes of fathers, appearance vs. reality, and the destructive power of anger. Still however I am uncomfortable with the portrayal of Christianity in the book. When a major Christian character is the bad guy, I always wonder: is this just a plot device, a way of showing ultimate hypocrisy, someone who preaches love but is living a lie? OR does the author have an ulterior motive? Is the author motivated by a ha ...more
Murder mysteries are not my usual fare, but I quite liked this one. Probably because it was a little less murder mystery and a lot more a boy dealing with his father’s disappearance. And dealing with a girl who is (possibly?) schizophrenic, whom he struggles with wanting to believe because she offers an answer to what happened and doubting because her mental stability is constantly in question.

Honestly I found Ruth Rose a fascinating device in this book, and an interesting commentary on how peop
The book “The Boy in the Burning House” written by Tim Wynne-Jones is a non-fiction mystery. The novel shows the events of a teenage boy named Jim Hawkins whose father had disappeared 2 years earlier. All seemed to have settle in his life before meeting Ruth Rose a seemingly psychotic girl who is on anti-depressants. When Ruth Rose surprises Jim while he is taking down a beaver dam on his farm one day he thinks she is playing some sort of elaborate game on him. She has been spying on Jim and his ...more
Jim Hawkins' life turned upside down when his father went missing unexpectedly. All evidence points to suicide, but Jim's convinced his father would never hurt himself. As Jim and his mother begin to piece their lives together again--Jim's come out of his constant silence and he and his mom talk and work with each other again. When Jim goes into the woods one day to break the beaver dam near his house, he meets Ruth Rose, stepdaughter of the town's beloved pastor Father Fisher. R
CAUTION: Spoilers ahead!

I'd read Wynne-Jone's The Maestro before, and thought it was good. But I wasn't prepared for The Boy in the Burning House. This book was compelling and great and—well, it was great!

The novel follows Jim Hawkins, who has lived a life of turmoil ever since the disappearance of his father. He's had a hard time of it since then—he's even attempted suicide (and failed) a couple of times—but things seem to be looking up. Then, without warning,

This book had an intriguing story about a boy striving to solve the mystery of his father's death. There are lots of plot twists and surprises, and the story is inventive and original. Jim Hawkins is trying to figure out what happened to his father who everyone presumes dead. It is a mystery how he disappeared two years ago. Enter Ruth Rose, a girl he wants nothing to do with, but says she knows who killed her father. Ruth is the step daughter of a local pastor--a corrupt one--who
Elyse Bradley
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

This is the first book in a long time where I literally could not put it down. I was immediately drawn into the story from the first two pages of the prologue. Tim Wynne-Jones creates a very real drama full of mystery, emotion, and excitement. The story tells of fourteen year old Jim who attempts to cope with the aftermath of his father's disappearance a year earlier. After meeting the local pastor's daughter Ruth Rose, Jim finds himself thrown into a dangerous pl
Allison Morgan
Genre/Category: Required Reading

When 14-year-old Jim's father disappears, he tries to move on with his life. One day, a girl named Ruth Rose tries to convince Jim that her step-father Father, the local pastor, is the murder. After a chain of events, Jim begins to believe Ruth Rose may be telling the truth, endangering both of their lives as they try to run from Father while revealing the truth of the past.

This book was extremely thrilling for me to read. At one point when Father was trying to br
Emily Townsley
Mystery/Murder/Self discovery

Jim Hawkins is a teenager who has recently experienced the death of his beloved father. The death however, is still a mystery. Suicide? Murder? No one knows and the body was never discovered. One day the minister's crazy step-daughter Ruth Rose finds Jim and accuses the minister of murdering Jim's father. The rest of the story is Jim's mission to discover whether or not this claim is true or false.

I think Wynne-Jones is a talented writer. I never felt annoyed by his
Jim Hawking was just learning how to cope after his father's mysterious disappearance. He starts to believe the stories that his father committed suicide and he's trying to get on with his life. That is until Ruth Rose shows up on his farm with a secret about her step father, who is also the minister, that shakes up Jim's life and what he believes about his father. Now Jim must discover if he believes Ruth Rose and if he's ready to search out the truth, which leads to troubling problems.

This bo
I kinda liked this book. I read it for school, and i wouldn't suggest doing so because it was sllightly confusing for me. The only thing i really liked was how intriguing it was, you could pretty much read the whole book in a day because it keeps you wanting to read more and more.
The Boy in the Burning House
by Tim Wynne-Jones

Status Read in Arpil 2012


Jim Hawkins is just an ordinary kid, but is he. AFter his dad's mysterious disapparence, Jim finds himself dealing with a whirlwind of emotions. When Jim meets Ruth Rose, he is not sure what to make of her. Ruth tells him that his father has been murdered, by her step-father who just so happens to be known as Father Fisher. Jim embarks on a thrilling mystery as he discovers his fathers' past and runs
Lauren Avery
This book starts off very eerily it foreshadows the rest of the book: a step-daughter listening to her father's private confessions, and drawing the conclusion of murder. This step-daughter, Ruth Rose, determines that she needs help in order to reveal her father's crimes and she turns to 14-year-old Jim Hawkins. The same Jim Hawkins whose father disappeared two years ago. The same Jim Hawkins whose father was killed by Ruth Rose's step-father.

I really liked this book because I love scary becaus
This is the story of Jim, a young boy dealing with the disappearance of his father, who encounters Ruth Rose--a wild young girl who proposes seemingly impossible ideas about a connection between the town preacher, Father Fisher, and Jim's father's mysterious disappearance, and a historic tragic fire that took the life of a young man many years prior.

I really loved reading this novel, and found myself completely taken up in the suspenseful story. It brought up interesting questions for me regard
Robin Kirk
I paid special attention to the Prologue. Its very sensory and vivid, this female watching Father Fisher so doggedly, to try and save him from blackmail -- or prove he is a murderer. I think it mainly serves to set a very spooky tone and also alert us to the mysterious Father Fisher. If the Prologue weren't there, I think the reader would wonder why stick with a rather mundane opening. It is a "promise" there is spooky, dangerous stuff to come. By the time we get to the dad's death on pg. 12, we ...more
Brittany Christensen
Genre: Mystery
Jim Hawkins never understood how his father could simply disappear into the woods one day, even when the police found his vehicle. So, when Ruth Rose befriends him, they set out to find the true murderer only to pinpoint Ruth Rose's step father, the local minister, Father Fisher. In a fast-paced and compelling story, Tim Wynne-Jones analyzes the influence of trust and loyalty. Even though the story was a little dark, I loved the constant imagery and sense of urgency. I also loved t
This book was about a kid who was searching for answers as to why his father disaperead. He came across a girl who he did'nt think he would ever get along with, but she gave him the answers he was looking for to what happened to his father. At first he was reluctant because he did'nt want to hear what she had to say, but eventually he opens up to her.

This book was good, it was a mystery book and it always kept you interested to find out what happened next. If you enjoy mystery books then this bo
I recently went to a Writer's Conference where I was able to meet Tim Wynne-Jones and listen to him speak on dialogue. That was one of the things I loved about this book, was the authentic and important dialogue. Ever point he made at the conference, he executed in this book. Also, while I was reading, I got so swept up in what was happening and in the characters,that I was literally terrified at moments, wondering how things would end (even though, logically, I knew how they would end). This re ...more
Mar 05, 2008 Hannah rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
Shelves: book-club-books
In The Boy in the Burning House, a young boys father dies mysteriously. A young girl thinks she knows how..but, she is known to be "crazy". The boy, Jim, believes her, so they set out to find who killed Jim's father. They go through some very tough obstacles,but they manage to get through..together. They have to find out information without telling the adults what they are up to, because if they find out they will all think Jim is going mad with this girl. So they have to solve this mystery..can ...more
Sep 15, 2008 Donna rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: young adults on up
Recommended to Donna by: I found this at book sale at library
Shelves: books-just-read
I actually read the hardcover book. It was a book like I never read before! It taught you not to judge people because of what others thought of them. Make up your own mind about the faith and trust you have in that person.

Their was a good mystery involved with a lot of twists.

The book was so filled with a lot of thought provoking ideas, I find it hard to review without giving the book away. I really got a lot from the book, although it was just over 200 pages.
This is my third Tim Wynne-Jones book, and it was probably my favorite. The plot line was well developed and it was intriguing. I felt that Wynne-Jones did a good job characterizing Jim and Ruth Rose. It was enjoyable to watch Jim grow as he dug deeper into his father's past.

I don't have much more to say about the book, though. All I know is that I enjoyed reading it and that it was a good one-timer.
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crazy? 1 2 Nov 10, 2013 07:41PM  
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Tim Wynne-Jones (born 12 August 1948) is an English–Canadian author of children's literature, including picture books and novels for children and young adults, novels for adults, radio dramas, songs for the CBC/Jim Henson production Fraggle Rock, as well as a children's musical and an opera libretto.

Arthur Ellis Award
◊ Best Juvenile (2001): The Boy in the Burning House
Edgar Award
◊ Best You
More about Tim Wynne-Jones...
Blink and Caution The Uninvited The Maestro A Thief in the House of Memory Rex Zero and the End of the World

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