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The Night Gardener

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  14,313 ratings  ·  2,486 reviews
This much-anticipated follow-up to Jonathan Auxier’s exceptional debut, Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, is a Victorian ghost story with shades of Washington Irving and Henry James. More than just a spooky tale, it’s also a moral fable about human greed and the power of storytelling.

The Night Gardener follows two abandoned Irish siblings who travel to work as servants
Hardcover, 350 pages
Published May 20th 2014 by Harry N. Abrams
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Citra I am an adult, and I believe this book is brilliant. I also find it creepy enough.
Willa Valentine (paper.seas) First off, that's intense.
But this book is probably for kids. As long as you're not one of those kids who screams when they see ants, I'm pretty sure…more
First off, that's intense.
But this book is probably for kids. As long as you're not one of those kids who screams when they see ants, I'm pretty sure you're fine. (No offense to people who hate ants. I am mortified of them.) This book kind of goes with the Secret Garden, so you should be good.(less)

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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  14,313 ratings  ·  2,486 reviews

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For whatever reason, 2014 is a dark year in children’s middle grade fiction. I speak from experience. Fantasy in particular has been steeped in a kind of thoughtful darkness, from The Glass Sentence and The Thickety to The Riverman and Twelve Minutes to Midnight with varying levels of success. And though none would contest the fact that they are creepy, only Jonathan Auxier’s The Night Gardener has had the chutzpah to actually write, “A Scary Story” on its title pages as a kind of thoughtful ...more
Darth J
Oct 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommended to Darth J by: Cameron Chaney
Shelves: amazing-artwork
This is the tale of a spooky tree

which is connected to a house, and tended by a supernatural guardian

The book jacket describes this as a "spine-chilling fable in the tradition of Washington Irving and Edgar Allan Poe", and I can see hints of both in the story. The problem is that the gothic tone of both iconic storytellers is hard to keep aloft for a full novel and it wears thin here. The Night Gardener would work much better as a short story as it definitely has the bones to be comparable to
Apr 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
'Help me grow tall, and you shall receive
All that you wish inside of me.'

This story at first appears to be ripped from the pages of the Brothers Grimm. There are a pair of orphans, one a plucky young heroine, the other, a little lame boy. After making a deal with a beggar woman (witch in disguise?), they enter a deep, dark (enchanted?) forest. What awaits them there is deliciously forbidding, frightening and wondrous...

Molly and her younger brother venture to the sinister Windsor house to gain
Jul 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Several times in a year, at charity sales and shops, I unearth amazing Canadian content. It is a pleasure to include Jonathan Auxier’s excellent, rightfully award-winning novel in this compliment: “The Night Gardener”, published recently in 2014. With nods to tales Jonathan loved as a kid: this story is a poignant family drama about orphans needing jobs in the late 1800s, set at a haunted house, amid a nightly unexplained horror, told in the spooky style of a legend. The motherly Sister, Brother ...more
May 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of "Coraline"
3/10/18 $2.99 for Kindle.

Loved it. Appropriate for Middle Grade readers who enjoy a bit of scare. Might be too scary for younger kids, so parents be aware. Perfectly creepy. Might start off a bit slow for some, but it builds and is very well told.
Rachel Bea
I WILL come back to do a review because I have a lot to say lol

Okay. I'm back.

The Night Gardener is about:

Growing up without parents;
Storytelling, and its power;
Survivor's guilt;
The consequences of greed;
& prejudices/xenophobia.

When I write it out like that, I realize just how much Jonathan Auxier managed to fit in his story for young people, and how well he pulled it off; The Night Gardener is chilling, moving and, at times, heartbreaking.

Molly, our main character, is the older sister
The Night Gardener is a middle-grade fiction novel written by Jonathan Auxier. Apparently, this is a follow-up to Mr. Auxier's debut novel (Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes), but I read this as a standalone and enjoyed it as such.

The Night Gardener was a buddy read between my son and myself, and the periods of dark and creepy mystery/suspense made it a fun experience for the most part. Although the ending was a bit of a let down after all of the build up, we enjoyed this novel overall. My
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Reminds me of John Bellairs, but better! Creepy and atmospheric. Jonathan Auxier is a brilliant author with a talent for language that compels me to read and reread sentences and paragraphs.

This is the perfect book for students who love scary books that aren't TOO scary.
Kaethe Douglas
Creepy as all get out. An accomplished gothic ghost story with new elements that feels very traditional. And, special bonus, it actually incorporates some of the real-life horror of the Irish Famine and Victorian poverty. Not everyone cares for this, but the author note at the end points out some of the sources that went into the mix, which offers great suggestions for further reading.

Library copy.
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
The Night Gardener received such praise and has a really good rating here, but it just didn't work for me.

I can see why it's an interesting book (there is a good moral and the relationship between the sister and brother is inspiring), but I just wasn't in a hurry to discover how the story continued.

5*: Sad to finish it, this book was amazing
4*: Really liked it!
3*: Liked it
2*: Fell asleep a couple of times during my reading... but not entirely boring!
1*: Why did I bother to finish it?!
Mar 24, 2015 rated it liked it

Review to come tomorrow.

I enjoyed reading this, but I'm not entirely sure what to make of it as a whole.
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book a few years ago right after it was published, and from what I remember, I quite enjoyed it, but for whatever reason never ended up picking up my own copy. When I stumbled upon it on Goodreads the other day I decided to give it a reread to see if was was worth buying, and oh man was it. 4 1/2 stars


This the story of two children, Irish immigrants during what I believe is the Potato Famine who, desperate, decide to become servants for a family who live in rural a English
Jul 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing!

It starts with a spooky creepy manor house, witch a spooky sickly family that takes on two Irish orphans and delves into this absolute fairy tale of a horror story

Adventure, magic, creepy & spooky stuff, this book is the absolute perfect autumnal read and this book is one of my absolute favourites of 2015.

If you like The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, anything by the Brothers Grimm or Edgar Allan Poe I feel you would love this
Mar 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Night Gardener is a Silver Birch 2015 nominee, and my youngest one was supposed to be reading it. I couldn’t resist the gorgeous cover and illustrations, so I picked it up first :)

As a middle grade book, it is outstanding. It does require a strong reader though, one that is ready to move past stories whose characters are either heroes or villains, and start to understand and appreciate motivations and increased complexity. Hester, for example, brought tears to my eyes, although I’m not sure
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books, horror
Two Irish orphans find work as servants to the Windsor family, who have moved to an old creepy house in the sourwoods. Trying to make the best of the situation, Molly cleans the house and Kip minds the stables and gardens. However, there is a sickness pervading the household and a gnarly tree abutting the house. Despite Molly's cheerfulness and wisdom through storytelling, everyone in the house suffers from bad dreams caused by an evil spirit and the tree's magic secret, which make leaving near ...more
Erin Bow

Wow. This one is a perfectly recreated Victorian Gothic -- full of oddly pleasing terror -- but for, you know, kids. It's got everything: the amazing setting, the slow-build reveals, the minor characters named things like Hester Kettle and Dr. Crouch .... Plus it's got beautiful prose with phrases I'd like to steal.

At least here in Canada, the Night Gardener comes covered in stickers -- there are four on mine -- and for good reason. It has the potential to be a new classic of Middle Grade
Jun 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Deliciously creepy! Reminds me of the books that I used to read in 4th-5th grade with one eye closed (to keep from being too scared). In the author's note he cites Something Wicked This Way Comes and The Secret Garden as influences, and, well, that pretty much sums it up!
May 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is fantastic! It's a charming, and spooky, tale of two orphaned Irish children in the late 1800's who stumble into work for a once wealthy family that is in a mysterious downward spiral. Their health, their relationships and their money all seem to be slipping away from them. And the cause could be in the house itself. It's a mystery that unfolds as the two orphans first witness it, and then get caught up in it.

The story explores themes of greed, honesty, loyalty and family. It's
Gianna Amundsen
Sep 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
I rated his book a 4 out of 5 because I thought it was a very well written book, very interesting and suspenseful, and will keep you wanting more. It is a book I enjoyed reading over the summer. If you like mystery/fantasy books I recommend The Night Gardener. It is a book you won’t regret reading and it won’t bore you if you are not a big fan of reading. It gives you a great picture of what is going on and the characters are all great and play a great role throughout the story. The author tells ...more
Astrid Lim
I love this book! Jonathan Auxier, in my opinion, is one of the most underrated chidren's book writer. How come we never heard of him? If it's not because his other book, Peter Nimble, that luckily has been translated to Indonesian, I'd probably wouldn't know anything about him.

Anyway, this book is a perfect combination of adventures, mystery, family relationships, with a touch of horror and darkness inside. LOVE it.

I do home Auxier will keep on writing many many wonderful stories like this.
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
"A story helps folks face the world, even when it frightens 'em. And a lie does the opposite. It helps you hide."

Siblings Molly and Kip have left behind the orphanage to work as servants at the Windsor Estate, a crumbling English manor deep in what the locals call the sourwoods.

After many days of travel, the children understand upon their arrival why the locals have a deep superstition of the place because they're immediately filled with a sense of unease themselves.

Molly and Kip find a family
Nov 06, 2019 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings with this book. It wasn’t by any means “mind blowing.” And there was also a pacing issue. I felt the we could have gone without about 50 pages or so. However I also realize that I’m not the intended audience and I don’t think this is a “bad book.” I think most of it was a personal thing. With that being said, there was a lot about this book that I really enjoyed too. I have some health conditions myself and because of that I really connected with the young boy in this
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
3,75 stars

I enjoyed this creepy and even borderline scary book, I especially liked the historical fiction aspect of it and the audiobook narrator helped with that. I liked Molly a lot, but I couldn't make myself love Kip and so his chapters weren't always my favourite; I also think the story dragged in some places. But it's still an excellent middle-grade novel and now I want to check more of Jonathan Auxier's works.
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"I think I figured it out." She sniffed, looking up at the stars. "Hester asked me what the difference between a story and a lie was. At the time, I told her that a story helps folks. 'Helps 'em do what?' she asked. Well, I think I know the answer. A story helps folks face the world, even when it frightens 'em. And a lie does the opposite. It helps you hide."

In and of itself, the book's Contents page is not exceptional. Good, definitely, but not necessarily reason enough to love a book. Yet I
Destinee Sutton
I really loved the first 90% of this book, and then felt a little let down by the ending. It's not that the ending was bad, but I had built up certain expectations during my reading that weren't met. I don't think it's quite a spoiler to say that I wanted to know so much more about the Night Gardener himself. As I've said in many a review, a shallowly developed villain character always gets my goat. If an author takes the time to flesh out the villain, to give him a compelling back story, it ...more
Jiny S
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
I love the beautiful, rustic setting of the story.

A brother with a bad leg and his older sister are left fending for themselves. On their way looking for work in a haunted manor as servants, they meet an old hag who claims to be a story teller. When they arrive, they discovered a giant tree shadowing the entire house, with its roots entangled in the floors and the habitants’ lives. Creepy stories and strange happenings build background. It’s cold, dark, and hauntingly beautiful.

The pace of the
Apr 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, nookbooks
18 MAR 2016 - stayed up well past my bedtime reading this one. Spent my lunch hour reading and kept reading through the afternoon. (Good thing the boss was out of the office!).

This book is compulsively readable with just enough creepy atmosphere to cause one to turn around to ensure The Night Gardener is not behind you.

Great Read!
Benji Martin
Apr 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is phenomenal. It's deep enough for adults and creepy enough for kids. I honestly, didn't find anything wrong with it. The Newbery Committee members will all be reading it more than once, I hope.
I am not a person who will pick up a fantasy but I read this because of a challenge and for a buddy read. An amazing book that kept me on the edge of my seat, very creepy with some good learning points in the story. A fast and very enjoyable book.
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
Somehow this book felt cozy while still being super creepy. It's great storytelling, with beautiful art at each chapter's start and a nice cover too. It doesn't shy away from the pain and lies that even kids experience in life.
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. YA Story of two siblings and a tree that grants bad wishes. [s] 3 25 Aug 17, 2019 07:12PM  
Who's your favourite character? 3 15 Jul 23, 2018 11:56AM  
There's going to be a MOVIE! 5 46 Jun 02, 2017 09:06PM  

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“A story helps folks face the world, even when it frightens 'em. And a lie does the opposite. It helps you hide.” 43 likes
“Hester shook her head. 'Don't confuse what you do with who you are, dearie. Besides, there's no shame in humble work. Why, Aesop himself, the king of storytellers, was a slave his whole life. Never drew a free breath, yet he shaped the world with just three small words: there once was. And where are his great masters now, hmm? Rotting in tombs, if they're lucky. But Aesop - he still lives to this day, dancin' on the tip of every tongue what's ever told a tale.' She winked at Molly. 'Think on that, next time you're scrubbing floors.” 21 likes
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