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Button Hill

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  73 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Dekker isn’t happy that he and his little sister, Riley, are stuck in Button Hill with their weird old great-aunt Primrose. When he discovers an old clock in the cellar, made entirely of bones and with a skull for a face, he doesn’t think much about it. But when Riley goes missing, a strange boy named Cobb appears in Button Hill. He tells Dekker that Button Hill sits on th ...more
Paperback, 253 pages
Published April 2015 by Orca Books (first published March 31st 2015)
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Average rating 3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  73 ratings  ·  22 reviews

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Amy Neftzger
Jan 25, 2015 rated it liked it
There's a lot to like about this book: mysterious places, sinister characters, desire for life, and an unusual explanation about the link between the living and the dead. We journey with a brother and sister to the world of the dead and learn the rules for crossing from one side to the other. The rules and how the places are linked are fleshed out well (pun intended). However, the book did start out a little slow for me (keep reading - it's worth it), and the narration lacked flow in places. The ...more
Holly (Holly Hearts Books)
Mar 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-copies
When I pick up a middle grade book, I expect a lot of adventure and a ton of humor and this book is packed full of that!

Button Hill is about a two siblings, Dekker and Riley, who are forced to live with there super creepy and cryptic speaking great aunt Primrose for the summer. Little do they know that aunt Primrose is keeping secrets about a strange old grandfather clock with a skull on it in the cellar. When Dekker decides to play a trick on Riley and leave her locked in the cellar for just on
Sandra Stiles
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Dekker and his little sister Riley have temporarily moved to Button Hill while their mom is taking college classes at night. They assume they are going to be bored out of their minds living with their Aunt Primrose. She is old, smelly and weird. But, things take a drastic turn when Dekker finds an old clock made out of bones, with a skull for a face in his aunt’s basement. His first mistake was moving the skull face. His aunt has told him not to touch it. When he locks his sister in the basement ...more
Feb 03, 2015 rated it liked it
I received an advance readers copy of Button Hill through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program. Dekker and Riley are less than thrilled at the prospect of spending the summer with their strict Great Aunt Primrose while their mom, a single parent, works and attends college classes. Dekker, who lacks discipline stumbles across a mysterious clock in the basement and is warned by his aunt not to touch it, of course he does, which begins a struggle between good and evil as the thin veil between D ...more
Jana Scott Lindsay
May 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am not sure where to start...

I will try to limit my spoilers to a minimum.

This book is a breath of fresh air when it comes to storytelling and crafting an adventure. I was hooked almost immediately by the excitement and fear that was brilliantly woven and spun by the author. I had shivers as the main characters found themselves in more than their fair share of unsavoury situations. Some of the most spectacular writing I have come across since reading J.K. Rowling's tale of Harry Potter & his a
Kimberly Atwood
Aug 09, 2020 rated it liked it
The book started very fast and jumped right into the action. It doesn't give the readers a lot of time to get used to Dekker and Riley. Dekker and Harper become friends very quickly, which felt a little unrealistic to me. The plot was fascinating, and I found myself hooked, eager to find out if Dekker and Riley will make it out of Nightside. I wanted to see more of Aunt Primrose. For being the keeper of the Nightclock and monitoring both Dayside and Nightside, I expected her to have a more impor ...more
Mellanie C
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really liked this. It was very reminiscent of Coraline, by Neil Gaiman. Lots of action, a little creepiness, and engaging characters. I would love to read a sequel, because I don't think Bradford completely mined the universe of Button Hill--I think Dekker, Riley, and Harper have lots more stories to tell. ...more
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: age 8+, some scary stuff! for fans of the secret keepers, warriors.
very good, it's grim, yet so good, it focuses on a kid, and is marketed to a kid audience, but a lot of scary stuff rests in its pages. nightside is fascinating, and the cliff-thing inside nightside is pretty cool. it's very good, and ranger can be funny. cobb is scary, and harper is mysterious. ...more
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended by my 4th grader.
May 28, 2020 marked it as to-read
Jennifer Bowman
Jan 19, 2015 rated it liked it
I had been looking forward to reading Button Hill and was so excited when I won an ARC. The premise sounded promising: Dekker and his sister are spending the summer with their rather unpleasant aunt. When Dekker stumbles upon a grandfather clock in the basement with a skull face, he sets in motion a series of events that lands him in a different world of Nightside.

The book actually garnered 3.5 stars from me. I thought that the storyline was original and there were a lot of fun elements: skeleto
Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Dekker and his sister Riley have to spend the summer with their aunt Primrose, who they think is a little weird. They want to go home. But they are stuck in Button Hill and have to try to find ways to entertain themselves. And that's when Dekker unknowingly opens a door to a world no one has crossed into for a long time. The Nightclock had stopped working and closed the way to Nightside, the dark world under Dayside. After the door is opened, Riley is kidnapped and taken to Nightside, where ever ...more
Nicola Mansfield
Apr 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this horror/fantasy for middle graders. An exciting tale that has a brother and sister involved in the Underworld and afterlife risking their very own life force and in one case beating heart. I was quite pleasantly surprised at the amount of horror in a book for this age group. It gets pretty scary (and a little gruesome) at times but always remains age appropriate. The characters are realistic and likeable with the brother and sister behaving like real siblings having an antagonizing ...more
Mar 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"Button Hill" from Orca Books feels like the beginning of a journey by rail: Anticipation as the wheels start to move, surprise at what we see revealed by new perspective on a familiar landscape, and shivery excitement at what unexpected moment might be just around the bend. Skeleton clans, a talking raven, ghost trains and a not-quite zombie hero with a heart of gold...middle-year book lovers looking for a different take on how the known and unknown worlds fit together will dig into this spooky ...more
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Inventive, ominous and foreboding, this novel is for middle grade readers who enjoy a story like Coraline. Dekker and his younger sister Riley are spending the summer in Button Hill while their mother is taking classes and working. Button Hill's dark secret is that it lies on the border between Dayside (for the living) and Nightside (for the dead). As any boy would, Dekker become curious about the skull faced clock in the basement and unwittingly opens the doorways between the worlds thus gettin ...more
Mar 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Button Hill is a debut novel by Canadian author Michael Bradford. I graciously received this ARC and was really excited to read a genre that I normally do not gravitate towards! I was pleasantly surprised to find myself liking this story. I found it to be a bit of a cross between Coraline and an episode of the Twilight Zone. Creepy and filled with secrets, mystery and tension. The interaction & relationship between brother and sister develop well. However the relationship between Harper and her ...more
Apr 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Dekker and his little sister, Riley, are at his Aunt's house for the summer. There are strange things going on and he ends up sort of dead. Dekker may even be one the the bone men. They must find his heart and reopen the train station.

This is a macabre adventure that may not be for everyone. If your kid gets easily scared or grossed out then they may not enjoy. But it is a great introdution to horror stories to come.

I received a copy through Goodreads First Reads.
Kari (BookandCoffeeLover)
A charming book about a boy's journey to save his sister and himself. Quirky characters and astounding situations makes this a fast enjoyable read. I did find the pace to be a bit rushed at times;but I believe this quick pace will be perfect for younger readers and will utterly captivate them. Humorous and dark in equal measure, Button Hill is a solid adventure

Originally posted on LibraryThing (x)
Colleen Nelson
Nov 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Very dark, but well-written.
Maggie Dore
2.5 stars. Sorry for the low rating.
I liked it. Could have been better though. Not what I was looking for. At all.
Ampersand Inc.
Dec 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
From Dot:

From Saffron:
This was the ARC that everyone wanted to read at conference; and it totally lived up to expectations. Great for young Neil Gaiman fans. *****
rated it it was ok
Jul 21, 2018
rated it it was amazing
May 08, 2020
Jordan Carlson
rated it really liked it
Jul 27, 2015
rated it did not like it
Apr 08, 2020
rated it really liked it
Jul 24, 2015
rated it liked it
Aug 17, 2018
rated it liked it
Mar 20, 2020
Laura Phelps
Jun 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: possiblemsba2015
A little too creepy for me!
Laurie Hnatiuk
rated it it was amazing
Jun 14, 2015
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Michael Bradford was born in 1975 in St. Albert, Alberta. He grew up in Calgary, where his Mom and Dad drove him to the public library every week, but made him sit in the front seat and look out the window on the way back. He is grateful to them for both of these things.

Michael has worked as a grass cutter, waiter, pizza-delivery boy, literacy teacher, elementary-school vice-principal and publishe

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