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The Light Jar

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  1,287 ratings  ·  189 reviews
A story of fear and hope, loneliness and friendship -- full of the heart, engaging characters, and propulsive, page-turning mystery that made The Goldfish Boy so beloved.

Nate and his mother are running away. Fleeing from an emotionally abusive situation, they hide out in an abandoned cottage in the middle of a forest. Though it's old and run-down, at least it's a place of
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published February 26th 2019 by Scholastic Press (first published January 4th 2018)
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Evie uhmmm? Nate eats some rice, then chooses to help Kitty, then has a flash-back of when he had a friend, Kyle, over and how Gary totally weirded him out…moreuhmmm? Nate eats some rice, then chooses to help Kitty, then has a flash-back of when he had a friend, Kyle, over and how Gary totally weirded him out. (less)

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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,287 ratings  ·  189 reviews

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Hannah Greendale
Thompson can always be relied upon to tackle difficult subjects in her books. She provides a moving portrayal of OCD in her debut The Goldfish Boy, a thrilling mystery that gives a modern spin on Alfred Hitchcock's hit classic, Rear Window. In The Light Jar, she introduces domestic abuse and coping mechanisms in the leisurely and somewhat redundant story of eleven-year-old Nate, a sensitive boy who seeks shelter in an abandoned cottage with his mom. When his mom goes missing, Nate must survive t ...more
Ruby Granger
Whilst notably a bit young for me, I did enjoy this as a quick, relaxing read. Thompson's mystery is intriguing and, well, not something that I can say I've ever come across in this sort of novel (that's not a bad thing!). I especially enjoyed Nate's provincial routine after being left alone in the cottage - there is something quite comforting in reading about this.

Keep in mind that there is some referral to domestic violence but Thompson ensures that it is neither graphic nor inappropriate for
I loved Lisa Thompson’s debut ‘The Goldfish Boy’ which a special book to me, so when I heard of her news of her new book at the beginning of the year I was so excited and intrigued at the story prospect of ‘The Light Jar’ and I’m thrilled to say I bloomin’ loved it!!

It’s always a mixture of feelings when an author whom you love their previous work brings out a new book - there’s excitement, anticipation and apprehension as to whether it’ll stand up to their other books and I can honestly say th
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: khs-books
This is a book to give you so many feels. Poor Nate, his Mum chose an unsuitable man who made their lives a misery, even keeping them in the dark for months on end, controlling and manipulating them, now his mum has run away, taking Nate with her, to a cottage in the middle of nowhere. A cottage that is a lot worse for wear to the point where there is a chicken roosting on the couch. Nate is a nervous boy and now his mum needs to go out to the shops and get them some supplies to start their new ...more
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
A lovely mixture of realism, magic realism and gothic stately home mystery elements.
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2,5/5. Can't say this book as big flaws or anything. It was well enough written, has a decent story and characters and the thinking of the kid seem realistic which is good because... not always the case. But... for some reasons, I never really get into it, just flow over the story, never felt invest in it. Probably more a case of personal taste, but it was lacking a je-ne-sais-quoi to make it enjoyable! ...more
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: year-6
Really enjoyed this book. I think it had some eery and tough subjects that may upset some children which is why I suggest only year 6 children read it such as broken family relationships and the suggestion of emotional abuse by one of the characters. However, I think the tough topics were lightened by the inclusion of the imaginary characters. I think the reader went through all the emotions that the main character did. I would recommend this book to children as I think it does introduce and add ...more
A boy, a guardian angel, a girl, a treasure hunt, and a past that wasn't the best.

Welp, this was so promising, and this was one of the book I looked forward SO MUCH. I loved the author's first book, adored it even, and I was hoping to find the same magic in this one. Sadly, no. There were good parts and a lot of bad parts.

Instead of writing a normal review I will write a good/bad review:
-The Treasure Hunt, and this one will also pop up in the bad part as there were things I didn't like. I just a
Matt Davies
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2017 was a superb year for children’s literature. Established authors produced some outstanding books, but, for me, 2017 was about discovering new authors. One of the outstanding breakthroughs of 2017 was Lisa Thompson’s Goldfish Boy, a whodunnit seen through the eyes of a teenager with OCD. It was a captivating read which shed light on mental health issues for children.

Now as 2018 begins, the year of books has begun with a bang. January has already seen a handful of books which promise to becom
Robin Stevens
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Lisa's first book The Goldfish Boy, and this is another wonderful mystery from her. It's about a boy on the run from his abusive stepfather, who ends up alone in a strange place in the middle of winter. Nate has to survive - and also learn how to make friends and help others, as he's asked to solve a very important puzzle ... This is a lovely story and I was completely gripped by it. You will be too! (8+)

*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. Please do not use it in
❤Amy and Sofie❤
" were safe here Nate "

Lisa Thompson's second book.
Nate and mum run away from evil gary. Nate rencounters his imaginary friend, Sam.
Then he meets Kitty.
And his whole world turns upside down. As mum disappears the minute he meets Kitty.

The ending was just like a fairy tale. I read his when I was 10, so I thought it was good then. But now, I must say its not what I last thought.
This book is kinda strange in some ways. And a lot of odd hiding places and adventures.

I reccomend this to younger re
Ms E Lacey
Although this book is clearly targeted for younger readers, I enjoyed it nonetheless. The author tackled difficult issues such as neglect, abuse and divorce in an imaginative way; we see events unfurl through the perspective of a troubled child called Nate. Even though there were moments where I lost interest in the plot through too many delay tactics, the ending was effective and left me smiling.
Scott Evans | The Reader Teacher
A deeply original mystery so tenderly told in the most profound, sensitive, intricate, authentic and moving of ways.

Like a moth attracted to the light, I was instantly drawn to reading The Light Jar due to its intriguing plot however I hadn’t anticipated anything like just how captivating it would end up being. So much so, that I read a whopping 106 pages within the first hour of receiving it!

We first encounter Nate and his mum hurriedly speeding off in the car in the middle of the night tow
Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nate is 12 years old and living with his mom. He is afraid of the dark and his mom made him a light jar as a night light.

It is a mystery and a suspense story. Nate was woke up in the middle of the night and packed their bags and go. It seems like they are running away. The boyfriend of his mom Gary seems to be problematic.

Nate and his mom arrived in a old house, a very broken down one. They spent the night with a chicken in the living room.

Nate's mom went out to get some supplies. It was supp
I am loving Lisa Thompson books. She deals with some heavy stuff, but in a kid friendly way. This one was no exception and didn't fail to move me. ...more
Julia Thum
I really enjoyed Lisa Thompson’s first novel The Goldfish Boy and so was thrilled when her next one, The Light Jar, landed on my doorstep.

The Light Jar, written in the first person, is narrated by eleven year old Nate who welcomes you into his world and takes you with him on an intriguing and heartfelt mystery. The cast of characters is vivid, the story is enticing and the setting for Nate’s extraordinary adventure cinematic. I was right there with Nate in the tumbledown cottage in the frosty w
I didn’t enjoy it as much as Goldfish Boy, but still like that the author writes from the child’s viewpoint, and with simple prose conveys so much more underlying meaning. A tender story of Nate and his mum escaping a domestic situation, and hiding in a derelict cottage. When Nate’s Mum disappears, Nate must draw on his own strength and resilience to cope alone while he hopes for his mum’s return.
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-or-ya
First book of the year and it was a good one. The story of a young boy coping in his own after his mother mysteriously disappears. The gradual revealing of his back story really hits home. The imaginary friends theme would link beautifully with AF Harold's The Imaginary ...more
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely adored this book!

The story itself starts of in dramatic fashion with Nate & his mum having to leave their home to escape the clutches of his mums awful boyfriend, Gary. Gary sounds like a very nasty person, controlling, manipulative & intent on having things his own way.
When Nate & his mum arrive at a friends old cottage they find it is not exactly in the state they expected, in fact its pretty ramshackle & in a poor state. A chicken, who seems to have pooped over every surface, se
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure where to start with my review on this one! I picked it up from the library and started in on the bus ride of my classes field trip. I was instantly hooked. The beginning is a wild start that really makes you want to know more. I thought the imaginary friend piece was interesting. This is the second book I've read that talks about imaginary friends coming back in hard times. There were a lot of mystery elements throughout; where is his Mom, who is kitty, what's in the big house?, who ...more
Connie D
It's hard to discuss this tween book without giving too much away, so here's part of the book flap synopsis:

"Nate and his mother are running away. Fleeing from a bad situation at home, they hide out in an abandoned cottage in the middle of a forest....Then Nate's mother heads off for groceries and doesn't return. He is left abandoned and afraid...."

Nate must figure out what to do and how to survive, physically and emotionally. He reluctantly leaves the remote cabin when a young girl asks him for
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 52books2018
Superb! An eleven year old boy, Nate, is whisked away from an abusive stepfather in the middle of the night by his desperate mother. When she fails to return from fetching supplies, Nate has to fight against his fears to survive. Unexpected meetings and mysteries follow, as we get a glimpse of how his past, and his experiences of domestic abuse, have shaped Nate's young life. Will keep you guessing til the very last page! ...more
Lana Davis-Norton
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I found this book to be great for tweens. It takes place in England and has some fantasy and modern day challenges that families have to deal with in life. I like to read the books that I get for my classroom library so I can help students with book choices. The theme of this book focuses on courage and independence, and I feel students who have dealt with divorce or separation could relate to the struggles Nate, the main character goes through.
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book because it is very unpredictable and it hooks you in right from the beginning. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a bit of mystery and adventure. My favourite character in this book is Sam because although he only comes in to the book a few times, he is a significant and very unusual character.
Jan 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It is one of the best books I have ever read. 😁
While Nate and his mum run away in the middle of the night to a cottage, Nate’s mum goes to the local shop nearby as they don’t have any food, but doesn’t return... Nate is left all alone but comes across somebody from his past, and meets someone he has never met before...
Jan 30, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Nate's mom disappears after they've run off from his stepdad, Nate begins to see an imaginary friend (or maybe more than one). Nate helps Kitty solve a mystery while he worries about his mom being missing. I thought Nate was written as younger than the 12 years old he was supposed to be. That always bothers me in kids' books, but overall, I think kids would like this one. ...more
Rachel Huskisson
A great second novel by Lisa Thompson, It doesn't shy away from difficult subject areas but addresses them sensitively enough that it can be accessed by younger children. I will definitely be recommending this one at school. ...more
Jennifer Whitt
I loved the mystery of this book. As an adult I enjoyed the innocence of children, the fight for family and the long lost imaginary friend. I am not sure children will appreciate this gem for all that it is worth. Intriguing, different from my usual trauma/ realistic fiction reads.
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the best book I have read in my life! I would recommend it for kids and even high school students. It’s a quick read and very happy but with lots of suspense and you will get connected to the characters!
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hope can be found in the strangest places. Nate and his Mum head to an abandoned cottage to escape emotionally abusive Gary. When Mum disappears, Nate needs the help of his old imaginary friend to work out what to do. At the same time, a strange girl called Kitty draws Nate into a treasure hunt ....

A sensitive and beautifully written story which I read in one sitting. The child’s voice is spot-on, and I love imaginary friend Sam. Enough information is given about the mystery for young readers to
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