Creature of the Night

Creature of the Night

4.2 7
by Kate Thompson
     
 

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A HOUSE WITH A SECRET

An unanswered question: Who is the Creature in the Night?

Bobby lives a reckless life smoking, drinking, and stealing cars in Dublin. So his mother moves thefamily to the country. But Bobby suspects their cottage might not be as quaint as it seems. Teens will be captivated by this spooky novel about the darkness that lurks in

Overview

A HOUSE WITH A SECRET

An unanswered question: Who is the Creature in the Night?

Bobby lives a reckless life smoking, drinking, and stealing cars in Dublin. So his mother moves thefamily to the country. But Bobby suspects their cottage might not be as quaint as it seems. Teens will be captivated by this spooky novel about the darkness that lurks in forgotten corners and tough teenagers.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
There is a bit of magical mystery and some redemption going on in this tale, which centers around fourteen-year old Bobby who has been moved unwillingly to a small Irish village to get him away from the bad crowd he runs with in Dublin. Of course his young, unmarried ma is getting away from the bill collectors, too, but that is not the story she gives to their new landlord, PJ Dooley. Bobby swears he will get back to Dublin no matter what, and within days, he has stolen a car, hooked up with one of his old Dublin lads, and landed in jail. The landlord initially wants to throw them out, but ma's tears cause Dooley to relent and he instead offers Bobby a chance to work off the cost of the car by working the farm. Strangely enough, Bobby more or less sticks to it and, in fact, becomes really engaged when one of Dooley's sons involves Bobby in helping to rebuild the engine of a car. The other story line is a series of mysteries surrounding the previous tenants of the cottage they are renting. The original owners were charged with murdering their daughter and went to jail. The previous renter has mysteriously disappeared, and Bobby's younger brother Dennis insists a small woman comes through the dog flap in the back door to visit him each night. The locals attribute strange goings on to fairies, but Bobby thinks something else is out there in the night—something that does not want them in the cottage. Boys will like the tough swaggering Bobby; the dialogue and issues seem an accurate portrayal of what it might be like growing up fatherless, poor, and involved with lawbreakers. The setting in Ireland does not detract from the universality of the teenage experience and may be an addedincentive for some readers. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.
VOYA - Lisa A. Hazlett
At fourteen, Bobby has long been committing crimes throughout Dublin with his gang. His young mother overspends on the dole and sporadically notices him and his younger brother Dennis, so when they abruptly move far from Dublin, Bobby is incensed. Neighbors hint of a murdered child and malevolent fairies associated with their rental home, and its previous tenant, Lars, disappeared, leaving his car. Bobby steals and drives the car to Dublin, eventually wrecking it, but police warily accept his sob story. Their landlord, P. J., however, shocks Bobby and his mother by censuring him and demanding repayment in the form of helping on his farm. While working there, Bobby witnesses a loving, functional family that sharply contrasts with his squalor. Meanwhile eerie events and noises are occurring, with Dennis supposedly seeing a tiny woman—wearing Lars's shirt. Curious, Bobby finds and secretly keeps Lars's money; the body's discovery spurs their leaving the trashed rental for Dublin. Bobby anticipates financial grandeur, but calls P.J. after disaster strikes. Bobby's sparse, concise narration is fast-paced and gripping. The novel's harsh language depicts his world of characters as troubled and cruel as their situations. Bobby is shockingly brutal to his mother and similarly careless toward working; he is no quick convert. But his intelligence and conscience eventually and realistically emerge with his turning point when fearing to continue his lifestyle. Thompson creepily broadens the plot with Lars's unexpectedly chilling, albeit far-fetched murder. Bobby's central turmoil will resonate with many, and the ending showing him and Dennis ten years later is especially satisfying. Reviewer:Lisa A. Hazlett
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Rebellious and resentful Bobby, 14, is ripped from his world of drugs and theft in Dublin and forced to move to a seemingly sleepy farm community. After stealing and demolishing a car that belonged to a man who inexplicably disappeared, he is required by the simple, very human Dooley family, from whom his mother is renting a house, to make amends in the form of farm labor. At home, his mother is too worn out and irresponsible to care about her son's indiscretions unless they impact her directly. And they both ignore four-year-old Dennis when he talks about his new nighttime friend, "a little woman." Bobby makes grand plans to escape the farm and the Dooleys' imposed servitude for the wild nights of Dublin. But when his city friends sell him out and he is left wandering the streets alone, the honesty and integrity of sore muscles and a hard day's work become more appealing. Bobby is a powerful character, hard and devoid of feeling, initially, due to the harshness of his own reality. His transformation is empowering, however, and the Dooleys demonstrate how the smallest pat on the back can change the course of an entire life. This novel will draw in reluctant readers with the mysterious supernatural element as well as the mayhem and defiance. Once hooked, they will be moved by the way that Bobby reassesses his expectations for himself due to the kindness and mentoring of a neighbor.—Kat Redniss, Brownell Library, Essex Junction, VT
Kirkus Reviews
A thief and a liar at 14, Bobby is furious with his mother for moving the family to the sticks to get him away from the trouble he's been up to in Dublin. Taken on by an older gang for his youth and speed, Bobby wants the excitement of drugs, booze and the burning of stolen cars that gave his life thrills. The country is boring. He is initially skeptical of his younger brother's accounts of the "little woman" who drinks the milk in the nighttime, but spooky details of the history of their little cottage gradually turn Bobby into a detective of night creatures real and imagined. The ancient ring forts, neighbors' tales of murder and the way rural communities don't let you escape consequences slowly swirl into an intricate narrative pattern. Bobby's first-person narration never shortchanges his wrongdoing or the family pattern of irresponsibility. In the work required by the landlord after he wrecks a stolen car, Bobby slowly begins to find his salvation. True to an astonishingly amoral worldview while equally revealing of Bobby's compassion, this novel scintillates. (Fiction. YA)
From the Publisher

“This novel will draw in reluctant readers with the mysterious supernatural elements as well as the mayhem and defiance. Once hooked, they will be moved by the way that Bobby reassesses his expectations for himself due to the kindness and mentoring of a neighbor.” —Starred, School Library Journal

“Irish author Thompson is well established as a master of supernatural stories, but she shines here in the realistic plot as well. ” —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“True to an astonishingly amoral worldview while equally revealing of Bobby's compassion, this novel scintillates.” —Starred, Kirkus Reviews

“While . . . mysteries move the plot forward, Bobby is growing up. He comes to appreciate the rural life and country people, admiring their honesty and work ethic, even as the street life of gangs and crime loses its luster.” —Horn Book

“A unique blend of subtlety and brashness, this is an honest coming-of-age in the guise of a gripping YA thriller.” —Starred, Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781429919739
Publisher:
Roaring Brook Press
Publication date:
03/31/2009
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
File size:
742 KB
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Acclaimed author KATE THOMPSON is known for the Switchers Trilogy, the Missing Link Trilogy, and, most recently, The Last of the High Kings. She lives on the west coast of Ireland.

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Creature of the Night 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it!
Sullivan More than 1 year ago
Creature of the Night is a recent book from multi-award winning Irish writer, Kate Thompson; in fact, this book has been named a Bistro Honour Book. Fourteen-year-old Bobby has been moved from Dublin into the country by his mother who hopes the move keeps him out of trouble. The people from whom they rent the house tell them to leave milk out for the fairies. The book is, thus, a realistic tale about a troubled teenager and his somewhat dysfunctional mother with parallel plots about the previous renter who has disappeared and the nightly visit of a small, old fairy woman. Thus, like Alan Garner's The Owl Service, Kate Thompson's Creature of the Night is a basically realistic novel colored and deepend by an element of fantasy. Bobby shifts back and forth between discovering the worth of rural farm work and trying to get back to his delinquent mates in Dublin, and it is often difficult to like him--especially given the way he treats his mother. Thompson has written an excellent and satisfying novel that does not take the predictable or easy way out in the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gretchen Stiffler More than 1 year ago
it was a farily stupid book about a juvinille deliquent who sees a fariy in his back yard. i dont recomend at all. but swears alot so if u want to read it make sure the f word doesnt annoy u says f rd offten