The Thickety: A Path Begins

( 17 )

Overview

A dark, forbidden forest. Vicious beasts. Deadly plants. An evil spellbook. Secrets. Mysteries. Witches, both good and bad . . . Welcome to the world of the Thickety. Full of action, set in an intriguing and dangerous world, and illustrated with gorgeous and haunting line art, The Thickety: A Path Begins is a truly stunning book.

A Path Begins is the thrilling start of a new middle-grade fantasy series about a girl, a mysterious forest, and a book of untold magical powers. Kara ...

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The Thickety: A Path Begins

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Overview

A dark, forbidden forest. Vicious beasts. Deadly plants. An evil spellbook. Secrets. Mysteries. Witches, both good and bad . . . Welcome to the world of the Thickety. Full of action, set in an intriguing and dangerous world, and illustrated with gorgeous and haunting line art, The Thickety: A Path Begins is a truly stunning book.

A Path Begins is the thrilling start of a new middle-grade fantasy series about a girl, a mysterious forest, and a book of untold magical powers. Kara and her brother, Taff, are shunned by their village because their mother was a witch. The villagers believe nothing is more evil than magic, except for what lurks in the nearby Thickety. But when Kara enters the forbidden forest, she discovers a strange book, a grimoire that might have belonged to her mother. The events she then sets in motion are both awe-inspiring and terrifying. . . .

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  • The Thickety: A Path Begins
    The Thickety: A Path Begins  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 03/24/2014
The followers of the Path have left the sinful world behind to live in the isolated community of De’Noran, which is increasingly encroached upon by the Thickety, the domain of the forest demon Sordyr. Kara Westfall’s mother was executed for the crime of witchcraft, and now her family ekes out a living under the burden of the community’s suspicion. It falls to 12-year-old Kara to keep her sickly younger brother and dysfunctional father alive. She negotiates the treacherous road of a pariah, attempting to persuade a proto-Puritanical society that she is harmless, even while the dangerously addictive powers she has inherited from her mother well up within her. In this darkly imaginative debut, White creates a fantasy world with creatures that are anything but sweet—a cyclopean bird, a multi-mouthed horror—and, after a deceptively satisfying resolution, he unfurls a twist that will make readers want the next chapter of Kara’s story immediately. White’s prose is evocative without being dense, and Offermann’s sharp-edged silhouettes (not all seen by PW) add an ominous note. Absolutely thrilling. Ages 8–12. Agent: Alexandra Machinist, Janklow & Nesbit. (May)
Lisa McMann
The Thickety is a sinister, magical debut with a marvelous and shocking heroine. J.A. White’s elegant writing and masterful plot kept me turning pages late into the night.
VOYA, June 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 2) - Jan Chapman
It is always delightful to find a new fantasy that does not mine the usual tropes, but presents readers with something fresh and original. In The Thickety, readers meet Kara who, when she was only six years old, watched her mother convicted of witchcraft and executed. Because of that, Kara and her family are shunned by the villagers who have been taught that witchcraft is an abomination. One day, Kara is lured by a strange bird into a forbidden forest called the Thickety. There she discovers a book that is a compendium of magic spells. Through the book, Kara begins to discover that she has an inherited ability to perform magic, but she must keep this secret from everyone or risk her mother’s fate. When another village girl steals the book and also begins practicing witchcraft, Kara has to find a way to stop her, as the book has given its new owner terrible powers that are being used for evil, not good. The author has created a world that is vivid and beautifully realized. Rather than subject readers to elaborate preliminary world building, readers enter this world and feel at home almost immediately. The characters are well drawn and fully developed, particularly Kara, whose struggle to understand her new powers and fear of being persecuted are poignant. The cleverly suspenseful plot moves along at a good pace. Fans of Jaclyn Moriarty’s Colors of Madeleine fantasy series or Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novels will eagerly snap this one up. Reviewer: Jan Chapman; Ages 11 to 18.
Children's Literature - Joella Peterson
Kara was six years old when her mother was killed for practicing witchcraft. Now, years later, the people of her village still won’t forget what her mother was. They treat Kara and her father and little brother like they are worthless, while preaching how amazing they are since they are kind to everyone. When a bird leads Kara to a magical book, life begins to change. Suddenly Kara has power, but she is not quite sure what is the right way to use the power and what isn’t. When her secret starts to escape and others are after the magic and the power, life is not so safe around the Thickety. This is a great fantasy. Kara is a strong character who not only has gumption, but also is willing to fight for her family and friends (and perhaps those that are not her friends). The magic and the thicket are powerful and mysterious. Just when the plot turns in one direction, it twists around itself so the reader is never quite sure what will happen next. The story is not dark, but it has just enough bite that those who want something more than an elementary school fantasy book will be pleased. Reviewer: Joella Peterson; Ages 10 to 14.
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-02-19
Nail-biting suspense is the hallmark of this long fantasy novel, from the terrifying prologue to the shocking epilogue. This pleasantly accomplished debut presents readers with a dystopian, theocratic society that fears and executes witches and magic users. The community lives on the island of De'Noran, where the habitable land is being devoured by strange forest called the Thickety. In the prologue, readers meet little Kara Westall, who is roused from her bed and dragged to watch her mother's execution as a witch. Years later, Kara, now 12, is responsible for herself, her younger brother, Taff, and their father, crippled by depression. When Kara finds her mother's grimoire in the Thickety and uses it, the already suspenseful narrative becomes nerve-wracking. The author's storytelling chops show in how he ratchets up suspense, delivers believable characters (both good and evil), and reveals information slowly and only when absolutely necessary. There is a stunning climax and a seemingly perfect resolution. Readers will know, however, that nothing is perfect, and the epilogue confirms this fact while providing hope for a sequel. The spellbinding story, lashings of suspense and stalwart heroine will draw in fantasy fans and keep them reading until the bitter ending. (Fantasy. 11-14)
Lisa McMann
“The Thickety is a sinister, magical debut with a marvelous and shocking heroine. J.A. White’s elegant writing and masterful plot kept me turning pages late into the night.”
Angie Sage
“The Thickety may give you nightmares, but it is a gripping story with a great heroine.”
The Bulletin of The Center for Children's Books
“A startling plot twist at the end will have readers urgently waiting for a sequel, and it may even lead them right back into the book to see if they missed earlier clues.”
School Library Journal
04/01/2014
Gr 5–8—"There is no such thing as a good witch." These words, well known to all the villagers of De'Noran, haunt 12-year-old Kara Westfall. Ostracized and abused, she and her brother are the children of the last known witch, who was hanged on the edge of the Thickety when Kara was five. As the tangled branches of the dark, forbidden forest spread closer to the village, something strange and powerful awakens in Kara. Was her mother's magic truly evil? White's debut novel is darkly bewitching. The isolation of De'Noran and the fervor of its residents create a heady suspense, and White's well-crafted characters operate beautifully within the fantastical world he has created. Offerman's inky silhouettes perfectly complement the story. Readers will devour each twist and turn of the plot, right up to the startling conclusion.—Sara Saxton, Wasilla Public Library, Wasilla, AK
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062257246
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/6/2014
  • Series: Thickety Series , #1
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 105,765
  • Age range: 10 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 730L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 7.20 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

J. A. White lives in New Jersey with his wife, three sons, and a hamster named Ophelia that doesn't like him very much. When he's not making up stories, he teaches a bunch of kids how to make up stories (along with math and science and other important stuff). He wishes dragons were real, because it would be a much cooler way to get to work.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2015

    Not for kids

    This is a good book, but my word, why does it say it's for kids? It reminds me of the 2nd book in The Looking Glass Wars trilogy. Grace is very much like Red. It's just creepiness and darkness and i wouldn't want a child reading this. Maybe teenagers i suppose, but i find it quite adult enough, thank you very much.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 14, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    The cover on this book reminded me of Coraline meets an old Sale

    The cover on this book reminded me of Coraline meets an old Salem witch story. But who doesn’t like either of those? It is a thick book, but the words are pretty big so it wasn’t really as big as I thought it would be. The Thickety: A Path Begins is about a girl named Kara whose mom is killed when her brother is just a baby because the village thinks they are witches, which they are. She is somehow saved from being killed but everyone continues to treat her really bad. Surrounding the village is this evil place called the Thickety and nobody goes in it, but Kara feels it calling to her and that is when she finds her mom’s old grimoire book and the story’s action goes crazy wild!

    “You have no right to touch it with your filthy Clearer hands. It’s mine!”

    I couldn’t believe how fast this story is. It is like action on every page and I felt like I was actually in the book with Kara as she was bringing the book to life and as she started seeing Grace for what she was and the power they both had.

    The book ended with a major cliffhanger and totally left me wanting to read more. I highly suggest reading this one now, because there has to be more books in this series to be written!

    *This book was provided in exchange for an honest review
    *You can view the original review at San Francisco Book Review

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2014

    LOVED IT

    This was an AMAZING book I loved it SO much! One thing I'm not sure about is if it has a sequel...
    Either way the character development was great, over all this book is unputdownable! 5 stars definently

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2015

    Fairytale for Adults

    Pageturner but not a literary masterpiece. There must be a sequel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2015

    A must read.

    A very dark but a good book also a amazing storyline a good read for halloween time

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2015

    Chilling

    This is not Harry Potter. There is nothing cute, warm, or fuzzy in this story of a young girl who learns she's a witch. The consequences of magic use are catastrophic for her and everyone around her.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2015

    Interesting.....

    I found this book to be both interesting and entertaining. But this book contains content that may be inapropriate for younger readers, some parts of this book happen to be creepy. But overall it is a good book. This is the kind of book that you would want to spoil for other people ( I think it has a good ending.) This book is definetly worth using your time on.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2015

    Awesome book

    Loved it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2015

    Loved this.

    Couldn't put it down! Really good story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2015

    hate hater

    Hate hater

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2014

    Excellent book!

    I really liked this book! The detailed descriptions allowed me to see what Kara was seeing, feel what she was feeling. Also, there wasn't a moment in this book when I truly got bored.

    The only reason I took a star off is because of the cliffhanger ending. It's a great ending, but there isn't yet a second book I can read! All in all, great book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2014

    GREAT book and very entertaining!! Wonderfully written and it w

    GREAT book and very entertaining!! Wonderfully written and it was great getting into the story and feeling like I was really there. Excellent book and can't wait for a sequel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2014

    Loved this magical and dark and twisty book. Can't wait for the

    Loved this magical and dark and twisty book. Can't wait for the next in the series!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2015

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2015

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2015

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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