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The Night Gardener: A Scary Story by Jonathan Auxier

The Night Gardener: A Scary Story by Jonathan Auxier

Orphans Molly and her younger brother Kip are looking for work away from their home in famine-stricken Ireland. They find it at the Windsor estate, an isolated, sprawling house in England that is a lot more than it seems.

As they work and live with the Windsors, Molly and Kip begin to discover that the atmosphere of the old, crumbling mansion is slowly taking the life force of the once-cheerful family of four.

There are also other things that go unexplained. Where does the green door at the top of the stairs she’s forbidden to open lead? Why does Master Windsor seem so “on edge” about everything? Why is there a full-grown dead tree in the middle of the house’s foundation?  And what to make of the footsteps that are heard in the dead of night? Molly swears it’s her wild imagination until she discovers that the footsteps make footprints, muddy and wet across the foyer.

Could it be the “Night Man,” a mysterious, shadowy figure that young Penny Windsor says comes through the house at night? Without disobeying orders from their masters, Molly and Kip begin to investigate the paranormal occurrences around Windsor mansion. And, they discover they must figure out the mystery soon, or everyone’s lives will be at stake.

The Night Gardener is a delightful tale for all ghost story lovers. With the air of works by Edgar Allan Poe, Jonathan Auxier spins a Gothic fairytale about the unexplained and the unknown, all the while weaving morality throughout the very heart of the story. The outcome may be expected, but the tale is so riveting that readers will not be able to put it down. 

The Night Gardener is on the 2016 Summer Reading List Grades 6-8 as well as the Young Reader's Choice Award for 2017.