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Creature of the Night

by Kate Thompson

Published by U.S. edition: Roaring Brook Press, 2009
250 pages
ISBN: 978-1-59643-511-7

Ages 12 - 14

Bobby’s family lives on the economic and emotional edge. Desperate not to be evicted from the country cottage where they’ve just moved, Bobby’s mother agrees that fourteen-year-old Bobby will work for their landlord to pay him back for the car he stole. The car belonged to the former tenant of the cottage--who disappeared without a trace. Bobby is at once pleased by the praise and sense of satisfaction that comes with doing a good job for the landlord and resentful of the amount of work demanded of him. And the landlord’s family is so very different from his own--the respect and fondness they feel for one another, and the value they place on hard work, is not something Bobby has ever experienced. Meanwhile, Bobby discovers his little brother having secret conversations in the middle of the night with someone—or something. His sense of unease deepens deepens when he finds items belonging to the missing tenant that suggest foul play, further fueling rumors that the cottage has been a site of mystery and tragedy for years. Some (but not all) readers looking for the scary story suggested by the title and cover of Creature of the Night may be disappointed. But Kate Thompson’s novel incorporates Irish lore into a tremendously rich story of a teen on a path of self-destruction who is lucky enough to find people who see his promise and are willing to give him more than one chance to make new choices. CCBC categories: Fiction for Young Adults.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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