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Thornhill by Pam Smy

It's hard to know how to categorise Pam Smy's Thornhill. It's not really a novel with illustrations, because the many beautifully drawn pictures are the only means of telling a large part of the story rather than accompanying the text, and it's not a graphic novel either as the other half of the story is told in pages of continuous prose. My copy is a hardcover edition and I must say it would make a beautiful Christmas gift - the book itself is a beautiful object and the artwork really deserves to be appreciated on paper; this is not a book to be read on a tablet or Kindle.

Thornhill begins with a young girl, Ella, moving to a new house with her father in the summer of 2017. Backing on to their new garden is Thornhill, a former children's care home which closed in 1982 and has been unused ever since. Ella, who has recently lost her mother and whose father is frequently absent due to the pressures of his job, one day spots another girl of about her age playing in Tho…

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