This post brought to you by HarperCollins Children’s Books. All opinions are 100% mine.
Get ready to head into the Thickety for an exciting summer read that you and your middle-grade kids will love! I believe that summer should be a time for kids to read what they want and enjoy exploring their interests, especially after being told what to read all school-year long!
When I need inspiration for a great book idea to share with my son, I turn to HarperCollins Children’s Books. They have such a great selection of books in every genre. My son is just starting to get into the fantasy genre a bit more, so we read The Thickety by J.A. White together last week.
Get lost in the magic of The Thickety
The Thickety is the story of a 12-year-old girl, Kara, and her journey to understand her magical gifts. Kara has had it rough. Her mother was executed for being a witch when Kara was very young. Her father is basically an absentee figure, since he can’t cope with his wife’s death. Kara is left alone to take care of a sick little brother and deal with a town full of hateful superstitious oafs.
The only thing the townspeople fear worse than magic is The Thickety, a patch of dark woods on the outskirts of town. One day, a mysterious bird leads Kara into the woods. There, she discovers a strange and mysterious book that may also be a connection to her mother. As Kara explores the book and her gifts, her character develops at a breakneck speed. Without giving too much away, I want you to think about this question: if you suddenly realized that you had the power to get back at those who hurt you your whole life, what would you do?
It’s definitely dark in The Thickety!
Let me make something clear: this is a dark book. As dark as the woods of the Thickety. If your kids can’t handle dark themes, you may want to hold off on sharing this one with them. That shouldn’t keep you from reading it, though.While it’s written for middle-grade kids, it’s definitely an enthralling, intense read for adults as well.
If your children can handle the themes and intensity of The Thickety, the story opens up some amazing discussion opportunities. The way the town bullies Kara and her family can lead to conversations about how even adults can let superstition and peer pressure determine the way they treat others. Persecution- especially for religious purposes- has been occurring since pretty much the beginning of humanity.
The Thickety is a fantastic tool for exploring and illustrating that. It can open up discussions about times things like this have happened in our world, from the Burning Times (when men and women were killed in droves for suspected witchcraft) to the events of WWII Germany right up until present time.
Power is another fantastic theme to discuss after reading The Thickety- namely, what would your child do with it? We tell our children to treat others as we expect to be treated, but is it okay to treat others as they treat us? Should a child who lost her mother and lived in misery her whole life be expected to turn the other cheek?
Bottom line: I went into The Thickety expecting a light, somewhat childish fantasy. What I found there surprised me almost as much as it surprised Kara. This isn’t just a book, it’s an educational experience that, in the end, will have you begging the author to hurry up and write the next book!
Win a copy of The Thickety!
Can’t wait to read The Thickety? Enter below for a chance to win a copy of your own! Giveaway is open to US residents age 18+ and ends on August 18th.
Have you read The Thickety yet? Do your children enjoy fantasy novels?