Thursday's Child by Sonya Hartnett

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A stunningly original voice in young adult fiction

Harper Flute believes that her younger brother Tin, with his uncanny ability to dig, was born to burrow. While their family struggles to survive in a desolate landscape during the Great Depression, the silent and elusive little Tin - "born on a Thursday and so fated to his wanderings" - begins to escape underground, tunneling beneath their tiny shanty. As time passes and fate deals the family an especially cruel hand, Harper’s parents withdraw emotionally, and her siblings bravely try to fill the void, while Tin becomes a wild thing, leaving them further and further behind.

With exquisite prose, richly drawn characters, and a touch of magical realism, Sonya Hartnett tells a breathtakingly original coming-of-age story through the clear eyes of an observant child. It’s a loving and unsentimental portrait of family loyalty in the face of poverty and eartbreak, entwined with a surreal vision of the enigmatic Tin - disappearing into a mysterious labyrinth that reaches unimaginably far, yet remains hauntingly near.

About Sonya Hartnett

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Sonya Hartnett is the author of several acclaimed novels - the first written when she was just thirteen - and the recipient of many prestigious awards in her native Australia. She says Tin and his tunneling had their origin in ants: "I was living at the time in two rooms, just going back and forth, back and forth as I watched an entire summer of ants excavating under my house. One day it occurred to me that they probably had a huge palace under there. And that's when I started to think about ways of taking your existence into your own hands - of how, if the space around you was not big enough, you might just dig out some more." This is Sonya Hartnett's first book with Candlewick Press.
Published January 1, 2000 by Penguin. 240 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books, Education & Reference. Fiction

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Her bossy older sister becomes a frustrated romantic, and her helpful older brother gives up on the family he’s struggled to hold together through his adolescence.

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Publishers Weekly

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Set in the harsh mining outback of Australia during the Depression, Hartnett's (Sleeping Dogs) startling coming-of-age story combines narrator Harper Flute's grindingly realistic account of a family mired in poverty with a more surreal tale of her younger brother, Tin.

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