Reviewed by L. Tyre

I recently finished the new Jonathan Auxier novel, THE NIGHT GARDENER, and it was wonderfully creepy. But before I get into the novel, can we just take a moment to gaze on the incredible cover?


The second I saw that, I was determined to buy the book. Sorry, no e-edition for me. I settled in and right away, I knew I was going to love this story. Listen to this:

“The calendar said early March, but the smell in the air said late October. The crisp sun shone over Cellar Hollow, melting the final bits of ice from the bare trees. Steam rose from the soil like a phantom, carrying with it a whisper of autumn smoke that had been lying dormant in the frosty underground. Squinting through the trees, you could just make out the winding path that ran from the village all the way to the woods in the south. People seldom traveled in that direction, but on this March-morning-that-felt-like-October, a horse and cart rattled down the road. It was a fish cart with a broken back wheel and no fish. Riding atop the bench were two children, a girl and a boy, both with striking red hair. The girl was Molly, and the boy, her brother, was Kip.

And they were riding to their deaths.”

I just got shivers all over again!

Molly and Kip are on their way to work as servants for a family living in a creepy, rundown old manor. The family is unaware that they are slowly succumbing to an evil that has worked its way into their home. Can Kip and Molly survive their encounter with the evil inhabitant and save the family, or will they meet their end as so many others before them?

This is a super-smart ghost tale with a lot of hidden depth. I highly recommend.

(Not for the faint of heart. I’d say a brave 4th grader and up.)

Don’t just take my word from it. Here’s praise from people that actually matter!


“Lots of creepiness, memorable characters, a worthy message, Auxier’s atmospheric drawings and touches of humor amid the horror make this cautionary tale one readers will not soon forget.”   —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Storytelling and the secret desires of the heart wind together in this atmospheric novel that doubles as a ghost tale.” —School Library Journal, starred review