Books by Tim Wynne-Jones

When Tim Wynne-Jones was three, he ran away from home with a tea cozy on his head. Shortly after, his family moved from England to Canada, and Wynne-Jones turned his childhood experiences in Ottawa into the foundation for his bittersweet novels about Rex Zero. His most recent book, Blink & Caution, may be his "finest, most beautifully written novel yet." Photo credit: Candlewick Press


THE RUINOUS SWEEP by Tim Wynne-Jones
YOUNG ADULT
Released: June 26, 2018

"Suspenseful and complex, this will mesmerize readers patient enough to stick with it. (author's note) (Fiction. 14-18)"
A teen boy with anger issues, critically injured in a car accident, is suspected of murdering his alcoholic father and staunchly defended by his high school girlfriend, Bee. Read full book review >
SECRET AGENT MAN GOES SHOPPING FOR SHOES by Tim Wynne-Jones
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 14, 2016

"Energetic compositions and appealing artwork bolster this spy-friendly text. (Picture book. 4-7)"
A spy-obsessed boy must shop for shoes (tiger tennies!), and a newfound ability to tie them completes his mission. Read full book review >
THE EMPEROR OF ANY PLACE by Tim Wynne-Jones
YOUNG ADULT
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"An accomplished wordsmith, Wynne-Jones achieves an extraordinary feat: he illuminates the hidden depths of personalities and families through a mesmerizing blend of realism and magic. (Fiction. 13-17)"
After the shock of his father's sudden death and the arrival of a grandfather he was taught to hate but never met, Evan must unravel a family mystery. Read full book review >
BLINK AND CAUTION by Tim Wynne-Jones
FICTION
Released: March 8, 2011

"Wynne-Jones' finest, most beautifully written novel yet, one more in a career full of distinguished works. (afterword) (Mystery. YA)"
Two teenagers hurt by life "with its never-ending snares and pitfalls and dire consequences" come together in this elegantly constructed noir mystery and love story. Read full book review >
REX ZERO, THE GREAT PRETENDER by Tim Wynne-Jones
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 26, 2010

"Genuinely wholesome, packed with affectionate humor, tension and joy. (Historical fiction. 9-12)"
After a childhood spent moving constantly across two countries, Rex wonders why his parents can't settle down. Read full book review >
THE UNINVITED by Tim Wynne-Jones
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 2009

"Older teen readers looking for something akin to Celia Rees's sensual, brooding The Wish House (2005) will not be disappointed. (Mystery. 14 & up)"
A selfish New York painter fathered three children by different mothers in his reckless youth. Read full book review >
REX ZERO, KING OF NOTHING by Tim Wynne-Jones
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 9, 2008

"An idealized portrait of feisty kids, but affecting for all that. (Fiction. 9-11)"
A carefree childhood in 1962 Ottawa has more depth than first appearances indicate. Read full book review >
REX ZERO AND THE END OF THE WORLD by Tim Wynne-Jones
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 8, 2007

"Delightfully nerve-wracking, eccentric and optimistic. (Fiction. 9-12)"
Lonely and friendless, Rex Norton-Norton has just moved to Ottawa. Read full book review >
THE BOAT IN THE TREE by Tim Wynne-Jones
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2007

"Sophisticated illustrations and prose are well-matched, and a valuable lesson subtly presented. (Picture book. 4-7)"
A passion for boats and sailing is fueled by sibling dynamics. Read full book review >
A THIEF IN THE HOUSE OF MEMORY by Tim Wynne-Jones
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 15, 2005

"Melancholy, uncanny and emotionally powerful. (Fiction. 12-15)"
How can Declan Steeple plan for the future when he's haunted by the past? Read full book review >
THE BOY IN THE BURNING HOUSE by Tim Wynne-Jones
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 11, 2001

"That bit of contrivance aside, Wynne-Jones (Stephen Fair, 1998) weaves a strong, sensitively observed cast, plus themes of inner conflict, unlikely friendships, and the enduring power of hate, into a powerful tale that will grip readers from start to finish. (Fiction. 11-15)"
Old sins come home to roost in this taut, terrifying psychological thriller, set largely on an isolated Canadian farm. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 1999

"These economically told tales, leavened with generous quantities of humor and tension, carry their messages lightly, and deserve a welcome from all fans of thoughtful, perceptive writing. (Short stories. 11-14)"
Wynne-Jones (Some of the Kinder Planets, 1995, etc.) gets off to a relatively slow start here, but finishes strong. Read full book review >
STEPHEN FAIR by Tim Wynne-Jones
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: April 1, 1998

"An intense study in friendship and troubled family relations, in which the steadiest characters are the teenagers. (Fiction. 12-15)"
Recurrent nightmares and a strong feeling that his mother is hiding something haunt a teenager in this ethereal novel from Wynne-Jones (The Maestro, 1996, etc.). Read full book review >
THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME by Victor Hugo
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

"The volume lacks power or emotion; adults seeking an alternative—any alternative—to the Disney film may find that this one hardly competes for the hearts and minds of the target audience. (Fiction. 5-8)"
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (40 pp.; $15.95; Sept. 1997; 0-531- 30055-2): A storybook retelling of Hugo's classic of the lonely bellringer and his hopeless love for the beautiful gypsy girl, Esmerelda, whom he rescues from hanging and the evil archdeacon Dom Frollo and reunites with her mother. Read full book review >
THE MAESTRO by Tim Wynne-Jones
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

"A truly compelling adventure story. (Fiction. 11+)"
With a brutal, despicable father who beats him and an ineffectual mother incapacitated by drugs, Burl, 14, has learned not to expect anything good from life. Read full book review >
THE BOOK OF CHANGES by Tim Wynne-Jones
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

"Some stories do, too. (Short stories. 10-14)"
A fine collection of short stories in which Wynne-Jones (Some of the Kinder Planets, p. 564, etc.), with gentle humor and moments of quiet epiphany, taps the truth of family life and growing up in the '90s. Read full book review >
SOME OF THE KINDER PLANETS by Tim Wynne-Jones
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 1995

"The contrived plots, along with the presence of laser printers and fax machines, give real-life drama to the mysterious overtones of science fiction, but the narration is uneven: sometimes painterly and lyrical, sometimes bordering on sentimental. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Nine original premises elaborated—sometimes cleverly, sometimes awkwardly—into short stories. Read full book review >