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THURSDAY’S CHILD by Sonya Hartnett


by Sonya Hartnett

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-7636-1620-6
Publisher: Candlewick

Hartnett (Princes, 1998, etc.) tells a fantastic tale of an ordinary life during the Great Depression. Narrator Harper Flute begins with her brother Tin, “born on a Thursday, and so fated to his wanderings,” and about the day he went underground. Having a baby brother who burrows beneath her family’s ill-fated plot of land doesn’t seem odd to her young eyes. Neither does her father, who, permanently “changed” by the Great War, has taken a farm plot though he knows nothing about farming, and squanders his inheritance on three breeding cows just as the stock market collapses. Harper’s voice is precise, charged, and involved. Her nearsighted view broadens as the reader watches her grow. 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. Tin disappears more and more from sight, becoming an allegorical and literal underpinning of the family. Hartnett’s narrative stands on edge between the mundane and the stuff of legend, as Harper’s childhood unfolds precisely and peculiarly towards the event that changes her family forever. Dark, unusual, familiar, and slightly miraculous—Hartnett’s story is not for everyone, but it leaves its mark. (Fiction. YA)