Graphic Novel Review: Thornhill

Thornhill by Pam Smy
by Pam Smy

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This graphic novel follows two girls, Mary, an orphan in 1982, and Ella, a lonely girl who lives next door to the orphanage 20 years later. Mary writes in her journal about her life at the orphanage, and the terrible bullying she suffers from another of the orphan girls. 20 years later, Ella explores around the broken-down dilapidated orphanage, and sees a mysterious ghostly figure in a window.

This book was heart-breaking and disturbing and unutterably sad. The bullying at the orphanage is terrible, and poor Mary is so depressed and frightened. The black and white illustrations are beautiful and haunting. 
The dolls that Mary creates were sort of creepy, but I can understand how having a hobby and being creative would bring her some joy and be a place of refuge for her.
While I felt sorry for Mary, I was also repulsed by her in a way. She is so very strange and odd, but I felt that if only someone had helped her, she could have begun to live a more normal, happier life.

I was VERY ANGRY that Mary’s teachers and caregivers ignored the fact that she was being bullied. I am a teacher, and I would NEVER ignore a student if I thought they were having problems.

This book really gripped my heart, and I loved it! I read it all in one sitting, because I could NOT put it down. I was shocked at the bittersweet ending, but enjoyed the symmetry of the story.

The bullying is really upsetting, so I would not recommend this book for young children, or sensitive teens.

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