Saturday, May 23, 2015

Button Hill by Michael Bradford

Canadian author Michael Bradford's Button Hill is every bit as eerie as its cover suggests and to be honest I only picked it up because of its skull cover. The book is also in paperback as opposed to the hardcover form so many of these books come in.

The first few pages are reminiscent of Grimm's Fairy Tales and those old stories with a mean old aunt (in this case Aunt Primrose whose house Dekker his mother and sister Riley move to) or stepmother but gradually the plot begins to unfold after Dekker' curiosity gets the better of him and he touches an old grandfather clock thus setting in motion a catastrophic series of events.

His aunt proves to know much more than she lets on however and it is she who comes to his rescue after an ill-fated escapade where he meets the malicious Cobb, a boy who makes a dangerous wager with Dekker.  When Alice went down the rabbit hole and arrived at Wonderland she found some strange things, and this book is no different. Dekker's dog Ranger for example can not only talk but he has some other secrets as well.Later in the book Dekker's heart is taken out of his body and he has to resort to using a certain garden veggie as its replacement when he returns to the real world.

I could detect elements of  mythology, urban legends and classic horror flicks in the narrative and for this reason I think readers from tweens to adults will enjoy it. This book is well-written and well-paced and I recommend it for readers aged 12+.

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