By Author / Illustrator
Friends and family
Walker Books Ltd
Paperback / softback
A compelling, atmospheric and gothic Frankenstein-inspired adventure by an award-winning Irish author.
Stitch is not a monster - he's a creation. He and his friend Henry Oaf were brought to life by the genius Professor Hardacre, and have spent all their days in a castle deep in the woods, far from humankind. But when the Professor dies and his pompous nephew comes to take over the laboratory, they soon find out that his sights are set not on scientific discovery, but personal glory. And Henry is his next experiment.
Can Stitch and Henry escape his clutches and make their way in a world they were never built for - and may never be ready for them?
A magnificent gothic adventure full of heart for ages 8+. "A thrilling gothic adventure, brimming with heart and bursting with big questions. I loved it." Lucy Strange
Stitch is a boy who was made, literally stitched together as his name suggests. Along with his friend Henry, he lives with the Professor in a castle and counts the days since he 'woke up'. One day, when everything changes, the Professor's nephew comes calling and Stitch finds that sometimes difference is not so good and that some lives seem to count for less than others. He and Henry have to escape the castle and enter a world where they might be feared for their difference.
Padraig Kenny is one of my favourite children's authors (Tin is still an all-time favourite book) and I admit to bias when reading his work. There is also that concern that you will not enjoy the book as much as previous books. No need for worry; this book is just as good. This is a short book, particularly when compared to The Monsters of Rookhaven, but it packs a punch. Kenny is sticking with his familiar themes of difference and what makes someone human, and he has also channelled ideas of Frankenstein's monster and how people can sometimes be the monsters.
Stitch is beautifully written and as I read it, I wondered how much of the inference some children might get; it is a deceptively simple story. Not that this is a problem; it is nice to read a book that can work on so many levels. I loved this book, and I would use it in class to look into deeper meaning of text as well as the big concepts of difference and humanity. I feel very privileged to have read a very early proof.
208 pages / Reviewed by Jacqueline Harris, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 9+