The Crowfield Curse – Pat Walsh (2010) – A Kid-Lit Review

imagesYC433BKVcrowfieldI found this on the“Scary Books” shelves in the children’s section of my local library and its a very good example of superior Junior Fiction. Walsh is giving her young audience exactly what they want as this is both dark and creepy and with an involving plot. It is set in 1347 in and around an abbey. Will is a thirteen year old orphan residing at the abbey when he rescues a hob (goblin) from a trap and becomes involved in uncovering a century-old scandal. This turns out to be an angel being shot by a fairy king with the monks burying the body. The whereabouts of this body is sought by a leprosy-ridden visitor and his strange manservant. The pace is just right- not too frenetic, allowing the reader to savour what is going on, which boosts up the creepiness. It’s full of period detail and has a dramatic highspot suggestive of a more contemporary “Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe.” Some characters are a little underdrawn, like Hob (ready for the sequel?) and Dame Alys from the village but all the ends tie up effectively and I really enjoyed it. This book would perfectly fit the reader considering themselves to be growing out of children’s lit (but not ready for teenage fiction).   Since this book was published Pat Walsh has produced a follow-up “Crowfield Demon” and the first book in her Hob Tales sequence “The Hob And The Deerman”, both of which I will look forward to reading.


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