A fantastic mystery that is truly about finding the light in the dark and overcoming your fears.
Well, what can I say? Lisa Thompson has done it again.
The Light Jar is simply incredible, unputdownable, and, like The Goldfish Boy, tackles a difficult topic that’s not often seen in Middle Grade books. Put simply, this is another book that I think that everyone should read.
The Light Jar starts off with Nate and his mum escaping to a run-down cottage on the edge of a huge estate. This is where the main topic of the book is introduced and we learn of Gary. Throughout the book there’s an air of mystery as to what’s caused Nate’s mum to want to leave Gary so urgently and as an older reader I could see how this topic would be covered in YA, so was very surprised to see it covered in MG! However, Thompson has done a fantastic job of, whilst not sugar-coating it, making it a book that doesn’t leave you squirming but also shows you that relationships like Nate’s mum and Gary’s exist and that they affect young people today. I wholeheartedly commend and thank her for bringing something like this into the mainstream.
When Nate’s mum suddenly disappears, a whole host of scenarios pop into your head and, as with The Goldfish Boy, they range from the most innocent to the more sinister. This is the magic of Thompson’s writing; the reader is able to think of their own ideas which cater for all different ages. An older reader may think that one thing has happened, whereas a younger reader would never consider that option and think something completely different! We follow Nate as he survives alone without his mum, ends up taking part in a mysterious treasure hunt and ultimately learns to overcome his fears.
“It’s a light jar. A string of lights in a little glass jar. That’s all it is.”