Parallel stories set in different times, one told in prose and one in pictures, converge as Ella unravels the mystery of the girl next door.

1982: Mary is a lonely orphan at the Thornhill Institute For Children at the very moment that it's shutting its doors. When her few friends are all adopted or re-homed and she's left to face a volatile bully alone, her revenge will have a lasting effect on the bully, on Mary, and on Thornhill itself.

2016: Ella has just moved to a new town where she knows no one. From her room on the top floor of her new home, she has a perfect view of the dilapidated, abandoned Thornhill Institute across the way, where she glimpses a girl in the window. Determined to befriend the girl, Ella resolves to unravel Thornhill's shadowy past.

Thornhill Details

Book TitleThornhill
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Thornhill Reviews

  • Figgy
    Dec 31, 1969


    You guys... I have shivers.This book is beautiful, inside and out, and I don't quite know what to say just yet. But... wow.Maybe not the most unique storyline ever for someone who's been on this planet for thirty years, but it deals with bullying, and loss, and loneliness, and the writ...

  • Blair
    Dec 31, 1969


    This book is intended for readers much younger than me, but ghost story graphic novels are in such short supply, I couldn't resist it regardless.The scene-setting part of the story, set in 1982, is told through the diary entries of a young girl in a care home, Thornhill. Mary is mute, ...

  • Ivonne Rovira
    Dec 31, 1969

    Ivonne Rovira

    It would be entirely too easy to say too much about Thornhill, the first novel Pan Smy has both written and illustrated. But this is a novel best approached cold, as I did.Mary Baines, a 13-year-old girl so traumatized that she has virtually stopped speaking, at Thornhill Institute for...

  • Jen
    Dec 31, 1969


    Bad guy wins. Utterly depressing. Don't bother. Stopped at page 332 to skip to the end and it was complete rubbish. I was bullied MERCILESSLY in middle school, so I wanted the bullied Mary to get back at her tormentor. Yeah, SO didn't happen. Then Ella "joined" her. Nice. Real nice. 1,...

  • Mathew
    Dec 31, 1969


    Pam Smy is very good at world building. As a Senior Lecturer in Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University, exploring that balance between character and place is something I expect she understands incredibly well. So when I state that Thornhill is a masterc...

  • Meli
    Dec 31, 1969


    Madre mía, que trauma más retorcido.Excelente el impacto que logran los dos tipos de narración. Muy oscuro, muy cruel, muy angustiante. Que no los confundan las ilustraciones ni el tono distendido, este no es ni de casualidad un libro para chicos. ...

  • Peggy
    Dec 31, 1969


    The disclaimer first: I am not a huge fan of either ghost stories or graphic novels. Even so, I found Thornhill to be compulsively readable. As a Youth Services Librarian I will be happy to have this to recommend to the scary story crowd. With a spooky orphanage as the setting, Smy use...

  • Sunnyt
    Dec 31, 1969


    I stayed up late to finish this, don't make the mistake of thinking it's something you can read a little of before bed. I was grabbed equally by the mystery in the pictures from the modern day and the unfolding horrors of the diary entries from the past. Mary's story is haunting for so...

  • Roy-James
    Dec 31, 1969


    If I had had the will power, I would have put off reading this book until the nights drew in, clouds gathered and the autumn winds churned. But as it happens, this book brought so much of its own atmosphere, it still gave the desired effect reading it on one of the hottest days of the ...

  • Dom Conlon
    Dec 31, 1969

    Dom Conlon

    A beautiful gothic ghost story which mixes wordless narrative art with a series of diary entries to tell a story of loss and loneliness. I loved that every aspect of this book was designed to be an experience. ...