The Boy in the Burning House


Author: Tim Wynne-Jones

Published: 2000

Genre: Young adult, mystery

About: A strange girl claims to know the truth about the disappearance of Jim Hawkins's father.

Find this book at,,


Review of The Boy in the Burning House

The Boy in the Burning House is about a boy named Jim Hawkins who aligns himself with the pastor's step-daughter, Ruth Rose. He does this because Ruth Rose claims she can help him figure out the truth about his father's disappearance. There's just one problem: the people in Jim's neighbourhood think Ruth Rose is crazy. This makes Jim question his trust for her.

"I'm sorry I can't help," he shouted.

"You will be," she hollered back at him.

He shuddered at the fury in her voice, but was far enough away by now to laugh to himself at her threat.

He was heading down the hill towards the creek which flowed by as sly as a rumour, when she called out to him again. He looked up and she was standing above him at the lip of the hill, silhouetted against the light — dark and mysterious like a cut-out.

"Jim Hawkins," she shouted, trying to catch her breath. "Fisher killed your father."

...from pages 32-33

I thought that this book had quite a bit of foreshadowing. I think the author did a really good job writing this book and putting thoughts in your head. For the record, this book can get dark at times so I would suggest if dark books aren't your thing that you not read this book. But if you do like dark books, I strongly recommend it. Overall I liked this book.

Reviewed by KB, age 14, on 3 August 2008.

Find this book at,,

More Reviews

Patrick Samphire, 26 March 2007
“If you’re interested in rich, character-driven books, then I’d strongly recommend The Boy in the Burning House.”
Cassia Van Arsdale
“The result is a wild plot filled with suspense.”
Carina, Reading Through Life, 14 October 2010
“Once you got past the predictability thing and just went with it to find out what happened and stopped trying to guess, The Boy in the Burning House was actually quite entertaining.”


WARNING: Comments may contain spoilers.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Added 16 August 2008.
Updated 23 August 2013.