The Thief of Always by Clive Barker

Recommended by Diane Duncan (@Diane_Duncan)

Form and genre: Prose. Fantasy/ Gothic horror

Length: 225 pages


Harvey Swick wishes away February and ends up being transported to the ‘Holiday House’ where everything he desires comes true. But he soon finds that the House is a vampire and demon ridden trap for children’s souls. Better for younger readers (year 7) as it’s an easy read but has complexity in narrative structure and in writer’s methods.

Age recommendation and challenging content: Mild horror

Notable reasons for recommending this book: Modern Gothic/fantasy. Great for language techniques and for ‘rising action’ in narrative. Also great for teaching symbolism and biblical allusion.

Other useful information: Written in 1980s so might need to explain context of no mobile phones and landlines! Similar in style to Neil Gaiman’s novels.