Lanny by Max Porter

Review by Rebecca Ford, JCSP Librarian, Collinstown Park Community College.

“Dead Papa Toothwort is awake. He is listening to this twenty-first-century village, to his English symphony. He is listening, intently, for a mischievous, enchanting boy whose parents have recently made the village their home. Lanny. “

Papa Toothwort is a the kind of boogey man that every kid in Lanny’s village tells scary stories about – every adult too – but nobody believes he’s real. That’s because they can’t sense things the way Lanny can. But Papa Toothwort is always listening.

I’ll bet all my school students a fiver that they have never read a book like “Lanny” before. Look at how the pages appear when Papa Toothwort is listening –

When you read this story you can feel Papa Toothwort oozing in to the lives of the families in the village. He has been quiet for years but he has never gone away. And now Lanny has moved in, Papa Toothwort has woken up.

And then Lanny disappears…

This award-winning story has you gripped from the start and pulls you further and further in to its spell as you read on.

Who would I recommend it to? Readers who appreciate a bit of lateral thinking – creative and inquisitive minds. Artists. It makes a great discussion text for creative writing groups. It can be quite chilling – on several levels – as events unfold, the villagers begins to suspect one another, and the dark side of human nature is explored. It is not written as a children’s book, so I would be suggesting this for the senior students in our library. This makes a great next step for readers of dark, thoughtful books such as The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, or Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. If you enjoyed this book, you might like work by Iain Banks, or Margaret Atwood. You might enjoy modern poetic prose, such as Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. It is hard to find another book like Lanny,

Young Adult Fiction

Age 15+