Harklights by Tim Tilley


Julie’s Review 

A   beautifully crafted tale bursting with wonderfully written characters from the ‘Borrower’esque Hobs  to the ‘Trunchbull’ style villain Old Ma Bogey!  Narrated in the first person by Wick, an orphan trapped in the Harklights match factory, whose kind deed leads to the chance of escape, adventure and the hope of a new life and family. Themes of stewardship of the environment, the role of collaboration and overcoming fear are skilfully and subtlely interwoven without distracting from the compelling and heartwarming nature of Wick’s story. Highly recommended!


‘Harklights’ is a marvellous nature packed book full of adventure. Wick goes on a magnificent journey with the hobs (protectors of the forest). Wick has a brilliant connection with the animals of the forest. There were some similarities to ‘Oliver Twist’. I think 8-12 aged boys and girls would enjoy this book. By: Dylan (age 9)


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Wick has always lived in the dark and dreadful Harklights Match Factory and Orphanage, working tirelessly for greedy Old Ma Bogey. He only dreams of escaping, until one day a bird drops something impossible and magical at his feet – a tiny baby in an acorn cradle… As midnight chimes, Wick is visited by the Hobs, miniature protectors of the forest. Grateful for the kindness shown to their stolen child, they offer Wick the chance of a lifetime – escape from Harklights and begin a new life with them in the wild… Winner of the Joan Aiken Future Classics Prize, Harklights is a magical story celebrating family, friendship and the natural world, filled with a message of hope for our times.

‘A charming fairytale adventure with an enduring ecological message.’ Peter Bunzl, author of Cogheart