Pam Smy,


David Fickling Books, 2017

ISBN 9781910200612

14-16 Shortlist 2018


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out of 5



Who Wrote It?

Pam Smy is an illustrator and author based in Cambridge. She studied Illustration at Cambridge School of Art, part of Anglia Ruskin University. Pam studied BA (Hons) Illustration going on to study the MA Children's Book Illustration in 2001. As a student, Pam was awarded 3rd place in the Macmillan Prize, a project that led to her first picture book contract with Egmont Books in 2003. Pam is now lecturer at the School of Art, teaching children's book illustration.

She has illustrated books written by other authors, and Thornhill is the first book she has written and illustrated herself.  

What's It About?

As she unpacks in her new bedroom, Ella is irresistibly drawn to the big old house that she can see out of her window. Surrounded by overgrown gardens, barbed wire fences and 'keep out' signs. It looks derelict. But that night a light goes on in one of the windows. And the next day she sees a girl in the grounds. Ella is hooked, the house has a story to tell, she is sure of it. Enter Thornhill, Institute for Children, and discover the dark secrets that lie within. But once inside, will you ever leave?

Fact File

Pam has illustrated books by many authors including Julia Donaldson, John Agard, Arthur Conan Doyle, Siobhan Dowd, Penelope Lively and Linda Newbery.

Pam is a fan of novels with strong female characters whose circumstances are related to the surroundings they are in. She regularly re-reads classics such as Jane Eyre, The Secret Garden, Rebecca and Wuthering Heights. She particularly admires stories that develop a strong sense of atmosphere, history and suspense.

You can see examples of Pam’s illustrations on her Instagram and her Facebook pages, and learn about her experience of writing and illustrating her very own book.

Find out more about Pam on her Facebook page (PamSmyIllustrator)

and on Instagram: @pamsmyillustrator

Your Reviews

Kira from Benton Park:

I'm speechless. The artwork is fantastic, the diary entries are so realistic and humbling. The way the two story lines came together in the end is seamless. Smy took such a deep and close to home topic for me and manage to capture all of the emotions that bullying and loneliness entails. Thornhill is so well written and absolutely awe inspiring. I will definitely re-reading this book many, many times.

Kira gave Thornhill 5 out of 5 and now plans to read Countless by Karen Gregory.