Author: Ellen Potter
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publication Date: September 2010
Genre/Format: Mystery-Adventure Fiction/Novel
Kellee's Summary: The Hardscrabble children are odd. No one in their town wants to have anything to do with them (although the Hardscrabbles do not seem to mind- the older two like their own company and the youngest can entertain himself). This makes it hard to find adventures. However, when their father sends them on an impromptu vacation to London which spirals into a surprising adventure that takes the kids to a castle by the sea and the answer to a secret.
What Jen Thinks: I waited way too long to actually read this book. I put it on my TBR list forever ago and finally read it. I loved Ellen Potter's writing. I was captivated by the Hardscrabble kids and their story. I like reading about how siblings interact with each other. These siblings in particular seem to have a mature knowledge of each other and how they each will respond in certain situations. I think it's interesting to think about how siblings bond with each other when one of their parents dies or isn't present in their lives. So many books now seem to have siblings who are thrown into situations where they have to take care of each other while dealing with their situations after the loss of a parent.
The Hardscrabble kids are the three main characters but there are a whole slew of characters who also make appearances and are so interesting. I loved reading about all the different people the Hardscrabbles encounter on their adventure. What I especially love is that these characters are all important to the story, not superfluous at all.
More than the character development in this book, I really enjoyed the plot. I love it when the author takes the reader on a ride trying to figure out one story and then, in the end, the stories all collide and suddenly everything makes sense. It definitely reminded me of Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me in this way.
Read Together: 5 - 8
Read Alone: 5 - 8
Read With: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, A Whole 'Nother Story by Cuthbert Soup, We Are Not Eaten By Yaks by C Alexander London
Snatch of Text:
"In each of their bellies, they felt a swelling of fear, like a balloon that was slowly being filled with pooshy breaths. Spoon had not been packed...poosh...the fact that Angela was not home...poosh...and wouldn't Dad find it far more preferable to live in an exotic location than in dull old Little Tunks...poosh, poosh, poosh...and then - most horrible of all - maybe the police's initial suspicions about Dad were true. Maybe he is a psycho who murdered Mum and now he's abandoned his children. They started at one another with quiet dread in their eyes." p. 67
Mentor Text For: Characterization, Making InferencesTopics Covered: Family, Siblings, Parents, Mystery, Adventure, Courage
Jen *hearts* It: