Amazon Best Books of the Month, June 2010
: Hair-raising adventures can be found close to home this summer. Soon after 11-year-old Olive Dunwoody moves into a rundown Victorian mansion with her nerdy mathematician parents, she realizes something isn’t quite right. It's full of oddities like strange paintings hanging on the walls and a trio of talking cats lurking in the shadows. While Olive's parents busy themselves solving math problems, she decides to work out the mysteries of the dusty old pictures by plunging headlong into the world on the other side of the frames. But, will she be able to escape the hidden dangers of Elsewhere? From the first few pages of The Shadows: The Books of Elsewhere
, middle grade readers will be hooked on this spooky new series. --Lauren Nemroff
From School Library Journal
Grade 4–6—Olive Dunwoody and her mathematically minded parents move into an old Victorian home complete with the deceased owner's furnishings. Olive first notices that something is wrong when she can't take the paintings off the wall. She sees things moving in them. Then, while rummaging through the drawers, she finds a pair of glasses and tries them on. Olive can now enter the paintings and talk to the people in them. She is warned by a talking cat named Horatio not to spend too much time in there or to lose the glasses. She meets Morton in a painting and learns that he was forced into it because of a conversation he overheard. Olive is determined to find out more about the house and its history. But who can she trust? Her neighbors, the talking cats, or the people in the paintings? The expressive black-and-white illustrations contribute to the overall spooky mood of the story. The plot moves quickly as Olive pieces together clues. Recommend this book to reluctant readers and fans of Neil Gaiman's Coraline
(HarperCollins, 2002).—Samantha Larsen Hastings, West Jordan Public Library, UT
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