- File Size: 1551 KB
- Print Length: 399 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0062838385
- Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books; Reprint edition (April 2, 2019)
- Publication Date: April 2, 2019
- Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0796SYK4F
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,240 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Greystone Secrets #1: The Strangers Kindle Edition
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|Length: 399 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Age Level: 8 - 12|
|Grade Level: 3 - 7|
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“Maintains suspense from the beginning to the cliffhanger ending. A high-stakes adventure full of teamwork with a multifaceted mystery and complex themes.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Haddix returns with another mystery/adventure/science-fiction hybrid filled with twists, turns, and political undertones in the nefarious intentions of the alternate world. This first installment ends expectedly with a cliffhanger that is sure to leave readers wanting more.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)
“Bestselling Haddix launches a new middle-grade series that blends adventure and sf elements into an engrossing mystery. The kidnapping alone could have made a compelling mystery, but Haddix throws in secret rooms, alternate realities, and a cliff-hanger ending to raise the stakes and delight fans new and old.” (Booklist)
“Masterfully plotted and filled with so many jaw-dropping twists and turns, you’ll be racing toward the end—and begging for the next book. Put simply: this is Margaret Peterson Haddix at her absolute best.” (Shannon Messenger, author of the Keeper of the Lost Cities series)
“With more twists than a spiral staircase, The Strangers kept me up way past my bedtime! This thrilling, page-turning adventure will keep you reading, and keep you guessing. Full of codes and clues, love and logic, this book will make you a part of the Greystone family.” (Amie Kaufman, author of the Elementals series)
“A hair-raising, mind-twisting adventure full of intrigue, humor, and charm. The spunky, quirky Greystones are easy to cheer for and relate to, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.” (John David Anderson, author of Posted and Ms. Bixby’s Last Day)
“Readers will come for the mystery, stay for the suspense, and linger in the Greystone kids’ world long after the final page. The Strangrs will take readers on an amazing ride they will not soon forget.” (Jennifer Nielsen, author of The Traitor’s Game and The Ascendance Trilogy)
“A highly suspenseful, delightfully clever thriller with a tinge of creepiness. Give yourself a few hours to calm down after you finish this gem!” (Lisa McMann, author of the Unwanteds Quests series) --This text refers to the paperback edition.
From the Back Cover
What makes you you?
The Greystone kids thought they knew. Chess has always been the protector of his younger siblings, Emma loves math, and Finn does what Finn does best—acting silly and being adored. They’ve been a happy family, just the three of them and their mom.
That changes when reports of three kidnapped children reach the Greystone kids, and they’re shocked by the startling similarities between themselves and these complete strangers. The other kids share their same first and middle names. They’re the same ages. They even have identical birthdays. Before Chess, Emma, and Finn can question their mom about it, she takes off on a sudden work trip and leaves them in the care of Ms. Morales and her daughter, Natalie. But puzzling clues left behind lead to complex codes, hidden rooms, and a dangerous secret that will turn their world upside down.
In this absorbing new series about family and friendships, New York Times bestselling author Margaret Peterson Haddix takes readers on a thrilling adventure. As twists of truth are revealed, it’s clear Mrs. Greystone is in danger, and the kids must learn to embrace their identities—flaws and all—to save her. But how can they bring their mom home when they’re not sure where home is anymore?--This text refers to the paperback edition.
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Good points: Haddix does know how to write. I've read lots of elementary and YA fiction where the author clearly had a great idea and some skill with words but lacked the talent to make the reader want to turn the page. This is not a problem for Haddix. She develops interesting characters very swiftly so you want to follow them and knows how to build tension so you are interested in turning the page. So far so good. A middle grade reader would enjoy this book.
But here's the problem: in this story, the principal adults are breathtakingly incompetent. "Joe" - the man the kids meet at their mother's trial in the evil alternate world appears to be helpless until a last minute inspiration thought out by a 9 year old girl - Emma. I don't buy it. He's supposedly an underground rebel leader. How on earth has he survived?
Emma figures out - apparently in the space of about 20 minutes, while badly frightened by seeing her mother a prisoner - that the bad smell in the air increases to control the thoughts and emotions of the general population. No member of the underground ever noticed that before? Really? (Aside from the fact that you have to wonder why the evil leadership picks a BAD smell? Wouldn't make more sense to have picked a seductively good smell?)
End of the book: the doppelganger kidnapping victims are rescued, found in the house of our heroes all handcuffed together. Fine. But the reader is expected to assume that the police in the good world simply take them back to their parents without blinking an eyelash at the fact that they are in the company (and home) of three children who look exactly like them with the same ages and first names and birthdays. And our heroes are simply taken into the home of 13 year old Natalie's father just because she tells him to? Not asks. Tells.
I recognize that I'm an adult and the intended middle-grade reader might not be so skeptical. But still. The mark of the best fiction - no matter what age the intended audience - is that the fiction world is credible and consistent. This world is not. This is especially disappointing because Haddix clearly has the talent and experience to do better. This book is just . . . lazy.
I honestly did not expect to be so captivated by a middle-grade novel, but The Strangers had me on the edge of my seat from the beginning to the end! If I was a late elementary/early middle school librarian or teacher, I would be shoving this book in the hands of all my students. It fosters an interest in STEM with the inclusion of code, engineering, and a little hacking. There's also a great message that girls can like STEM and "girly" things as well as a message that boys don't have to be "tough" all of the time. There's no inappropriate content. The only issue some parents may have is that Natalie is a teen who talks back to her mother a bit, as she's reeling from her parents' recent divorce. Overall, this is an excellent introduction to thrillers (or addition to a collection) and STEM as well as a way to foster reading in STEM participants/lovers.
When they visit their home they find their mother’s phone. They start to find out all sorts of things they didn’t know before about their mother and themselves.
The story took a turn I didn’t expect but I can’t write about it without giving away the suspense that builds with the story.
I’m glad it has a sort of ending since the second book in the series isn’t coming out until April 2020.