Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Shadows: The Books Of Elsewhere Vol 1 by Jacqueline West

Cover from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Books-Elsewhere-Vol/dp/0803734409/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_i

Eleven year-old Olive and her somewhat distracted, mathematically inclined parents move into old Mrs. McMartin's house after she dies.  All of Ms. McMartin's things - including walls and walls of strange paintings are included in the purchase of the house.  Left to her own to explore, Olive finds a pair of old spectacles which she tries on - these are not just any old reading glasses.  They allow her to travel inside the odd paintings that fill the walls. This Elsewhere has a strange resemblance to her own world, but it is also full of dark secrets.  Soon Olive finds herself caught up in an adventure to save herself and the house from the dark shadows.

I read this book because I was looking for something to recommend to one of my students. Turns out it is a little higher reading level than the student has, but I do think they would enjoy the book if read with a buddy or perhaps as a classroom read aloud. I enjoyed this story so much that I am anxiously awaiting the second book in the series.

This is a spine tingling tale that is also surprisingly humorous.  Olive is a quirky yet very likable character - one that I look forward to learning more about.  It is rather spooky and younger children might find it a tad frightening, but is an all around good read.

Recommended for 4th Grade and up (good as a silent or read aloud)

Mrs. Archer's rating: 5 of 5!

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