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There's A Book

House of SecretsHouse of Secrets by Ned Vizzini and Chris Columbus, Illustrated by Greg Call
Published by Balzer + Bray
Pages: 496
Ages: 8-12
Buy It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Powell’s Books | Indiebound | Book Depository | ISBN/ISBN-13: 0062192469 / 9780062192462
Publishers Summary:

Brendan, Eleanor, and Cordelia Walker once had everything: two loving parents, a beautiful house in San Francisco, and all the portable electronic devices they could want. But everything changed when Dr. Walker lost his job in the wake of a mysterious incident. Now in dire straits, the family must relocate to an old Victorian house that used to be the home of occult novelist Denver Kristoff—a house that feels simultaneously creepy and too good to be true.

By the time the Walkers realize that one of their neighbors has sinister plans for them, they’re banished to a primeval forest way off the grid. Their parents? Gone. Their friends? A world away. And they aren’t alone. Bloodthirsty medieval warriors patrol the woods around them, supernatural pirates roam the neighboring seas, and a power-hungry queen rules the land. To survive, the siblings will have to be braver than they ever thought possible—and fight against their darkest impulses. The key may lie in their own connection to the secret Kristoff legacy. But as they unravel that legacy, they’ll discover it’s not just their family that’s in danger . . . it’s the entire world.

From master storytellers Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini comes this wildly imagi-native fantasy about a family’s journey to find its way home.

Brendan, Cordelia and Eleanor Walker would love nothing more than their lives to return to normal and boring. Instead they’ve ended up in the middle of their father’s career reinvention that also includes moving to a brand new house. It just so happens that the house the Walker family chooses, the once home of writer Denver Kristoff, also holds a few secrets itself and on their first day the children end up in the throws of an adventure they never expected.

Typically speaking I’m a huge fan of all things that go bump in the night, especially when it’s found within the pages of a book. So when I read the synopsis and info about The House of Secrets by Ned Vizzini and Chris Columbus I was completely sold. Here is a book that blends a bit of American Horror Story creepiness with that classic Jumanji style adventuring younger readers love. As it starts The House of Secrets was oozing with creepiness that involved shadows, old ladies that disappeared and reappeared as something completely different, but the further along the story goes the more adventure takes over. The Kristoff home, under the powers of the Wind Witch transports into another place entirely, the world of the writer’s books. Once the adventure starts it never stops until the Walker children are finally able to make their way back home to their parents.

The House of Secrets is definitely a book young readers will pick up, read quickly and love. With the pace being rather quick I was able to get through the entirety of the story in just over a couple of hours. That said, it’s not exactly my favorite middle grade read. As I mentioned, it blends a bit of creepy along with that Jumanji and/or Zathura feel of adventure. I couldn’t help but compare the two as I read, there is even an older type male love interest for the older of the two daughters that’s similar to the one in Zathura. That said, I still hold that it’s a good adventure story with some excellent writing that I have no doubt younger readers will enjoy.

From witches to pilots to pirates and skeletons The House of Secrets by Ned Vizzini and Chris Columbus sends readers on a thrill ride they’ll have a hard time letting go of. As the Walker children embark unknowingly on a journey into the novels of a dark adventure writer, Denver Kristoff, they struggle but eventually overcome the obstacles in their way to return to their parents. For younger readers who love a little creepiness with their adventure The House of Secrets is the perfect read and one they won’t put down until the very last page is turned.

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 10 to 14. A dark adventure through the novels of a madman, one that will have readers flipping through pages as quickly as they can to get to the end.

House of Secrets Discussion Guide (Opens directly to PDF)

Find House of Secrets by Ned Vizzini and Chris Columbus at the following spots:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Powell’s Books | Indiebound | Book Depository | Goodreads | ISBN/ISBN-13: 0062192469 / 9780062192462

Thank you so much to the publisher, HarperCollins Children’s, for providing a copy of this book for review! Connect with them on Twitter and on Facebook!
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4 Responses to Book Review: House of Secrets by Ned Vizzini and Chris Columbus

  1. Nora Kasten says:

    Hope this one will be a great book. I love to read Ned Vizzini’s works. Thanks for the share!

  2. Ms. YIngling says:

    Great minds! I am about halfway through this one. Good use of magical books, certainly! Most awesome house, too.

  3. thanks a lot for the great page! I have been searchin for
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    feed so i won’t miss the good things! once again, wonderful web page please keep this up! Please pardon me if my english is not good.

  4. […] I can’t wait to continue this series! What others have to say about House of Secrets: There’s A Book’s review – “…The House of Secrets by Ned Vizzini and Chris Columbus sends readers on a […]

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