"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

09 November 2018

The House in Poplar Wood

Ormsbee, K.E. The House in Poplar Wood. Chronicle Books, 2018.

Lee and his mother live in one half of their house and together serve Memory. Felix and his father live in the other half of the house and together serve Death. Felix has no memories of his mother, while Lee has never met his father. The twins can interact outside of the house, but when they turn sixteen they, too, will be apprenticed to Death and Memory for the rest of their lives. But both are looking for a way to break the contract.

This is a delightfully spooky and eerie book, perfect for this time of year. The world the twins inhabit is similar to ours, but the differences, including the service to Death, Memory, and Passion, are well thought-out and explained throughout the story. The characters are well-rounded and likeable, so the choice for multiple narrators doesn't hold the typical problem of lack of distinct voices. There is plenty of humor and some intense action sequences, and the plot twists will keep readers turning pages to find out what happens. This book would make an excellent middle school read aloud at this time of year. Recommended.

Recommended for: tween
Red Flags: some intense action; one character dies off page
Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

Read-Alikes: Scythe; The Darkest Part of the Forest; Hold Me Closer, Necromancer

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