The Grace kids–twins Jared and Simon and their older sister, Mallory–aren’t all that impressed with the ramshackle old mansion their mother moves them to when their decidedly kooky Great Aunt Lucinda is sent to an asylum. But a series of mysterious events within the house leads the three young Graces to an old book with hand-drawn pictures of all kinds of fantastic creatures. Jared believes the book holds the key to all the weird things that have been going on–for which he has been blamed. (Taken from Chapters Indigo website)
This book is a very short but good read. I thought it was amazing how a lot of action is featured in such a small compact book. It’s a perfect book for kids as there’s plenty of magic, fantasy, and action all in one. There’s not much boring dialogue and you don’t have to worry about heavy character development. It’s basically a book that’s just meant to be read and to have fun.
If you are familiar with Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events, this book may be for you. Although they are two very different books, the idea of making this book a “true story” is similar. I liked that little bit and thought it was a fun addition to the book and provides appeal to younger readers.
The illustrations were also nicely done and provides a good visual aid to help picturing the story. As to the characters; they’re all fun and once the magical/fantastical elements have been added, it’s even better.
This is a great novel for younger readers, but give it a try even if you don’t fall into the age category! it’s quick and light and shouldn’t even take long to read. What’s amazing is in those bits of pages is a lot of things happening to keep the reader entertained for a short while. I will be reading the rest of the series for sure.
I give it a 9 out of 10.