Book Review: The Books of Elsewhere: The Shadows

Right from the start, eleven-year-old Olive McMartin just knew there was something strange about the old mansion her math whiz parents moved into on Linden Street. There was the mysterious death of Ms. McMartin for a start and then there were those odd paintings that looked as though the subjects had just moved. Stranger still was the fact that none of the paintings could be budged from their places on the walls to say nothing of the talking cats. With the discovery of a pair of old spectacles, Olive finds herself able to see what is really going on in the pictures and more then that, she can enter them. As Olive begins exploring, she rescues nine-year-old Morton from one of the pictures thus drawing undue attention to her activities. There is something truly evil lurking in those pictures and in the house, now it wants her.

The fast moving plot aided by talking cats and excellent black and white drawings will grab the attention of even the most reluctant middle school reader. Laced with just the right amount of spookies and mystery, watching Olive put all the pieces together and overcome her fears is a delight.

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