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Greenglass House

by by Kate Milford ; with illustrations by Jaime Zollars

Publishers Weekly Twelve-year-old Milo's Christmas looks ruined when five eccentric guests arrive at his parents' inn on the first day of vacation. But his new friend Meddy has other ideas, and soon the pair is investigating a series of thefts and creating alter egos based on the role-playing game Odd Trails. Milo's new persona allows him to imagine his Chinese birth family without the guilt he usually feels toward his loving adoptive parents when he does so. The mysteries surrounding the guests and their connections to the inn unravel slowly, but Milo-with his resentment of the unexpected, his growing empathy, and his quick powers of deduction-is a well-drawn protagonist. Likewise, the fictional port of Nagspeake, whose daring smugglers face off against ruthless customs agents, makes for a unique and cozy setting, where Milo's parents' inn provides a refuge for "runners," as the smugglers call themselves. The legends and folktales Milford (The Broken Lands) creates add to Nagspeake's charm and gently prepare the ground for a fantasy twist. Ages 10-14. Author's agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Gr 4-6-The Greenglass House is the kind of ancient, creaky home in which a gothic horror story might be set, and the plot in Milford's latest seems to be headed that way, at least at first. Milo has just finished his homework and is looking forward to the quiet time over Christmas break, when the inn for smugglers his adopted parents run is usually deserted. But in the midst of a howling blizzard, an odd assortment of visitors with secretive purposes seemingly related to the history of the building shows up at the inn. When the power goes out and items begin to go missing from the strange new guests' rooms, Milo decides to team up with the cook's daughter, Meddy, to figure out which, if any, of the guests arrived with nefarious purposes. Meddy's interest in Role Playing Games (RPGs) and her insistence that she and Milo adopt new names and personalities for their quest can make certain passages confusing, as Milo often refers to and thinks of himself as his game character, Negret. A twist near the end of the story helps fold the RPG plotline into the overarching narrative, while the icy, atmospheric setting and nuanced character development propel the story forward, in spite of lingering questions about the world the characters live in. Give this one to fans of Trenton Lee Stewart's "The Mysterious Benedict Society" (Little, Brown).-Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla, Darien Library, CT (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list *Starred Review* It's Christmas break and adopted Milo and his parents are looking forward to a vacation all to themselves at Greenglass House, the inn where they live and routinely host benevolent passing smugglers. When five unusual guests unexpectedly arrive, and their belongings which all have something to do with the house start disappearing, Milo finds himself at the heart of a real mystery. With the help of Meddy, the oddball girl who arrives with the cook, and a role-playing game that gives him the courage to poke around where he knows he is not supposed to, Milo uses his knowledge of the house and his skills of observation to find the missing objects, piece together the mystery of the house, and discover a secret about the legendary folk hero who used to live there. The puzzling mystery is perfectly matched by the offbeat world of Nagspeake, a fictional harbor town enhanced by folklore and history rich enough to sound convincingly real, and the dreamy Greenglass House, with its enviable attic, snug corners, and thrilling past. Milford (The Boneshaker, 2010) weaves together compelling clues, crackerjack detective work from Milo and Meddy, and well-rounded characters to reveal heartwarming truths about Greenglass House and its residents. An enchanting, empowering, and cozy read.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.