Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Books of Elsewhere: The Shadows by Jacqueline West

Book Jacket

When eleven-year-old Olive moves into the crumbling mansion on Linden Street, she's right to think there's something weird about the place, especially the walls covered in creepy antique paintings.  But when she finds a pair of old-fashioned glasses in a dusty drawer, she discovers the most peculiar thing yet--

She can travel inside these paintings to Elsewhere, a world that's strangely quiet...and eerily sinister.

Olive soon finds that Elsewhere has secrets to hide--and the most annoying of them is Morton, a small boy with a big temper.  As he and Olive form an uneasy alliance, Olive finds herself caught in a plan darker and more dangerous than she could have imagined, confronting a power that wats to be rid of her by any means necessary.  It's up to her to save the house from the shadows, before the lights go out for good.

For fans of Roald Dahl and Neil Gaiman comes a tale at turns haunting, moving, and darkly funny (and best if read with a flashlight under the bed sheets--shhh!).


There is so much to love about The Books of Elsewhere.  It's for fans of Roald Dahl and Neil Gaiman (translation: slightly odd, definitely awesome)!  There are three talking cats who may or may not be evil!  A place called Elsewhere?  Genius!  And really, there are few ideas cooler than being able to jump into a painting.

This was a quick, fun read.  The plot twists are not overly twisty, but I didn't always know what to expect.  Olive is a great protagonist--curious but cautious, easily annoyed but easily forgiving, brave and resourceful in a pinch.  And again, talking cats!  One of which thinks he is Lancelot or a pirate on any given day.

And the best thing about this book?  It finishes its story, but there will be more to come!  I am tired of cliffhangers, because I am tired of waiting.  But continuing a story in a wonderful universe while also giving closure?  That's my kind of series.

Five out of five pirate cats.

Release Date:  June 2010
Reading Level:  Grade 4+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection:  YPL WES

1 comment:

  1. Did you use this book for a discussion club? What types of follow up activities did you do? I am planning to do this for my Book Bunch Discussion Group this month and looking for ideas.