Written by Mikki Lish and Kelly Ngai, Illustrations by Maxine Lee-Mackie, Published by Chicken House
Hedy and Spencer are spending a couple of weeks with Grandpa John. They haven’t spent much time with him or in his house on Hoarder Hill. The rather spooky, but not unfriendly, house on Hoarder Hill is home while their parents go on a dig.
Within hours of their arrival, strange events start occurring with little explanation. Grandpa John has one express rule, “Don’t touch anything”! It becomes pretty clear why he has this rule as the strange events continue while the children explore the house.
Grandpa John is a solitary man, a former magician, a little lost since the mysterious disappearance of his wife during a show. Decades have passed since her disappearance and now the children believe she wants them to find her.
With help from good and dark forces, the children seek Rose out by disobeying Grandpa John’s only rule. Danger lurks and an evil force is released causing endless problems for the magical items stored in the house. Grandpa John, Hedy and Spencer have to overcome an evil spirit, travel into a painting to rescue a missing piece of the mystery, all aided by a raven and some stone figures brought to life.
Hedy, as the older sister, is brave and goes above and beyond to save their grandparents. Spencer is full of belief in the magic around them and Grandpa, though a little lost, needs the children to bring life back to the old house and himself.
I was enthralled with this book- there is so much to love. It has everything you could possibly need- magic, adventure and family. Perhaps I shouldn’t tell you but look out for Stan and Doug, two of the best characters in the book although they are not who you expect.
This is a top read of 2020 for me- with enough of a cliffhanger to hope for more!