|Winterborne home for mayhem and mystery (Winterborne)|
Author: Carter, Ally
With Gabriel declared guardian of the orphans at Winterborne House, everything should be perfect, but the kids face the challenges of hiding the billionaire's secret of being a sword-wielding vigilante. When a masked figure breaks into their house, no one is safe. April and her fellow orphans must solve a decades-old mystery in order to preserve their newly-formed foster family.
Kirkus Reviews (02/01/21)
School Library Journal (03/01/21)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 03/01/2021 Gr 4–8—Sometimes when wishes come true, they completely miss the mark. April's life at Winterborne House has flip-flopped from a well-oiled machine with a schedule of homeschool classes, planned meals, and complete organization into wild, chaotic days with little supervision. With Smithers, the household charge, and Ms. Nelson, the children's caretaker, away, the orphans are left with the recluse Gabriel—then he mysteriously vanishes, and the chaos turns to real danger. April and her orphan squad quickly work to connect clues, yet new characters and peril abound. April's dreams seemingly come true when she comes face-to-face with her biological mother and father, yet both are manipulative and potentially perilous. In the end, she must determine whom to trust, which will change her life's path. Carter's novel continuously opens new doors, creating not just twists but a snarled maze of intrigue. This second installment is in keeping with the first book, yet serious danger and deep plot jumps establish a more complex and mature tone. Tween sleuths' minds will race as Carter masterfully elongates the rising plot with action and explosive new information. The pacing fluctuates smoothly between swift drama and April's inner monologue. April's mindset is authentic and engaging, which will resonate with young readers. A complex female protagonist, April displays independence and moxie yet questions herself and her value. April is white, while her cast of quirky characters and friends are described as having various skin tones. VERDICT Highly recommended as a twisting tween thriller, filled with budding friendships and a journey to self-discovery.—Mary-Brook J. Townsend, The McGillis Sch., Salt Lake City - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 05/01/2021 It’s been weeks since their caretakers departed the Winterborne mansion, leaving orphans April, Sadie, Violet, Colin, and Tim in the hands of Gabriel Winterborne, the reclusive, long-believed-dead millionaire who owns the estate that houses their school. Gabriel secretly is The Sentinel, a Batman-like vigilante superhero, and—naturally—is not the most present in his role as guardian. The kids would be content to scrape by on their own, but a social worker is nosing around just when Gabriel suddenly goes missing. April leads the charge to track Gabriel down, but in the process, the mysteries deepen about Gabriel as well as about April’s own family—a question about her life she’d long given up on finding an answer for. April’s first-person narrative is particularly strong when she explores her fears of abandonment. But Carter doesn’t skimp on the action, packing her plot with plenty of twists, propulsive chases, unsettling villains, secret passageways, and some very real danger. Knowledge of the first book (Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor, 2020) is important, but kids enamored by espionage, secret identities, and superhero stories will get a kick out of this nevertheless. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.