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Author: Poblocki, Dan
Poppy Caldwell is an orphan who keeps seeing a figure standing behind her in the mirror at the group home where she lives, but she does not associate this ghost with the letter that mysteriously appears in her file, claiming to be from a long-lost aunt, and inviting her to Larkspur House--and she is just one of five children who find themselves gathered in this strange house with a deadly past, and apparently no intention of letting the children escape.
Shadow House, 1
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.10
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 184287
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 69466
Kirkus Reviews (06/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (07/16)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 07/01/2016 Five preteens (one of whom turns out to be a ghost) receive invitations to a mysterious house that seems like it holds the key to each of their dreams-for Marcus the invitation describes a music school, for Dash and Dylan, a new acting opportunity, for Azumi, distance from the loss of her sister, and for Poppy, raised in an orphanage, the promise of family. When they all arrive, they realize their time at this creepy estate will be far from wish-fulfilling, and in fact, they may not even survive to complain about having been tricked. Other than one gripping and surprisingly poignant subplot (the aforementioned ghost who is presented as a living teen for most of the book), the real meat of this book is horror. Dead kids in masks that grow back when torn off, haunting notes from a horrible man who experimented on them, and a ramshackle setting do their scaring work, and readers will enjoy barreling through to the end just to escape their own imagination about what could happen next. The book ends with the kids still in the house (though they at least now have a solid plan about how to escape), but readers likely won’t mind a return visit to see how they fare in a sequel. AS - Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 08/01/2016 Five different children find themselves at Larkspur House under unusual circumstances. Poppy leaves her orphanage after her great-aunt, Delphinia Larkspur, invites her to her home. Marcus, a talented cellist, receives a full scholarship to the prestigious Larkspur Academy. Azumi travels to Larkspur boarding school to get far away from the Japanese forest in which her sister disappeared. And child actors Dylan and Dash are given lead roles in a horror film by Larkspur Productions. Of course, Larkspur House is not at all what it seems, and when strange things begin to happen—the kids find dolls resembling them, and children wearing animal masks begin to appear—they begin to explore, and the more secrets they discover, the more mysterious and terrifying the house becomes. Poblocki, long known for his creepy fiction, ups the ante in his latest with an interactive app (unavailable for review) accessed by scanning eerie illustrations to reveal more secrets about the house. Fans of spooky tales won’t be able to look away, especially with two more volumes to come. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.