Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Books of Elsewhere: The Shadows by Jacqueline West

Publisher:  Dial Books, 2010
Pages:  241
Source:  Purchased from our book fair
Genre:  Middle Grade Fantasy

I've seen this book on several blogs and finally purchased it.  The idea that you could put on a pair of spectacles and go through a picture was an idea that really fascinated me.  It must have fascinated the main character in this book.  Olive Dunwoody and her parents have always lived in apartments.  Now her parents have purchased an old victorian style house.  As mathematicians they have fallen in love with all of the antiques in the house.  They don't care that the previous owner died there.  Olive, alone most of the time, spends her time going through the old things in the house.  She is drawn to the strange pictures that line the wall.  She finds it strange that the pictures are so connected to the walls it is as if they have grown out of them.  When she finds the strange spectacles and puts them on she realizes the pictures come to life.  That isn't the only strange thing about them.  When she leans in too close to get a closer look she actually starts to go through the pictures.  Entering the first one she meets and young boy named Morton.  Morton seems whiny and frightened.  Olive  feels someone or something is watching her and everyone she meets in the paintings tell her that "He" is watching.  Can Olive find out who "He" is, what he wants and stop him before it's too late?  I really loved this book.  It was so worth the wait.  I can't wait to recommend this to my students.  This is just the first book in a series of four or five.  I look forward to reading all of them.

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