Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor

HMH. Mar. 2020. 320p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780358003199.
Gr 4-6–Whenever one mystery is solved, it usually unearths countless more questions, like a ball of yarn slowly unraveling but filled with knots. April, an independent and scrappy orphan, is whisked away to gloomy and ostentatious Winterborne Home after her involvement with a fire. Questions abound as April is warmly welcomed into the colossal yet grim mansion whose family namesake, Gabriel Winterborne, has been missing for over a decade. April quickly realizes that the key her mother left her bears the Winterborne insignia and an unknown wanderer lurks in the shadows at night. Potential connections and even more surprises emerge as April must gather the courage to ask for help from her new acquaintances while diving headfirst into adventure and mystery. A modern thriller flavored with classic adventure, this novel is well suited for middle grade sleuths. Carter drops hints, yet her writing forces readers to create their own inferences about both the plot and the main characters. Highly descriptive writing intensifies the action, while an infusion of pop culture slang and sass keeps the text upbeat and modern. By the end, gumshoes may groan in anticipation as Carter skillfully answers some questions, yet unveils a plethora more, leaving the door wide open for further books in a potential series.
VERDICT Readers will further enjoy the fast pace of this book filled with short chapters and cliff-hangers. Strongly recommended for school libraries.

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