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Greenglass House by Kate Milford
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Greenglass House (2014)

by Kate Milford

Other authors: Jaime Zollars (Illustrator)

Series: Greenglass House (1)

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5683525,784 (3.91)46
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» See also 46 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
I wanted to like this, truly I did. I also feel like I could write a much longer review, but let me just say this: A Series of Unfortunate Events this is not. I enjoy kid lit that raises expectations on what kids can handle/understand/be entertained by, and I feel like this book is, in the end, condescending where it could have demanded *so much more* from its readers. ( )
  inescapableabby | Nov 28, 2018 |
Started out a little slow and confusing for me as I couldn't figure out what the setting (time or place) or the genre was supposed to be. Eventually I just gave up and that's when I started enjoying the book. I still have no clue what the setting is besides a house on a cliff and they have electricity and only a vague idea of the genre- suitable for any age. It would have been a five star book for me had there been more background given for the actions of the "bad guys". They seemed to show up out of the blue though the character was there all along. ( )
  wrightja2000 | Sep 6, 2018 |
Twelve-year-old Milo is snowbound over the Christmas holiday in his parents’ inn. One after the other, five unexpected guests seek lodging out of the winter storm. The surprise influx of guests necessitates the return of the inn’s chef, her daughter (a baker) and, and Meddy, a young girl apparently of the same age as Milo, that he assumes is the baker’s daughter.

Initially, Milo is upset because he was counting on a relaxing Christmas vacation alone with his parents, and he does not handle change well. While retrieving a book he accidentally left behind when helping the guests with their luggage Milo discovers a leather wallet that contains a mysterious navigational chart. The chart does not depict the local bays and rivers. Reluctantly, Milo agrees to Meddy’s suggestion that they “go in search of whatever this chart leads to.” Meddy insists that they adopt alternate personas for their quest, so Milo becomes an escaladeur named Negret and Meddy adopts the persona of a scholiast, Sirin.

The interesting premise of unexpected guests arriving out of the winter storm, a mysterious navigation chart, and the children’s intent to identify the location depicted in the chart quickly catches the reader’s attention. That was countered slightly by the unfamiliar names Milford invented for the location (e.g., Skidwrack, Magothy). I was unable to place the setting in a real or imagined universe and their use caused a “head-scratching pause”.

A more substantial barrier to my enjoyment of the story was the overlay of the mystery with the gaming context. The actions, discoveries, and conclusions of Milo and Meddy would have been every bit as feasible if Milford had adopted a more straightforward approach. In short, Milford provided no convincing reason that Milo needed to pretend to be Negret to investigate the mysterious actions occurring in the inn.

As the plot builds towards a climax Milo and the others are in a precarious situation with no feasible means of escape. Milford then springs a stunning surprise that permits their ultimate triumph; one of the primary characters is a dishonest narrator. Although Milford undoubtedly had this ending in mind, it struck me as an author “cheat” that diminished my affection for the book and some of the central characters. ( )
1 vote Tatoosh | Jul 2, 2018 |
I loved the first 2/3 of this book and then it started to spiral off into a weird direction. Greenglass House is this amazing looking old hotel on a peninsula that most people choose to get to by boat. It's on a hill so there's a cable car that goes from the dock up to the house. It's winter break and it's snowing, so the visual of this house is so romantic. Milo was looking forward to his winter vacation with the cozy fireplace, hot chocolate and just his parents. People don't usually come to the hotel over Christmas, but strangely people start showing up one by one. From there it starts to take on characteristics of books like [b: The Westing Game|902|The Westing Game|Ellen Raskin|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1356850909s/902.jpg|869832], [b: And Then There Were None|16299|And Then There Were None|Agatha Christie|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1391120695s/16299.jpg|3038872], or [b: The Haunting of Hill House|89717|The Haunting of Hill House|Shirley Jackson|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1327871336s/89717.jpg|3627], but no one is summoned there and no one gets murdered.

It's a convoluted mystery. You have to pay attention. First Milo discovers a wallet near the cable car that has a map. Someone steals the map from his room and someone is stealing things from guests' rooms. When the housekeeper arrives to attend to the guests and meals, her daughter Meddy and Milo become friends. There is a twist involving Meddy which comes near the end. Milo and Meddy decide that they are going to figure out what is going on. In the process they are going to learn a lot about the history of the Greenglass House and the connection that all the guests have to it.

One of my favorite things about the book is the storytelling. Milo proposes to the guests when they are all together in the living room by the fire that each one tell a story. All of the stories end up having a connection to the house. They add to the clues that Milo and Meddy use to figure out why everyone ended up at the house.

There were some things that I felt detracted from the story. For one thing, Milo is adopted from China and he comments on it every now and then. It added nothing to the story and took away from the main story. In the afterward, the author talks about how she adopted a Chinese child in real life, and that's why she added the stuff about Milo reflecting on his adoption. It's weird. The other thing that annoyed me was that Milo and Meddy are pretending they are playing a game when they are sleuthing. It's a role playing game called Old Trails. Milo chooses the name Negret and Meddy chooses the name Sirin. Their names change back and forth in the book and it was just annoying. For these reasons I had to drop my stars from 5 to 4. Still a very good book and I’ll be recommending it to kids. ( )
  valorrmac | May 15, 2018 |
Greenglass House was a very enjoyable read. It has been on my to be read list for a while, and seeing that there is a sequel due out later this year, I finally read the book.

The story is told from Milo's viewpoint. Smart, considerate, honest and honorable, he is immediately likable. I found him very unlike other tween protagonists, mainly because he was never resentful and he is almost too perfect. He is quite a role model.

When Meddy came on the scene, I struggled a bit with the reality of their interactions, but that quickly went away, and I was able to accept it because of Milo's characteristic patience and tolerance.

A mystery is afoot, during a blizzard, in an isolated inn, with strange and unusual guests. To avoid any spoilers, I will say that I really enjoyed the characters, the mystery and the storytelling.
( )
  Critterbee | Apr 16, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kate Milfordprimary authorall editionscalculated
Zollars, JaimeIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0544052706, Hardcover)

It’s wintertime at Greenglass House. The creaky smuggler’s inn is always quiet during this season, and twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing. But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings. Then rings again. And again. Soon Milo’s home is bursting with odd, secretive guests, each one bearing a strange story that is somehow connected to the rambling old house. As objects go missing and tempers flare, Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, must decipher clues and untangle the web of deepening mysteries to discover the truth about Greenglass House—and themselves.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:47 -0400)

At Greenglass House, a smuggler's inn, twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers' adopted son, plans to spend his winter holidays relaxing but soon guests are arriving with strange stories about the house sending Milo and Meddy, the cook's daughter, on an adventure.… (more)

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