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Greenglass House

(Greenglass House #1)

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4.01  ·  Rating details ·  14,911 ratings  ·  2,639 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 376 pages
Published August 26th 2014 by Clarion Books
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Popular Answered Questions
Michelle I teach fifth grade and I think my students would like it, especially boys. I recommended it to my 12 year old nephew.
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Cara When they come up on the tram, Milo is reminded of a Mother Goose rhyme. Something about Mr. Up and Mr. Down being forced to share a ride. He dubs the…moreWhen they come up on the tram, Milo is reminded of a Mother Goose rhyme. Something about Mr. Up and Mr. Down being forced to share a ride. He dubs them Mr. Down and Mrs. Up until he knows their names. (less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  14,911 ratings  ·  2,639 reviews


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Betsy
Apr 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When I was a kid I had a real and abiding love of Agatha Christie. This would be around the time when I was ten or eleven. It wasn’t that I was rejecting the mysteries of the children’s book world. I just didn’t have a lot to choose from there. Aside from The Westing Game or supernatural ghostly mysteries sold as Apple paperbacks through the Scholastic Book Fair, my choices were few and far between. Kids today have it better, but not by much. Though the Edgar Awards for best mystery fiction do d ...more
Justin Tate
Dec 24, 2015 rated it liked it
A mostly-fun adventure/mystery story geared for young readers but captivating enough for adults. I would recommend reading it during winter as it oozes with great imagery of snow drifts, fire places, creepy hotel hallways, dazzling windows and more. Intermixed between the mystery are interludes of heartfelt emotion regarding adoption. Sometimes the story loses focus and becomes distracted, but quickly gets back on pace. There are a LOT of characters, many of which never develop well enough to ha ...more
Jacob Proffitt
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, mystery
There was never any question in my mind that this would turn out to be a five-star review (once I started reading, at any rate). It's not that the book is atmospheric. It is, and strongly so. And it's not that the characters are immediately and intensely engaging. They are, and without stretching or warping. And it's not the flirtation with archetype, pastiche, and homage in the setup with smugglers, customs agents, and a company town. Though it does a fantastic job of both presenting them and r ...more
Gavin
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish I read this during Christmastime because this was a perfectly atmospheric wintery read!

Milo is excited that it's Christmas break. Not only does he get school off, but he lives at the Greenglass House - an inn where it's very quiet over Christmas. That's why it's highly unusual why a load of strangers would check in when it's supposed to be dead. Then, things start to go missing, and stories about the Greenglass House and its history begins to circulate. There's a mystery afoot and it's g
...more
Donalyn
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I wish Greenglass House was a real place!
Hilary
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers who enjoy mystery, adventure and role play games.
Recommended to Hilary by: Abigail
During the Christmas holidays, Milo hopes to be spending some time alone with his parents who run a guest house mainly used by the smuggling community of Nagspeak. With only days to go before Christmas, the guest house fills with guests, all with their story to tell. When Milo makes friends with the cook's daughter they soon become involved in a role play game that seeks to find out the mysteries and thefts that involve the guests and the history of the house and the past and present occupants.

W
...more
Sherwood Smith
What a lovely, lovely book! All my life I have adored books about huge houses full of secrets, and this one adds smugglers and mystery and a search, and a delightfully spiky but tender friendship between a couple of lonely kids full of questions and longings. Their problems are very different, but each does his or her best for the other and they make a terrific sleuth team. I loved the central family--indeed, what the book had to say about families.

I loved the peculiar characters, each of whom d
...more
Chris
Nov 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beth
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Greenglass House is a winter book. It makes me think about cozy blankets and hot chocolate and snow days, very much like The Dark is Rising does - to the extent that when I snapped out of my reading haze, I was surprised to realize it was still summer and there wasn't snow on the ground.

So, setting and atmosphere. That's the first distinguished aspect of the novel. (In case the word "distinguished" makes you think of the Newbery: well, yes. Someone give this book a medal, please.)

Greenglass Hou
...more
Melissa
Sep 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Cozy and lovely and clever, set in an intriguing world we only see a corner of. I loved it as an adult and would've loved it as a kid. ...more
Alexandra
By now this book has a bazillion reviews, but I do want to mention a few of the things I really liked.

For starters, it's nice to read a MG story that has two loving and present parents for the MC. I understand why this often isn't the case as a plot device, but it's certainly nice to run into an exception.

I very much enjoyed the MC and friend pretending they were in a role playing game while sleuthing to solve the mysterious events at Greenglass house. It added charm and fun, and helped make the
...more
Heidi
Sure, Greenglass House barreled its way into the top spot for my Middle Grade picks of the year for a number of reasons. It’s gorgeous artwork, it’s beautifully crafted mystery, it’s stories and friendships and love–these are all reasons I adored this book, but there was one that stood out to me: Greenglass House is a book about adoption…and it’s not.

I myself was adopted as a baby, and grew up knowing as much. After seeing any number of made for TV dramas (Felicity anyone?) in which the grown ch
...more
Kathryn
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, middle-grade
Oh, Greenglass House, I wanted to love you so. I did love you, you were a five-star book, poised to be my favorite of the year... then came the last four chapters, and kinda burst my bubble.

But, I will start with the positives. I really loved the writing style. It was so immersive, filled with wonderful atmosphere, the house is almost a character and all the characters who come to visit it are distinct and interesting. As for whether this is a "Christmas book" -- I would say that it definitely i
...more
Cheryl
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-enjoy-again
Utterly charming, with an old-fashioned vibe that gives the impression that it was the inspiration for The Westing Game rather than the other way round. I love all the made-up books and games and words... but I'm glad to learn that The Holly-Tree Inn by Charles Dickens is real, and I will be reading that. The name of Milo, of course, must be from The Phantom Tollbooth.

I love all the individual characters. Some are more simply sketched than others, but all add value. One, for example, just shows
...more
Mia
Nov 21, 2014 marked it as abort-mission
Shelves: great-cover
Dear Greenglass House,

I am so very sorry, but it's just not working. I thought we were made for each other- smugglers, a creaky old stained-glass inn, winter vacation, mysterious thefts- it looked like everything I could want in a cozy little book. But as I read more and more, I just couldn't get into you. It seemed to be just kids dressing up and spying on guests, and while that's all well and good, I was looking for a more... mature relationship. I wanted a plot twist, or a hidden truth finall
...more
Skip
Nov 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Milo lives in an inn, with his adoptive parents, the Pines. They are looking forward to a quiet Christmas, when a series of unexpected guests arrive, each with stories relating to the mysterious inn, a smuggler's place. Milo was a good lead character: honest, hardworking, but unsure of himself. Help arrives, including Meddy, who helps him dig into his imagination through a role playing game, through which he gains self confidence by to solving the mysteries of the guests' stolen belongings and u ...more
Belles Middle Grade Library
Dec 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow was this an amazing book! Perfect for Christmas. I felt such a cozy feeling the whole time I was reading it. I LOVED this house! I want to live there! The author described everything/everyone so well. I related to Milo so much w/many things. I hate change, & it brings me anxiety. I have OCD. It can take different forms w/different people. But things have to be a certain way for example, also things have to face forward, it gives me anxiety it they are backwards-that’s just ONE example. Lol s ...more
Emily
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emily by: Sarah
I really liked this and found it charming - it's sort of a more positive Lemony Snicket mixed with Diana Wynne Jones. I'd love to know what middle grade readers think of it, though, because while I found the themes explored to be done well (adoption and family), it did read like an adult writing for children. Milo and Meddy both display slightly too much emotional maturity, especially when it doesn't matter - the small things like Milo getting frustrated and Meddy saying something like, "I know, ...more
Desi (Pastel Pages)
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middlegrade
This book is absolutely phenomenal. I don't know why no one told me about this book before? It is extremely under hyped. This is a book that everyone should read! It is heart warming, parts of it are very hard hitting, and it feels like Christmas the entire time! So much hot chocolate is consumed and now I am completely in the mood for the holidays. ...more
human [on hiatus]
I LOVE mysteries, and this book seriously delivered! The atmosphere was fun but intriguing, and the characters were enjoyable too. Wasn't a fan of the ending, but the story itself was really good for the most part.
(Also that cover is sooo prettyyyyy)
...more
Ivonne Rovira
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone I ca force to read it
Milo Pine had been expecting to spend his Christmas break alone with his parents even though he lives in a 200-year-old inn; after all, Nagspeake, the snowy harbor-side town where the inn’s located, isn’t that hospitable in winter. But first one unexpected visitor arrives, then another and soon there are five strangers lodging at the end.

Plus Meddy, the daughter of the inn’s cook. Bossy Meddy enlists Milo’s help in finding out exactly who these strangers are. And it soon turns out that all of t
...more
Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)
2 stars.
This was a really interesting plot. Thanks to Scribd I was able to go back-n-forth between the audio book and ebook for this large book.
I will easily admit that it was the adoption point of the plot that made me decide to try out this book as I typically do not read secular books often. I truly love how the author incorporated Milo’s adoption, his view on life, and wondering about his birth family into the plot but that it wasn’t the entire focus of the story—just like most adoptees an
...more
Jennie Damron
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was recommended and highly praised by my favorite booktuber, Alexandra Roselyn. Boy does she know her books or what. This book was fantastic! A perfect wintery, cozy read.
All Milo wants to do is enjoy his vacation with his family. Relaxed and undisturbed at Greenglass House which is also an Inn for Smugglers. All of a sudden the bell rings signalling a guest. As they are getting this guest settled the bell rings again and Milo knows he's not getting the vacation he wants.
The guest ar
...more
Marthahusain
Oct 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book started out great, the writing was cute and the setting was fun. But the story quickly showed it had no steam. What was the mystery? Why did it need to be solved? There's a map--so what? What's at stake? NOTHING. I tried to get my 10 yr old daughter to read it and she said it was boring.

Worse, there is a twist about 30 pages from the end that is not believable based on the story as written up to that point. In addition the main character Milo was supposed to be 12 but acted about six.
...more
Melissa McShane
12/12/19: I didn't remember, when I chose this book as something light to balance the other stuff I'd been reading, that it takes place at Christmas. I also didn't realize how long ago I'd first read it, because so much of the story was immediate and familiar. This time, I was more aware of what it says about family, and how Milo's feelings about being adopted are complex and feel realistic. (view spoiler) ...more
Abigail
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone Looking for Excellent Middle-Grade Mysteries
It is the start of the Christmas holidays, and Milo is looking forward to spending some time alone with his parents. Although the Pine family run Greenglass House, a hotel on the Skidwrack River, in the old smuggling district of Nagspeake, they usually don't have guests at this time of year. When the unexpected happens, and people - lots of people! - begin arriving, it looks like the holiday has been ruined. But a series of mysteries, in which it is revealed that each of the guests has some conn ...more
QNPoohBear
Greenglass House in Nagespeake looks like a mishmash of other mansions put together in one rambling structure. To the locals of Nagspeake, Greenglass House is a haven for smugglers and thieves. To 12-year-old Milo, it's home. He's looking forward to Christmas vacation, slow time at the inn, when he can have his parents all to himself. When the bell rings to bring a guest up the funicular railway (in the frigid cold and snow), Milo is not thrilled. He's curious about the man who is not one of the ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
May 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: middle grade/juvenile fiction readers
Recommended to Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) by: Rane
This was admittedly a slow read for me. But it's proof that some things are worth sticking in for and waiting on. At its heart, this is a moving story about a young boy who is coming to terms with his identity as an adoptee. He's asking the questions about his birth family, but that in no way invalidates his feelings or attachment to his adoptive family. On the surface, this is a mystery/adventure about a treasure hunt in a house that once belonged to a famous smuggler. Milo wanted a quiet Chris ...more
stefiereads
Jan 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
It was a good read, and perfect to read by the fireplace :)
It's a book that makes you feel cozy during the winter time.

While the story itself is fun and seems like my kind of read. I can't help but felt bored in some parts. I had a high expectation for this one as so many people seems to love it. But, perhaps I set it too high, and that's okay :)


...more
Liz Freed
Wow. This is an fun, sensitive, exciting, brainy middle-grade mystery: an adventure story with twists and turns abounding. Everything is connected and nothing is as it--or who--it seems.

So well-written, it weaves together vibrant characters, a fascinating plot, and important themes about family, adoption, and (less obviously) OCD. Definitely will reread.
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Kate is the author of THE THIEF KNOT, GREENGLASS HOUSE, GHOSTS OF GREENGLASS HOUSE, BLUECROWNE, THE LEFT-HANDED FATE, THE BONESHAKER, THE BROKEN LANDS, THE KAIROS MECHANISM, and the forthcoming THE RACONTEUR'S COMMONPLACE BOOK (February 2021).

Originally from Annapolis, MD, Kate now lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband Nathan and son Griffin and their dogs, Ed and Sprocket. She has written for s
...more

Other books in the series

Greenglass House (5 books)
  • Ghosts of Greenglass House (Greenglass House #2)
  • Bluecrowne (Greenglass House, #3)
  • The Thief Knot (Greenglass House #4)
  • The Raconteur's Commonplace Book (Greenglass House #5)

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