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The Secret of Goldenrod

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  212 ratings  ·  63 reviews
Trina and her father move into Goldenrod, an old and possibly haunted mansion. There Trina finds a tiny porcelain doll, Augustine, who helps Trina understand more about her forgetful father, her absent mother, and herself.
Published October 1st 2016 by Carolrhoda Books
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Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  212 ratings  ·  63 reviews

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Althea Ann
Nov 15, 2016 rated it liked it
This charming and old-fashioned-style story for young people can definitely be enjoyed by readers of all ages. I'd particularly recommend it to fans of Zilpha Keatley Snyder - except for a couple of mentions of cell phone cluing me in that this was a more recent publication, it completely brought me back to the Snyder books that I read back in the 70s.

Trina's dad renovates old houses for a living, so she's used to having to move from place to place. But his latest job - a dilapidated
Ms. Yingling
Jul 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Warning: This is NOT a creepy book. The cover makes it look like it should be. It should be. It has a creepy cover. It has all the elements of a story that could turn creepy on a dime. And yet, the talking doll NEVER KILLS ANYONE. I expected this to be like The Time of the Fireflies.

If I knew the talking doll wasn't going to kill anyone, I could have enjoyed this as a Rumer Godden style book with a fantastic dollhouse. As it was, I was on edge every time something new happened.

E ARC from Netga
Rebecca McNutt
This haunting supernatural mystery is old-fashioned in style yet modern in characters and setting, and it has amazing emotional undertones in the story.
Ivonne Rovira
Aug 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids and the young at heart
Recommended to Ivonne by: NetGalley
Jane McKnight’s debut novel shouldn’t work; however, not only does The Secret of Goldenrod work, but it works fabulously.

Every single person in New Royal, Iowa, knows one thing for sure: that Goldenrod, the mansion on the outskirts of town that was the scene of so much tragedy, is dreadfully haunted. Fifth-grader Trina Maxwell learns this as soon as she arrives in the town of 397 with her father, a handyman who’s been hired to bring the house, abandoned for 100 years, back to its glory. And now tomboy T
Brenda A
May 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I love everything about The Secret of Goldenrod. It's the kind of book I would have loved as a child, the kind I would've checked out from the school library then once I finished it, gone home and asked my mom to take me to the bookstore so I could buy it. It has all the elements that satisfy me within a story and I can't help but wish I had a kid to share it with.

The story is pretty straightforward--Trina and her father are nomads, never staying in one place long. Trina's father is
May 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Review originally posted on Children's Atheneum

A new book with a classic feel too it, this left me with all the feels I would get from The Secret Garden or The Root Cellar. Although the story is modern and certainly mentions computers and phones, by setting this in a place where there isn't good cell phone reception or high speed internet, it made the story feel timeless. Trina is a great character who is trying to find who she is within the chaos of constant moving. She wants to find home and
Mark Buxton
May 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
My name is Citrine, or Trina. My father is a master carpenter, so we've moved halfway across the country to fix up an old, rundown house called Goldenrod. It's actually a huge mansion, but all of the people around here believe it's haunted and has cursed the whole town with bad luck. The house scares me, I hate school, I don't have any friends, and I haven't seen my mother in eight years. I find a talking doll in my room that needs my help, but she seems to be helping me too. She's the only one ...more
May 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Trina (Citrine) is on the edge of pre-teendom when she arrives at Goldenrod, a house where her father has taken a restoration contract. Hints of haunting surround the house, but once inside, Trina realizes that the house itself is communicating with her. But not in a scary-creepy way if such a thing is possible where a haunted house and kids meet in a single plot.

Anyway, it isn't long before Trina finds a new friend in the form of sentient porcelain doll who is hung up on ideas that
The Library Lady
Old fashioned story of the kid who moves to a new town, hoping to fit in, and finally does, her problem solved by a haunted house and a talking doll. It's predictable for the most part, but nicely written, and after all, if you're 10, this plot would probably be new to you.
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
Yikes, that cover. Doesn't do it justice at all. This book was fabulous!
Mar 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm glad that this wasn't a scary story, but I was disappointed by the mystery. I was expecting more from the mystery and the story, especially the ending. I did like the characters, especially Augustine and Edward. I found Augustine amusing. Charlotte was the exception, but she was more likeable at the end of the book. Also, I liked the setting, a small town in Iowa.
May 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to NetGalley for an advance copy of this book.

The Secret of Goldenrod is a magical tale of a young girl and her father who find more than an old house to renovate when they move to New Royal: they find a place to belong.

Trina and her father have been traveling the country for as long as Trina can remember. Her dad is a master carpenter and goes where the work takes him. This time his work takes him to a home that has been vacant for 100 years. The locals say it is haunted and
Brandy Painter
Dec 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The perfect mix of mystery, ghost story and coming-of-age. Trina, AKA Citrine, is a spunky, can-do, 5th grade tomboy. She and her dad move from place to place as work becomes available. Their latest job takes them to Goldenrod, a 100 year old mansion in need of much repair. On the first night Trina can feel something strange with the house and clues slowly reveal themselves to her including a talking porcelain doll. Trina learns about the Roy's, the family that lived in Goldenrod in its prime, a ...more
Jun 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
What a delightful story! A girl, her dad, a big old house, and a mystery to solve. Oh, and a talking doll. This is a story about Trina. She and her father renovate houses, moving from place to place in the process. That means another new school and making new friends as they live and work in a large old house, Goldenrod, in a small town. It's hard always being the new kid. The small town has an interesting group of residents who all think the house is haunted and who each has a story of his own. ...more
Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC! The kid me would have eaten this book up. There's mystery and a talking doll. What wouldn't I have loved? The adult me felt the book was a bit disorganized and almost had borderline too many conflicts, but it came together in the end and was very cute. Not scary (for some reason when I read the description, I thought it would be scary) and perfect for an older elementary student.
May 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a charming book. When Trina and her father move into Goldenrod mansion to restore it surprises abound . Trina finds an old doll house with a small porcelain doll , Augustine who helps Trina with her problems. Magical with a touch of mystery this book will be a huge hit for middle grades and up
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really wonderful and different. Maybe 4.5 even, and I can't wait to recommend it to tween girls. I clearly remember being just that age that perhaps a really awesome doll house could've lured me back into belief. . . Works on several levels, good for discussion.
Angie Edwards
Jul 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It had just the right mix of realistic fiction and magic and is the type of book I would have devoured as a child. Thank you @NetGalley for the advanced copy!
Stephanie Nichols
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. What a great read for anyone at any age.
Karen Maurer
Great debut effort. Part haunted house, part coming-of-age, part family drama. Just right for those kids who are dragging their feet about growing up while wanting to jump ahead at the same time.
May 30, 2017 rated it liked it

Trina and her dad, Popo, travel all over the country renovating houses. Her globetrotting mom is currently out of the picture traveling the world and occasionally sending postcards from exotic places. When Trina's dad announces their next project will be a Queen Anne house in New Royal, Iowa,( population 397) named Goldenrod, complete with filly trim and a wraparound porch, Trina envisions a house fit for a princess. After bumping down dirt roads and rolling through cornfields
Hannah Greendale
Trina and her dad travel all over the country renovating houses. When her dad announces their next project will be a Queen Anne named Goldenrod, replete with filly trim and a wraparound porch, Trina envisions a house fit for a princess. After bumping down dirt roads and rolling through cornfields, Trina and her dad finally arrive at Goldenrod - a decrepit old house that might just be haunted.

The house was not what she had expected. It didn't need to be fixed up. It needed to be torn down. Board
Tina Hoggatt
Aug 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
This middle grade is lovely mix of contemporary fiction and fantasy, with a solid father-daughter relationship at its heart and the longing for both roots and the mother who abandoned her dominating Trina, the young girl at the center of the story. Their arrival in New Royal, Iowa at their next rehab project, the 100 year old mansion Goldenrod, heralds the start of a new life for Trina and her dad. The house may be haunted but it slowly grows on Trina and when she discovers a porcelain doll that ...more
Amanda Harrison
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
A haunted house and a talking doll---that premise can take you into so many stories. In this case, you will be rewarded with a gentle introduction to tropes more typical of the horror genre. A longer novel for the upper elementary set, The Secret of Goldenrod doesn't bog down and is easily readable from beginning to end. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this even to strong 3rd or 4th grade readers.

While not feeling explicitly modern (no cell phones evident here) the story line with the divorced
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. This is the author's first book and I thought she did a wonderful job. The story flows so smoothly and she had me hooked by page two. Chapters are short which I like but I didn't even want to put it down. I wanted to know what was coming next at the end of each chapter. It was suspenseful and creepy but in all good ways. I was on edge reading it just expecting things to happen. This author could have added a lot of cheap (cursing) dialogue or action but she did not wh ...more
Betsy Wolf
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
VSBA 2019-20 nominee. I don’t believe I’ve ever read a story about a haunted house in which the plot doesn’t revolve around jump scares and evil lurking in the attic and bedrooms. However, I love what Jane O’Reilly did here. It’s a non-scary ghost story about a house and a little girl and her father bringing life and joy back to a dying town. Oh, and there is a talking doll. ALL the scary elements are here but she decided to take them and go a different way. I actually quite enjoyed it. There is ...more
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this one to my kids who are between the ages of 9-13. They loved it! It's about 10-year-old Trina who moves into a big old Victorian house with her dad, who has been hired to fix it up so it can be sold. But it looks like it may be haunted! It is an adventure discovering the secrets that the house holds, including a little porcelain doll she finds in a hidden room. Trina must also find the courage to go to her new school and stand up to a bully. We really enjoyed this book, it was just th ...more
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book! Oh, this book! I do believe this is my favorite book of 2017! You know how you live and breathe in a book? You can just curl in and become one with it? The Secret of Goldenrod is that book for me at this time. Citrine (Trina) was such a relatable character...add that in with a little bit of a haunted house/ghost story (bonus for the setting being in IOWA!) and I have fallen in LOVE all over again. Thank you, Jane O'Reilly for such a gem that I be highly recommending to many of my stud ...more
Rachel Rooney
Nov 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: jf, fiction, 2017
A 2018-2019 Missouri Mark Twain Readers Award preliminary nominee (grades 4-6).

Trina and her dad move to New Royal, Iowa, to fix up Goldenrod, an old mansion outside of town that everyone in town believes is haunted, but this isn't a creepy story. Instead it is a sweet story about doing the right thing and bullying.

This was pretty good. I liked it more than I thought I would based on the beginning. I think a lot of people will be disappointed because it seems like it is g
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