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Greenglass House

(Greenglass House #1)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  10,132 ratings  ·  1,876 reviews
An alternative cover for this ISBN can be found here

New York TimesBestseller

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.
Paperback, 376 pages
Published September 1st 2015 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published August 26th 2014)
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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…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)
Michelle I teach fifth grade and I think my students would like it, especially boys. I recommended it to my 12 year old nephew.
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Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,132 ratings  ·  1,876 reviews

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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 ...more
Justin Tate
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 ...more
Jacob Proffitt
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
I wish Greenglass House was a real place!
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

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
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.)

Claire Legrand
Feb 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
You know when you finish reading a book and are left with this warm ache in your chest because what you read was just that perfectly magical? That's how I feel, having just finished GREENGLASS HOUSE. I didn't want it to end, and I know I'll visit this marvelous house and its bizarre inhabitants again and again and again. *happy sigh*
Sep 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mia (Parentheses Enthusiast)
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
Nov 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: award-winners
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 ...more
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
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
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 ...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.
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
May 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Melissa McShane
I was drawn into this book very quickly and found it easy to keep reading without stopping. The ambience of this book is just superb, from the chilly winter setting to the old inn and all its inhabitants. Despite figuring out the twist early on--more because I am extremely suspicious than that it's obvious--I really enjoyed watching Milford play it out; she manages to hint at the truth without straining herself, and the ending was both sweet and terrifying. There's a good mystery and a fabulous ...more
Desi (Pastel Pages)
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Milo Pine is very unhappy when a houseful of mysterious guests arrive to stay at the family inn during his Christmas vacation, especially when he discovers that most of their secrets have to do with his house. Taking on the guise of Negret, the blackjack, he and Meddy, the cook's daughter, begin investigating the guests and the house.

1. I'm going to do that thing where I complain a lot about a book I actually liked. Because I did really enjoy this: the snowy holiday atmosphere; the sensation of
Marjorie Ingall

A long and old-fashioned (but not dull) story in the Agatha Christie tradition of people trapped in a house together with SECRETS. Our hero Milo, a kid who's been adopted from China and adores his parents but feels guilty yearnings about his past, would rather NOT have a houseful of guests during his Christmas vacation...but hey, with thefts to solve and lies to unravel, he'll deal. With urging from a girl named Meddy, Milo creates a character -- the stealthy,
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.
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 :)

Arielle Walker
Fun little mystery-adventure with a hint of the supernatural. I'd definitely recommend this to anyone under the age of 14 (and over too, if you feel like a little bit of good, clean, fun): I'd have loved this as a child.
3.75 stars
This had pretty much everything I love in mysteries. Old house with secrets; strange, eccentric characters; clues to follows; coded messages. This isn't a fast moving book, so that may turn some people off, but the characters were great and I was cheering for Milo and Meddy to figure out what was going on. I felt not everything was explained fully, though the main points were and I was confused on the world that they lived in. I know it was a fictitious town and place, but I couldn't
Kira Simion
Aug 15, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Goodreads buddy Christina N for this recommendation! :3
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Peanut Blossom Bo...: Greenglass House by Kate Milford 6 41 Jan 05, 2019 09:55AM  
Greenglass House 2 2 Oct 06, 2018 07:16PM  
Middle Grades: Greenglass House 1 3 Jun 24, 2018 05:19PM  
Middle Grades- Greenglass House 1 1 Jun 24, 2018 06:25AM  
Around the Year i...: Greenglass House, by Kate Milford 2 11 Feb 12, 2018 12:09AM  

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Kate is the author of THE BONESHAKER, THE BROKEN LANDS, GREENGLASS HOUSE, and the forthcoming THE LEFT-HANDED FATE (Fall 2015). She is also the author of the self-published Arcana Project series. The first two volumes, THE KAIROS MECHANISM and BLUECROWNE, can be purchased for e-readers at all the usual outlets and in paperback from or The third ...more

Other books in the series

Greenglass House (4 books)
  • Ghosts of Greenglass House (Greenglass House #2)
  • Bluecrowne (Greenglass House #3)
  • The Thief Knot (Greenglass House #4)
“Nobody said it had to be a story with an ending all neatly tied up like some ridiculous fairy tale. This story's true, and true stories don't have endings, because things just keep going.” 25 likes
“Always check for traps, left is always right unless there's a middle, always put your healer in the best armor and wear your magic rings on your toes instead of your fingers...What else?...Always have rope.” 8 likes
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