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The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane

(Black Hollow Lane #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  2,863 ratings  ·  517 reviews
Emmy's dad disappeared years ago, and with her mother too busy to parent, she's shipped off to Wellsworth, a prestigious boarding school in England. But right before she leaves, a mysterious box arrives full of medallions and a note reading: These belonged to your father.

Just as she's settling into life at Wellsworth, Emmy begins to find the strange symbols from the medal
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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Amy Imogene Reads
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it

This reads like something I would have devoured as a kid: a great title, a boarding school, some creepy secret societies, found families, and lots of interesting school/research side quests. What can I say, I was always a nerd.

Writing: ★★★★
Characters: ★★★
Memorable?: ★★★★ 1/2
Pacing: ★★★ 1/2

The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane follows the adventures of Emmy, a girl who's father disappeared when she was 3 years old, and who's mother is a child psychology literary star with, ironically, no time at a
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
The digital arc of this book was kindly provided by the publisher via Edelweiss+ website in exchange for an honest review.

4,5 stars

This middle-grade debut novel really caught my attention from the very beginning. I tend to really enjoy books set in boarding schools and this one was no exception. I haven't read such a thrilling and exciting mystery novel in a while and because it's middle-grade, there weren't many distractions (e.g. love interests) from the main plot like it is often the case wit
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Look at this cover. Now back at me. Now BACK to this cover.

The cover is amazing! It gets better every time you look at it, with tiny clues and symbols around the edges of the spooky-mysterious central picture. But, you ask, is the book inside as good as the cover?

Yes. Yes it is.

It's a boarding school story that reminded me quite a lot of Harry Potter (though there is no magic here, but that's okay!), and a twisty mystery that made me think of National Treasure, only British. There's a lot going
Mel (Epic Reading)
Apr 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. For a debut novel this is pretty good. Nothing super original here in terms of plot: girl sent to boarding school, makes a couple key friends, secret society (passage ways and all), bullying, absent parents, etc. Lots of intrigue, some action, tons of time spent doing homework, some soccer (football), and a good dose of mystery.

One of the stand-out pieces of Julia Nobel's debut is that the narrative of our lead gal is very strong. Right from the first couple chapters I felt
Christi M
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes you see a cover and just know that this is a book you must read. But I’ve been fooled before by covers, thankfully this wasn’t one of those times. The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane is a terrific middle-grade mystery adventure debut novel.


With a dad who disappeared years ago and a mother who’s a bit too busy to parent, Emmy is shipped off to Wellsworth, a prestigious boarding school in England, where she’s sure she won’t fit in.

But then she finds a box of mysterious medallion
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
ugh the Harry Potter-esque feels.

This was hella cute! The boarding school + some Malfoy-esque characters + a McGonagall-like teacher + quidditch being football instead + a secret society are all elements that make for a book I am going to like. I feel deprived that I never got to go to a boarding school as a kid. Weird shit always happens at them! See examples: Harry Potter, Truly Devious, this book.
g a b s ⚡
Sep 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
man do i love me some middle-grade novels!! this was really cute <3 the mystery wasn't like a nancy drew mystery that you read the first page and you're like "welp, it was obviously *insert the criminals name*" it was a plot twist, stg. i cant wait to read the next book! i could've finished this in one sitting, but school work had me drowning. 4.5/5, recommended to middle schoolers or people who just want to read a fun little book :) ...more
Jan 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-star
Ignore my usual stingy rating of three stars - I actually did really enjoy this middle grade debut. It’s a tale of mystery and intrigue, but also of friendship. 3 1/2 stars

The story follows young Emmy after her mother sends her to a boarding school in England. While there, Emmy begins to realize there may be more mysterious events happening behind the scenes, events that may even have to do with her missing father.

It’s a nice balance of slightly darker elements and a humorous dynamic among Emm
Feb 09, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book is a Harry Potter wanna-be. Literally. I could easily do a "These Books are the Same" video on this.

I understand that this book is a middle grade. But middle grade is not an excuse for lazy writing, weak plot lines and stereotypical characters. We have a trio of meddling kids, a mysterious British boarding school, a couple of teachers--some good, some bad--and a mysterious organization that have it after the main character. And the main character is surprisingly good at a sport. And th
I read that book in one sitting while listening to the audiobook on Scribd and OMG I want to sequel right now!

Dark Academia and middle Grade? oh yes!

I looooooved the writing style!
I looooooved the story!
I looooooved the characters!
I looooooved everything about this book!
It just missed snow and it would have been perfect hahaha

I feel like Boarding Schools are a perfect setting for a mystery book. You know making new friends, learning how to live without your parents, learning about yourself and d
Lizzy (Bent Bookworm)
~*Check out all my reviews on the blog over at The Bent Bookworm!*~

The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane is the kind of book I would have LOVED reading as a nine or ten-year-old. It has strong, independent kids with their own unique voices, an intriguing mystery (that the adults are dead-bent on NOT being helpful with), and juuuuust enough creep factor to make a warm blanket desirable.

Emmy's father disappeared when she was a toddler, and her mother is a "parenting expert" that is rarely around and e
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this manuscript during Pitch Wars last year and it was FABULOUS. It blew me away and I knew right away it was The One. I can't wait to see it in its final form! It is spooky, mysterious, and absorbing, and I fell in love with the characters from page one. There are many boarding school mysteries out there, but there's something so unique and gorgeous about this one with its spunky cast, vein of family loss and longing, and eerie Gothic setting where no one can be trusted. Keep your eye on ...more
Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)
2.5 stars.

I tend to have low expectations for secular middle-grade books nowadays, so I wasn't expecting to enjoy this one much if at all. I would consider this a decent start to a new MG Mystery series and plan to read the next book, so I'd say it surpassed my expectations--just not by much.

My rating is due to the slightly creepy club (more like a mafia than a club) and some language used by Emmy's friends. It wasn't a terrible story nor a great one, but the ending did fall a bit flat for me.
Amélie Boucher
Nov 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

This was such an amazing book! I had the absolute best time following Emmy on her adventures in boarding school.

This is the perfect dark academia book for middle graders! If you love boarding school settings, secret societies, and mysterious vibes, this book is for you!

The author kept me engaged and captivated from beginning to end. While the ending did fall into the cliché of having the "villain" reveal their entire plan to the main character, the villain's identity was such an unexpec
May 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: School Story Lovers / Middle-Grade Readers Who Enjoy Mystery
Recommended to Abigail by: CLM
When Emmeline Willick's mother, a well-known American parenting expert, gets a job on a television show, leaving her little time to spend with her own daughter, Emmy is shipped off to boarding school in England. Once there, at the prestigious co-educational Wellsworth School, she confronts all of the usual challenges facing a new girl at school: struggling to find her feet socially, to come to terms with her difficult roommate, and to catch up with her studies. Emmy ends up making good friends w ...more
Apr 28, 2021 rated it liked it
Not reinventing the wheel here, but solid choice for anyone who enjoys boarding school books, secret societies, and found family stories.

Watch me discuss it here:
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
The thing about reading middle grade books as an adult (who does not typically read a lot of MG outside of horror or fantasy) is that, unfortunately, it's really easy to get bored! It's nothing against this book in the slightest — in fact, I think it will go over great with my kiddos at the library, and I'll definitely be adding it to the order form for them! — it just couldn't keep my attention enough for me to justify spending my time on it right now.

Thank you so much to the publisher for prov
Sarah Collins
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great story and fun to read. Very Harry Potter-esq minus the magic. A mystery to solve, daring midnight escapades and likeable characters. Although the story wraps up in this book, I want more!
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such a pleasant book... absolutely loved Emy and her friends, how she overcame her relationship with her mother... how she found a place to call home and friends to call family...
i highly recommend this book and i can't wait to read the following books
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a story of Emmy who is shipped off to a boarding school in England while her mother is busy with her career. While there, Emmy begins to realize there may be more mysterious events happening behind the scenes. There's a lot going on in this story - new friendships, secret passages, ancient artifacts and a spooky mystery to solve. The plot moves along at a brisk pace, providing a vast array of characters. This book solves one of the many mysteries, but there is more to be explained, but t ...more
Kiki Z
Feb 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2-5-stars
This might have been a book I really would have enjoyed when I was younger. And for kids in the right age group, I'd probably recommend it. But I think anyone over the age of 15 would probably have some issues with it. The characters seem older than the 11 I think they were supposed to be--I honestly just pictured them as 14 or so in my head--and the English boarding school with dark secrets is an overdone trope. There's no real mystery, and nothing much actually happens when you try to map it o ...more
Ms. Yingling
Jan 10, 2019 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Emmeline (Emmy) has bounced around from private school to private school since her mother, a child psychology guru, has accepted different jobs. Now that her mother has a television show in development, her mother decides to ship her off to a boarding school in England! Emmy isn't given any choice, so she soon finds herself arriving mid term at Wellsworth, angering her new roommate and being forbidden from playing her beloved soccer. She also has to take Latin, and her h
2.5/5 rounded up. Super sad to not have fallen in love with this book. Based off the beginning, I had my hopes high. But it’s just an underwhelming book for me and, in my opinion, it’s too close to seeming like Harry Potter but without the magic.

Emmy’s father is MIA and whether he’s alive or not is not certain. Although Emmy barely remembers her father since he left when she was 2 or 3 (I think it was 3), she still feels like she wants to know what happened to him or why he left. One day Emmy f
Keisha | A Book Like You
This was an interesting read! I love stories that involve boarding schools, mysteries, secret societies, etc. This reminded me a lot of the old show House of Anubis, which I loved! I do wish there would have been more going on throughout the book. I feel like most of the action and findings took place in the last 1/4 of the story, but I’m hoping in the second book it will be more spread throughout the entire book! Nonetheless, I think this was great, and I’m looking forward to reading the next i ...more
Victoria Bannon
Oct 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. This woman really copy/pasted Harry Potter, deleted the magic and added a female protagonist. I respect the audacity.
rylanne burdette
Jan 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
When Emmy’s mom ships her off to boarding school in England, she has to learn how to adapt to yet another school with a tough learning environment. She is put into the Latin Society, where she learns absolutely no Latin but instead sits in the corner and does homework while the other club members (all of whom are boys) act suspicious. The longer Emmy spends at the school, the more she realizes that there is something mysterious going on, something that involves her father who disappeared from he ...more
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it

I want to start this book review off by saying that parents who don’t listen to their kids are really annoying and i truly wanted to throttle nearly every parent in this book.

I’m lucky my mom always is and was so active in my life and listened to me and is so involved in my life and my choices because WHEW. Reading this and some of the parenting choices in this made me absolutely want to scream. Your child is a PERSON, respect them.

Ahem, so hi 🙂

Emmy’s dad disappeared when she was three years old
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Interest Level: 5-8

Imagine your dad disappeared ten years ago and your mom is too busy with her work to deal with you. This is Emmy's life! On her third birthday her dad went missing and is presumed dead. Her mother writes parenting books and is now starting a reality television show in which she has to go from family to family helping them with their children. Since her mom won't be around she is sending Emmy to a boarding school in England. Emmy is used to moving schools because anytime a scho
Ah, this was so good!!

Full Review

This book was seriously so good, guys! By the time I started reading this, I had honestly forgotten what it was about so I went in not knowing what to expect, but I was very pleasantly surprised! It does take a few chapters to get into the main plot line involving the secret society, but the beginning chapters work very well for setting up the world in which this is going on, and once I started getting hints about the society, it just made me even more motivated
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Play Book Tag: The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane by Julia Nobel 3 stars 1 7 Dec 23, 2020 08:26AM  

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