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The House in Poplar Wood

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  62 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
For as long as the Vickery twins can remember, they’ve only ever been able to leave the house together once a year, on Halloween. The rest of the year, Lee and his mother serve Memory, while Felix and his father assist Death. This is the Agreement.

But one Halloween, Gretchen Whipple smashes her way into their lives. Her bargain is simple: If the twins help her solve the mu
Hardcover, 440 pages
Published August 28th 2018 by Chronicle Books
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Sep 11, 2018 marked it as to-read
I can't wait to read this one for Halloween.
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Twins Lee and Felix Vickery live in a secluded house in Poplar Wood with their parents. The hitch? Their dad Vince is the apprentice to Death and their mom Judith is the apprentice to Memory.
Death and Memory despise each other and have had a feud going for years so when Passion brought Vince and Judith together thirteen years ago, an Agreement was made,
(All those capital letters aren't a mistake: the shades Death, Memory, and Passion are almost human in this tale and the Agreement is a binding
I was lucky to win an arc of The House in Poplar Wood from K.E. Ormsbee on instagram! Opinions are my own, unbiased and genuine.

The title of this story piqued my interest right away and I added it to my ‘want to read’ list early on. I enjoyed Ormsbee’s The Water and the Wild (I may refer to it as TW&TW in this review to save time) and that made me want to read this middle grade book of hers too. The House in Poplar Wood is a lot different than TW&TW, yet still has masterful storytelling.
Christina Coats
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookshelf, giveaways
Talk about a house divided. The house in Poplar Wood is literally divided and each side is under obligation to work for a Shade: Death and Memory. This book was such a page turner and I did not want it to end.
Ms. Yingling
Jun 06, 2018 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus
I really enjoyed this; it was creepy and eerie, and fairly dark for a kids’ book. The story was tightly written, and the characters were flawed and yet still likeable. I liked that the premise isn’t clear right away; things get explained as the story unfolds. This distinctive fantasy is compelling and very memorable. I don’t want to say too much here, because I don’t want to give anything away, but this is a story that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike.
Jessica (Spooky KidLit & We Who Walk Here, Walk Alone)
Metaphors for the most universal human impulses and experiences walk and talk in K. E. Ormsbee's The House in Poplar Wood, a chilling and mournful but ultimately uplifting middle grade novel about duty, family, and creating your own path in life.

Twins Lee and Felix Vickery occupy the titular house, which is divided into two sections: the west end where Lee and his mother serve Memory, and the east end where Felix and his father serve Death. This is the Agreement, and it is has been in effect sin
Meaghan - Words Gremlin
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
DISCLAIMER: I received an e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.



TW: death

It's been a long time since I've read a middle grade book, since I mostly read YA nowadays, but I am SO GRATEFUL that I received a copy from NetGalley, because this was a delight.

For starters, I feel like the cover totally matches the autumn after dusk young mystery vibe that this book has going on (not to mention it's a super photogenic cover, dang!). It's at
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: high-school
Interest Level: YA

What if you lived in your house but you were not ever allowed to see your mother or your father? This is the problem that brothers, Lee and Felix, face. These two brothers live in the same house but Felix lives on the side of the house with his dad and Lee lives on the opposite side with his mom. Long ago their parents fell in love when they were not supposed to. An agreement was made and their mom had to become an apprentice to Memory and their dad had to become an apprentice
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
After their parents made an Agreement with Death, the Vickery twins had to live with it. It meant that Felix had to serve Death alongside his father, witnessing healing and dying every day. Felix was not allowed to go to school and could not ever see his mother. His father could not see his brother Lee or his mother ever again. Lee in turn lived with his mother on the other side of the house serving Memory. He took bottled memories, labeled them and placed them on shelves. Both brothers had erra ...more
Aug 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Peace and blessings to NetGalley for giving me a free read of this book. Hopefully I can convey my honest reaction accurately in this review.

The House in Poplar Wood embodies the spirit of everything I look for in a summer reading experience. Throughout the exhaustingly warm and dry temperatures, there’s a certain type of nostalgia that lingers in the air, genuinely placing me back to when the world felt a bit more infinite than it can feel now, as the Halloween/fall season begins creeping up f
The thirteen-year-old Vickery twins, Lee and Felix, lead most unusual lives in their house in Poplar Wood. Because of a deal with Death and Memory, their father serves as a healer and their mother as a psychologist, but each parent lives in one part of the house. Their father and mother can never see each other, and each parent can only see one child. It is expected that the boys will take their places as apprentices and then replace their parents in their work for the small town. But neither bo ...more
Rachel Benzine
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book in a giveaway from the publisher, Chronicle Books, in exchange for my unbiased review.

Lee and Felix are brothers who live unusual lives. Their mother is Memory's apprentice, and their father is Death's apprentice. Lee helps his mother as she helps Memory, and Felix helps his father as he helps Death. An Agreement set by the two Shades, Memory and Death, binds Lee, Felix, and their parents to the work. Enter Gretchen, a girl who Lee goes to school with. She's convi
Sep 09, 2018 rated it liked it
I received this through Edelweiss as an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Vickery twins were born into a family who serve the local embodiments of Memory and Death. Their father works for Death and their mother works for Memory, Felix lives with their father and Lee lives with their mother. When their parents fell in love, Memory and Death forced them to enter into an agreement that stated they would never see each other again and they would never see the son that lived with the other e
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it

The plot of this one is a little weird to explain so bear with me: there are two boys, twin brothers, and their father works for Death and their mother for Memory, and each has one son as an assistant, and because of an Agreement the two sides can never meet, living in a house divided in two. Until a local girl decides she needs their help to solve a MURDER (this isn't really a mystery, though) and the three of them determine to change their town, and thei
Julie Guzzetta
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, childrens
3.5 Stars - I enjoyed this book! It didn’t blow me away, but I ended up liking it more than I initially thought I would. The concept was really interesting - especially seeing Death, Memory, and Passion as actual characters rather than just concepts.
One minor (sort of) issue that I had was the hint of romance that just didn’t feel necessary. It really wasn’t an actual issue for me. But I didn’t see how this added to the story at all, and it made me wonder why it was included. It was such a tiny
Kendall Ball
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It has a spooky, dark vibe with some pretty heavy themes described in a light enough way for young readers. I’d recommend it to fantasy, and even horror, readers ages 8 to 11ish. My favorite part of this book is the sibling relationships, especially Gretchen and Asa’s. This book will likely make readers think about their relationships with their brothers and sisters in new ways.
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
This is a YA novel and perfect for Halloween. I found it creepy, eerie, and dark, but its storytelling is perfect with a little bit of mystery. I think mature middle schoolers would enjoy it for what it is. Gothic fiction. Thank you Chronicle Books for the book.
Leonard Kim
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well-executed and satisfying. I would classify this as a traditional fairy tale (Godfather Death being an obvious reference) in modern setting. As such, I liked this better than such books as Brockenbrough’s Game of Love and Death, McNeal’s Far Far Away, or even Ryan’s Newbery Honor book, Echo.
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This could be middle age appropriate as the kids in the story are 13 years old, but some of the themes are very dark. A very interesting supernatural take on death, memory, and passion (not smut, but passion).
Debbie Tanner
This is a really creepy mystery story!
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids, magical
My kids and I look forward to the opportunity to review,"The House in Poplar Wood" by K.E. Ormsbee.
Mariana Calderon
A perfect book for your local spooky young reader, The House in Poplar Wood somehow hits the mark with both creepiness and warmth.
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: story-shop-reads
*4.5 stars*

A perfectly engaging and appropriately creepy mystery. I loved every twist and turn.
Beth VanCurine
rated it really liked it
Aug 18, 2018
Ashley Blake
rated it it was amazing
Apr 22, 2018
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Sep 10, 2018
rated it really liked it
Sep 08, 2018
Kester Nucum
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Aug 15, 2018
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K.E. Ormsbee's Middle Grade debut, THE WATER AND THE WILD, is a fantasy published by Chronicle Books. Its sequel, THE DOORWAY AND THE DEEP, comes out October 4, 2016. Standalone fantasy THE HOUSE IN POPLAR WOOD publishes Fall 2018.

She also writes Young Adult novels as Kathryn Ormsbee. Her YA debut, LUCKY FEW, published with Simon & Schuster in Jun 2016, and her next YA, TASH HEARTS TOLSTOY, c

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