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Dickensen Academy

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  119 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Dickensen Academy isn’t a typical boarding school. The faculty is hiding an unbelievable secret within their fine arts program. When Autumn Mattison receives an invitation to attend the high school, she yearns to escape her overbearing father yet remains reluctant to leave her mother and brother. Her doubts fade away when a vivid dream convinces her she belongs there.

ebook, 348 pages
Published September 12th 2018 by The Wild Rose Press (first published 2018)
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Tina Blondino I particularly enjoyed the time when the freshmen noticed that the upper class students seemed to know something that the freshmen didn't - and how th…moreI particularly enjoyed the time when the freshmen noticed that the upper class students seemed to know something that the freshmen didn't - and how the freshmen found out the secret.(less)

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C.J. Zahner
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dickensen Academy is a book I highly recommend to teachers, parents, and young adults.

The main character, Autumn Mattison, grabbed my heart from the first chapter, and the author, Christine Grabowski, took me back to my own school days. The setting descriptions were vivid, the dialogues flowed naturally, and the story line was very different from most YA novels, which may be the reason I enjoyed this book so much.

I was immediately drawn to Autumn because of her sweet innocence and yet feisty l
Paula  Phillips
Sep 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This book grabbed me from the title as one of my favorite tropes to read boarding school novels. Autumn Mattison has a chance to get away from her family and start fresh at the boarding school Dickensen Academy, she is reluctant at first but she has a dream of the school, and this makes her believe it is a sign that she belongs here. As Autumn tries to balance the schoolwork load as her father is pressuring her for good grades otherwise, he will pull her out of the school. The thing is though th ...more
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dickensen Academy is the debut novel by author Christine Grabowski.

Cover to end, this book was amazing. In just looking at the cover, the book pulled me in. You see what Autumn Mattison sees – a large daunting structure – but there is a hint of innocence with her braided hair and bright pink flowers. You wonder along with her, what is to come.

This book follows the story of Autumn who gets accepted into a boarding school in a remote area of Washington State. She quickly learns that this may not
Reader Views
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reviewed by Autumn (age 13) for Reader Views Kids (8/18)

“Dickensen Academy” by Christine Grabowski is a story that keeps you wondering if what you are reading is part of a dream or actually real?

Autumn Mattison is your average 15-year-old who is about to start her first year in high school. But not just any high school, a private school called Dickensen Academy. This school is by invitation only and located in the middle of nowhere, tucked among large evergreens and mountains. Since the school c
Tiffany Ryan
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There are so many things that I enjoyed about Christine Grabowski's first book, Dickensen Academy. It is a wonderfully written book that takes place in the mountains of the northwest. You are taken on the journey of Autumn's first year at a mysterious boarding school. It shows the deep relationships she has with friends at school, family and how each of those change. Each time I put the book down I was left wanting to come back and read more! It is a refreshing, clean read that would be great fo ...more
I received this book as a part of Member Giveaway on Library Thing in exchange for my honest opinion.

When the time for high school comes around, Autumn is given the option to attend Dickensen Academy, a boarding school that specializes in fostering creativity in their students. But, there is more to it, in that this creativity is put to a top-secret purpose.

Upon arriving at Dickensen (and even a little bit before her arrival), Autumn becomes aware through her own experiences and in talking to ot
Stephanie Landau
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Christine GrabowskiAs an avid reader, I have found that I thoroughly enjoy the YA books as it brings me back to my youth. I am a 40-year-old mother of younger children and I highly recommend Dickenson Academy and feel it targets more than just your typical Young Adult audience. I was immediately drawn into this story, as I could vividly feel all the anticipation, hope, fear and excitement for Autumn (the main character) as she is starting an incredible journey moving away from home and experienc ...more
Megan Stewart
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Christine Grabowski’s debut young adult novel, Dickensen Academy, is a great read, from start to finish. The novel’s protagonist, Autumn, has just gone off to boarding school for high school, and she quickly realizes that Dickensen Academy not only offers her a beautiful campus, a new group of friends, and challenging academics, but it also provides a very unique element: instruction in dream-making. Autumn faces the typical teenage struggles with balancing school, boys, new friendships, and adj ...more
Julianne Crutchfield
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What an incredible story. Christine Grabowski definitely knows how to impress a group of readers.

Dickensen Academy follows a girl named Autumn and her experience at a new school. But the school isn’t any old school. It has a secret. And Autumn and all of her friends are ready to find out what’s going on. Together, they find out that the school isn’t what any of them expected, especially Autumn.

This book had me hooked from start to finish. I would definitely be down to re-read it, it was that
Karla Olson
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dickensen Academy is one of the most refreshing, inspiring and thought provoking books I’ve read in a long time. I read it with my teenage daughters, and it prompted the most inquisitive and deep conversations between us. We discussed new ways of thinking, paradigm shifts and possibilities. This book evokes the feeling of sitting in your favorite chair, sipping a cup of hot tea with your favorite blanket wrapped around you and falling in love with Life all over again. It allowed me to dream like ...more
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced copy of Christine Grabowski's Dickensen Academy and really enjoyed the story. What most intrigued me was how magical the books were without the use of magic. The power of dreams and thoughts presents a wealth of options for insight and reflections, but Grabowski has taken them one step further and applies their usage to educational experiences. Often times, however, I was unclear as to whether the actions and events were real or part of a dream. It was this uncertainty tha ...more
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dickensen Academy is a young adult paranormal story that holds the power to reach out and grab not only protagonist Autumn Mattison, but her readers, as it opens with her first impression of one of the big dreams of her life, and a looming puzzle. Autumn's first day at the exclusive Dicksensen Academy introduces a bizarre secret that none of the new students sees just yet.

Besides her impression of the physical academy's setting, Autumn experiences a secondary certainty: somehow, she's been on th
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Title: Dickensen Academy
Author: Christine Grabowski
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
ISBN: 978-1-5092-2124-0
Buy Link:
Reviewer: Teresa Fallen Angel
Dickensen Academy isn’t a typical boarding school. The faculty is hiding an unbelievable secret within their fine arts program. When Autumn Mattison receives an invitation to attend the high school, she yearns to escape her overbearing father yet remains reluctant to leave her mother and brother. Her doubts f
Judith Sterling
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Autumn Mattison is a typical high school freshman, but the boarding school she attends is anything but. Dickensen Academy teaches the telepathic art of dream-conveying. As someone who's experienced lucid dreams my entire life, I would've loved to attend such a school.

Autumn must navigate new friendships and her first romance, and learn to let go and trust herself. She also learns to appreciate her family. Perhaps most satisfying is when she puts another's needs in front of her own, using newfoun
Lilly Charysma
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was such a refreshing novel! I loved the setting, I loved our main character and her decision to succeed. There are so many interesting things happening here, but the most important of all, we see a young teenager develop. That’s what captured me.

In a world where we now lose sight of how to create a moral support for our kids, we have a book about a girl who only wants to succeed and be great in school. Yes, she has a strict family and yes, this is a book in which things can happen as the a
Jessica Anderson
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great read: a familiar story but with an intriguing new idea!

I decided to read Dickensen Academy, by new author Christine Grabowski, because I am always looking for interesting young adult fiction for my twelve-year-old.  Dickensen Academy was a very fun read which pulled me into the story and peaked my curiosity from the first sentence, “Clues to the secret existed from day one, yet they appeared to belong in separate puzzles.”  The novel reads a little bit like a mystery, giving the reader clu
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have to tell you Dickensen Academy was very surprising and unexpected. I have no clue what I expected when I started reading but I can tell you straight up that I was pleasantly surprised.

As a YA novel, the age was slightly younger than I usually go with, here Autumn and the rest of the group were around 14/15 but it really did not affect the quality of the storyline. I mean honestly, you can make them all a few years older have them be Freshmen in College and it would have made little differe
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this book as an adult and loved it, but I also will get it for my two nieces who are 11 and 14 and I think they will both love it. It is perfect for teen/tween because it has mystery but isn't graphically violent. I loved so many things about it, particularly the setting in the dark woods of the northwest and the school which is hiding some secrets. I really enjoyed the main character Autumn and her budding romance with her friend Ben. And my favorite part was the secret that eventually t ...more
Tina Blondino
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great story! Great writing!
In a unique private high school in the Pacific Northwest, Autumn is an incoming freshman. Leaving home and away from her family (including her hovering dad), Autumn is nervous. Will she be able to make friends? And why does the school seem so familiar? Autumn is so genuine! She’s anxious and frustrated at times, but she is also strong and insightful.
This book immediately pulled me in. The characters soon felt like old friends with whom I felt comfortable. The character
S Williamson
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My daughter couldn’t put it down!

Once my 12-year-old daughter started reading this book she couldn’t put it down! We just received the book last week, and she is already re-reading it. Here is her review: Dickensen Academy is a delightfully imaginative book about a girl named Autumn attending a boarding school that is not what it seems. I love the character development in this book. At first Autumn is shy, and reluctant to talk to her classmates, but throughout the story she becomes more and mor
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a creative plot! Even after finishing the book I’m wondering at all the different things that are possible at Dickensen Academy, can’t wait for more. Teens and adults alike will love this book.

The main character, Autumn, is very relatable and I could easily put myself in her shoes and remember back to the teen years (in all the best ways). Without spoiling the plot, I really loved how clever the main aspect of the school was. It reminded me in some ways of the Harry Potter series, in that
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book gave me chills from the start. Autumn is selected to attend a unique, invitation-only boarding high school in a remote area of Washington State. When she arrives, she and the other freshmen have no idea that the school has a secret curriculum of dream-creating and conveying. Christine describes dream-making in a way that makes it seem like a real possibility. The book's protagonist, Autumn, deals with typical teenage issues such as boys, friends and homework and is a very likable and r ...more
Marie Seibel
As a teacher and school counsellor I would highly recommend “Dickensen Academy”, by Christine Grabowski, to any young adult/adult reader looking for a wholesome character coming of age with an interesting twist. Autumn and her friends experience friendship, family, and a little romance, while navigating the unique challenges of fantastic abilities that only those invited to the school are able to develop. An excellent read!
Laura  Hernandez (TheVoluptuousBkDiva/YABkDivas)
The best part of this book was that as you turned the pages you wondered if what was happening was real or just a dream. The worldbuilding was well done and quickly pulled you inside the story and the characters were well written and worked will together. I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to one and all. -YA/NA Book Divas

{I requested a copy for reviewing purposes and made no guarantee of a favorable review. The opinions expressed herein are unbiased and my own.}
Gary Ziebarth
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed Christine Grabowski’s Dickensen Academy and recommend it to everyone who enjoys Young Adult novels that have a sci-fi, fantasy, or paranormal component. Being retired, I am obviously not part of the target group for this book. But I love young adult novels that have well developed characters that I can relate to, and a book which can take me back in time to the excitement and fears of my teenage years. This book did that for me. I think everyone will love the main character, ...more
Celaine Charles
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was given an advanced copy of Christine Grabowski’s debut book, Dickensen Academy, and highly recommend it to all middle school and high school readers. I found myself hooked right away and eagerly read on to discover the truth about this intriguing school.

Main character, Autumn Mattison, is a freshman attending this invitation-only boarding school, where tuition was paid by the Dickensen Foundation. Fully academic, this school opens its doors to only a few creative sorts. Autumn was recognize
Laurie Rogers
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The beautiful jacket cover of Dickensen Academy both attracts and intrigues readers, and within the first few pages, like the students themselves, we are caught up in the mystery of wondering why these particular students were invited to attend this little-known, but academically strong, secluded high school.

Through easy and natural conversations and emotions, the author’s beautifully simple writing style and descriptions flow so easily we are surprised at how much we are learning about her cha
Sep 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley
I felt this book was written for preteens and early teen by the way it was written. That age group would really enjoy it. I on the other hand had a hard time with telepathy and sending dreams especially subjects you'd be studying. Just too unrealistic to me. There were some areas which were repetitive.
I received this ARC from Net Galley for an exchange for my honest review.
TB Roxie
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dickensen Academy is the perfect book for the young reader- and anyone who enjoys "mysterious boarding school fantasy-type novels". Although I'm a (much) older reader for this genre, I'm also a big YA fan. Dickensen Academy checked all the boxes for a good YA read - a young girl (Autumn) starting off on a new adventure, meeting her core group of friends, the always present "mean girl", the "cute boy", family issues, and of course, the big Academy mystery and the challenges it presents. The basis ...more
Samantha McNulty
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.


Dickensen Academy is the debut novel by author Christine Grabowski.
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