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The House of Hidden Wonders

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  88 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Zinnie and her sisters live by their wits in the murky tunnels beneath Edinburgh. They keep out of the way of the authorities and remain undetected. Until, that is, rumours of a ghost bring some prominent figures into the caverns they call home. Among them, a young Arthur Conan Doyle, on the cusp of a new investigation, and Scotland’s first female doctor, Sophia Jex-Blake. ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 2nd 2020
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Average rating 4.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  88 ratings  ·  38 reviews


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Schizanthus Nerd
Mar 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Zinnie is fiercely protective of Sadie and Nell, her sisters. Their home in Old Edinburgh is dark, dirty and underground but Zinnie is proud of it. At least she’s been able to keep her family together. She doesn’t believe the talk in the Close about the ghost.
“Can’t stay down there no more. Not with that spirit abroad. Vicious, she is. Evil.”
Arthur Conan Doyle, who is currently a medical student at the Royal Infirmary, pays Zinnie to do jobs for him. He is currently investigating a mystery t
...more
Belles Middle Grade Library
Nov 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I picked this up the other night, & read the whole book in 1 sitting. I loved it so much. Zinnie is my hero! I want to be just like her when I grow up! Funny how at 38 this young girl in a book can make you want to be better-that’s what MG does though, & 1 reason I love it so much. She is feisty, strong, brave, loyal, determined, & devoted. The book is set in 1879 Old Edinburgh-& it’s not in good times. The author did a lot of research of this place in the Victorian period. There are also parts ...more
Roberta
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book. I had so much fun reading Zinnie’s adventures in 1870s Edinburgh. Sharon Gosling has created a totally believable world, and I just love the way she has woven in real people (and included some information on them at the back of the book). The adventure itself is exciting, I found it hard to put my kindle down to go to sleep. However, there is nothing too frightening for the age group it is primarily aimed at (Middle Grade). It is very well written, the characters are a ...more
Julia
Jul 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
It’s the year 1870. We’re in Edinburgh, Arthur Conan Doyle is a medical student, but he’s not our main character. Our MC is Zinnie, a fierce young girl, trying to keep a roof over the heads of her sisters Sadie and Nell, and some sort of food on their table. This is how Doyle and Zinnie cross paths, Doyle pays Zinnie for small jobs – like recovering a pocket watch – which soon turns into solving mysteries.

Zinnie is a wonderful character, she’s loyal to her family and friends, she’s headstrong an
...more
Liam
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful, emotional, clever and utterly fascinating story that cleverly weaves together fiction and history.

Honestly, this is one of my top picks for my book of the year. With no anticipation, as I read it the day it was announced, it absolutely blew me away!

It's a stand-alone story, though it has a lot of similar themes and the same period setting as The Golden Butterfly, also by Sharon Gosling (and also a spectacularly good novel!) While The Golden Butterfly is set in the theatres of Victor
...more
always november
Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
First of all, thank you to Little Tiger Group for giving me an opportunity to review an ARC of this fantastic book!
It's such a wonderful story filled with beautiful characters. Although it's filled with adventure, wit and mischief, it also tackles a lot of important topics like poverty, feminism and disability. I think younger readers as well as older readers will get a lot out of this book.
The relationships in this book were truly a joy to read. The women are so strong and independent and kind
...more
Allison
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
To start, Edinburgh is one of my favourite cities in the Uk. I've only been there twice and both times I fell head over heels in love with it. I love the juxtaposition between the old and new architecture, the vibrancy, the history, the people, the accent and everything else associated with it; so I was already excited to read this knowing it was set deep in Victorian Auld Reekie.

Add in a strong female protagonist who strives for the best despite adversity and we're on to a winner. Zinnie, the
...more
Amy Rush Da Silva
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was an exciting read that takes you on a great adventure through the streets of Edinburgh! I found it really easy to become absorbed in and the writing style had such a quirky, fun element to it that made me so eager to carry on reading. Gosling has such a great way of getting you engaged with her stories and this was clearly evident in The House of Hidden Wonders.

The setting of the book is just wonderful and one that I haven’t read about much in Middle Grade. I visited Edinburgh a few year
...more
Rebecca
Apr 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
This could have been a 4, but I'm sticking with 3.

This story follows the lives of young children in 1870s Edinburgh. Sisters bonded by hardship. We meet Sadie, an Irish orphan with a knack for medicinal herbs (she'd make a great midwife, but I suppose a doctor will suffice!) her younger 'sister' Nell, a very young black orphan with no where to go and a horrible sickness threatening her life and our main girl Zinnie. She is the big sister and only wants to provide a better life for her family.

Zin
...more
Fabienne Schwizer
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So, all I had to hear was history, adventure, museum and curious girls, and I was hooked! Once I started reading, it took no time for me to lose myself in Zinnie’s Edinburgh, and join her on her quest to protect her sisters and discover the secret of the House of Wonders. The House of Hidden Wonders is a thrilling story of a group of young girls making their way in a world stacked against them, featuring themes of found family, diversity and acceptance. Through the story of ghosts and mystery, u ...more
Mary Rees
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The House of Hidden Wonders is a superbly gripping historical adventure set in a richly detailed and immersive Victorian Edinburgh which immediately captured me in the richly atmospheric and intriguing prologue, and kept me enthralled until the final page.

Zinnie and her little sisters, Nell and Sadie, scrape a meagre living on the streets of Edinburgh, and live in the tunnels beneath it. Zinnie has taken both of the younger girls, who are orphans, into her heart and is determined to protect them
...more
Christina Reid
May 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was really excited to read this and was lucky enough to receive an advance reading copy – thank you Little Tiger!

I fell in love with Zinnie straightaway, with her street smarts and caring for her sisters as they live in the abandoned buildings that go down underground in Edinburgh. The sitting was richly evoked and I loved seeing Arthur Conan Doyle as a young doctor, already showing an interest in the supernatural. There are lots of little nods to his stories, including a few things that Zinni
...more
Karen Broughton
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed The house of hidden wonders. A strong storyline with fabulous characters. Sherlock holmes is an all time favourite of mine and I loved the idea of reading about his early life before we knew him as a famous detective in London with his sidekick watson.
Having visited Edinburgh recently and exploring Mary kings Close, I really felt the book brought the historical side to life.
The two main women characters were fantastic, strong minded, intelligent and independent, going agains
...more
Keri (BooksWithKeri)
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received this book in return for an honest review via Netgalley.

The House of Hidden Wonders follows Zinne through the streets of Edinburgh as she protects her sisters and works with the future author, Arthur Conan Doyle. That is a super basic introduction and doesn't do this book justice.

I thoroughly enjoyed Gosling's writing. It was fluent and well described, with good pacing and characterization of her many different types of characters. The story has two worlds - the poor and the rich - and
...more
Bethan
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
3.5 stars!

The House of Hidden Wonders is a fun and heartwarming children’s historical fiction with a lot of charm. I loved the setting, the characters and the atmosphere of the story. There was clearly a lot of historical research put into this novel - which I really appreciated - and I think Gosling did a great job an interweaving real historical figures with the fictional events of the story.
The only downside for me was that I did find the story quite hard to get into at first. There wasn’t a
...more
Mollie
Mar 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
3.5 Stars!

All I needed was to see Arthur Conan Doyle and I knew I needed to read this book. The research that has been put into this novel is greatly appreciated. By intertwining historical figures and places into a work of middle grade fiction really made it believable in some way and it was an experience I thoroughly enjoyed. The characters of this story also really held their own and I liked them all individually.
The only aspect that stopped this book being a 4 star in my opinion was that the
...more
Jackie
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In the words of a young Conan Doyle, if you like books ‘full of adventure and strange goings on’ then The House of Hidden Wonder will be ‘right up your street.’

This detective mystery adventure story is chock full of strong, independent female characters and dastardly villains. I loved how aspects of the story were based on actual events, places and people from the past.

The view of Victorian Edinburgh enables the reader to see life from very different viewpoints at a time in our recent history -
...more
Nicole
May 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A very entertaining mystery read set in Victorian Edinburgh.
We follow Zinnie & her two sisters running through the streets. Finding a pocket watch for a friend of Arthur Conan Doyle was easy, stealing it back was harder.
Arthur asks Zinnie if she knows anything about ears, as a couple of bodies at the Hospital he is studying at have been found without them.
Little does Zinnie know, her answer will change the life of her sisters, herself and those she hasn't met yet.
Really great intrigue and pace
...more
Hannah Miles
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Once I’d got into the book I really enjoyed it. One of the abiding things I came away with from this book is the fact that you don’t need to be blood to be sisters, bonds of protection and love are just as strong. The story centres around Zinnie, her ‘sisters’, an incorrigible American, a ruthless thief and a ghost. It all happens in the depths of Edinburgh’s hidden city but also brings the lower classes together with the wealthier citizens of the city. The book centres on strong women with Lady ...more
Rebecca
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My Rating of House of Hidden Wonders is 5 Stars! I don’t think I could’ve loved this book any more!

I loved this book from the beginning right through until the end. It is fast-paced, intriguing and sucks you into Zinnie’s world from the start. Zinnie is a very likeable protagonist who is a strong female lead. She is caring for her sisters, resourceful and very logical. She battles with being seen as a little girl when she is very capable and able to see things in a clear way that only children c
...more
Nikki Marmery
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A fast-paced and thrilling adventure story about girls in the underworld of Victorian Edinburgh. Gosling brings together a cast of unforgettable characters: street urchin Zinnie and her sisters; the young Arthur Conan Doyle, Sophia Jex-Blake – the first female doctor in Scotland – to tell her tale of ghosts, seances, an unsolved murder – and of course, the House of Hidden Wonders itself. A wonderful, atmospheric read, with inspiring role models for girls.
Hayley
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Netgalley, the publishers and the author for the ARC of this book.

A great children’s mystery story partly set in Edinburgh’s underground city - that’s all I needed to know before requesting it! Likeable characters and an interesting read. Would be great if it was made into a series!
Vicky
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved the weaving of Conan Doyle into this intriguing mystery story with a fabulous strong female protagonist. Zinnie was extremely likeable with her desire to help others (especially her sisters) at all costs. The action of the story was well paced and readable, with genuine fears for characters within the story. All in all, a fantastic story that I devoured quickly and enjoyed very much.
Steph
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well I sped through this once I was into it! This was a great bit of mystery, supernatural and girl power mixed with a massive chunk of Edinburgh history. I loved the characters and the rich plot! Yay for girls owning their own lives, their sense of sisterhood (and found families) and making their own decisions. Mix in a pretty ominous baddie and you’ve got a winner!
Jim Hanks
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Edinburgh underworld. Rumours of a ghost. A mystery to solve. A house of wonders. Fortune telling. And Arthur Conan Doyle as a character. I love a book that has any of these elements in it, and this book has them all. Highly recommended.
Beth Younge
May 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a fun historical crime romp aimed at children. I really enjoyed the different elements of this. It had some really great scenes in this and the characters were well rounded and really interesting with each one having traits that made them distinctive and interesting. I did have certain expectations that weren't met but it didn't really ruin the book.

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
...more
Vonprice
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Entirely gripping, fabulously plotted MG adventure. My full review is here:
https://vsviewfromthebookshelves.home...
...more
Heather James
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fast paced and full of heart, I loved this MG mystery novel and think it will be a huge hit with young readers this year. Here are three reasons why:

1. There is a beautiful sibling relationship at the heart of this novel - in Zinnie's found-family of girls - and the affection the sisters felt for each other was at the heart of their every decision. Nell, the youngest sister, falls ill at the beginning of the novel and it is her survival and happiness that drives many of Zinnie's actions. Aelfine
...more
Vincent Ripley
Mar 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
A book review will be posted on www.mrripleysenchantedbooks.com very soon! ...more
Hannah
Oct 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was short, snappy, historically intriguing and well-written. It would make a great class novel for any UKS2 class looking at the Victorian era.
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Sharon Gosling began her career in entertainment journalism, writing for magazines in the science fiction and fantasy genre, before moving on to write tie-in books for TV shows such as "Stargate" and the 'reimagined' "Battlestar Galactica." ...more

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