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(The Books of Elsewhere #2)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  2,853 ratings  ·  241 reviews
The mysteries grow deeper and the secrets darker in the second volume of the New York Times bestselling Books of Elsewhere series.

With no way into the McMartin house's magical paintings and its three guardian cats reluctant to help, Olive's friend Morton is still trapped inside Elsewhere. So when Rutherford, the new oddball kid next door mentions a grimoire—a spellbook—
Hardcover, 295 pages
Published July 12th 2011 by Dial Books For Young Readers (first published July 1st 2011)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  2,853 ratings  ·  241 reviews

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Jul 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: cat lovers, fantasy enthusiasts, those who appreciate good children's books
This is the second book in a lovely children's series by Jacqueline West. Odds are you've never read it.

I think Spellbound wasn't quite as good as its predecessor, but hot diggity dog was it still fun to read.

Why I Loved It
No question here-- the talking cats MADE this story. Horatio, Leopold, and Harvey are basically my new best friends. Somebody somewhere needs to name their cats after these guys, cause they deserve it. Leopold especially continues to deliver epic cuteness, and remains my
Mysterious evil lurks at every corner in the second installment in "The Books of Elsewhere, Book 2: Spellbound." It has only been a few weeks since Olive buried the sinister painting of Annabelle McMartin and has broken the magic eyeglass frames of creepy Aldous McMartin. Of course, Olive feels obligated in trying to save her friend Morton from his permanent purgatory of being a painted person instead of being human. So, she tries again to search for clues in her home with her three feline ...more
Aug 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Loved it...and so, it seems, do the young readers who've been anxiously waiting since last summer for this second in the Elsewhere series! The power and charm of West's writing for children seem to lie in her delightful sense of humor, her sensitive portrayal of young characters, and her unerring recall of even the most detailed childhood experiences. (Yes, those Freeze Pop bags do sort of cut the inside of your mouth while you're sucking the last of the flavor out of the icicle inside!) I'm ...more
Katie Grace
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fast paced, weird, mystery and a dash of spooky. I liked this a lot. *nod*
Steph Lovelady
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This sequel was just as appealing as the original book. Olive, who lives in a house formerly occupied by a family of witches and filled with paintings that are portals to mini-worlds, continues to interact with the people in the paintings. She has to resist the seductive power of the house to divert her from her real goal trying to save a boy who's been trapped in one of the paintings for eighty years and battling others who are either responsible for or complicit in his entrapment. The talking ...more
Ben Shaw
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked it. It's spooky, mysterious, and pretty good.
Sep 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Middle graders who love spooky stories.
Shelves: fantasy
Spellbound, the second novel in The Books of Elsewhere series features Olive a young girl who is determined to help free her friend Morton from the painting he is trapped in. Where in book one Olive had magical spectacles that allowed her to enter paintings, now she will need something more. Something that seems to be calling her to release it from the clasp of a pair of large bony hands. Will Olive be able to convince the three guardian cats of the house to help her? Or will the new boy next ...more
Jessica Harrison
Feb 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
read full review on Cracking the Cover
“Spellbound” opens where “The Shadows” left off. Olive successfully stopped the McMartins, but Morton is still trapped inside Elsewhere. Olive’s magical glasses broke in the battle, and she has no way to get back inside the paintings on her own. The three guardian cats could help her return, but they’re reluctant to help.

With each day that passes, the weight of leaving Morton behind grows. So when Rutherford, Olive’s new neighbor, suggests the McMartins may
Rick Stuckwisch
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is proving to be a really delightful, well-written series. It moves along at a nice pace, without feeling rushed or thin. Marvelous storytelling. Excellent, likable, well developed characters, and a rich, imaginative plot. Ideal for middle grade and junior high readers and listeners, but I'm also having a great time reading it aloud.
Mar 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
This second book in The Books of Elsewhere series is just as magical as the first. Olive is still searching for a way to save Morton, the boy trapped inside a painting. Now that the spectacles are broken, Olive must rely on the permission of one of the three cats to enter the paintings. But nothing she tries is working. So when her new neighbor, Rutherford, mentions that there may be a spellbook left by the McMartins, Olive immediately begins searching. When she finds it though, she may not be ...more
Maggie Johnson
Mar 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I chose the book, Spellbound, from The Books Of Elsewhere by Jacqueline West. I picked this book because I read the first book, and I really liked it. This second book was a really fun story with a mystery plot. Someday I would like to solve mysteries like Olive. I don’t think boys should read this book because this is about a girl who solves mysteries. I want to read the rest of the books to discover more secrets of Elsewhere.

People who like mysteries should read this book and the series
Jun 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Gr. 4 and up
Olive and her parents live in a large, old house where an evil woman once lived. The girl has few contacts with people, depending on her friendship with Morton, a child she met inside a painting, and the three cats who came with the house. But she no longer has the glasses that helped her climb inside the paintings and the cats have become even more aloof. Then a new character steps into her world: Rutherford, the grandson of a neighbor, brings his curiosity, his knowledge of all things ...more
Sep 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
With Morton still a painting and Olive's unique inquisitive nature readers venture into the world of Elsewhere in this second installment of the series.

All the elements that I loved about the first book - the talking cats, the real nature of Olive (Hey it's a character who makes mistakes and does things on her own and isn't perfect all the time), as well as the magic and mystery of Elsewhere are all in this second installment.

West introduces some new elements such as a new character and
Jan 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic! Jacqueline West manages to make the second book in her series as interesting as the first. I was pleasantly surprised that Spellbound takes an even darker turn than book one. Olive's search for the McMartin's book of spells results in Olive turning against those she loves.

The character of Rutherford was incredibly amusing (especially read by audiobook narrator Lexy Fridell, whose childlike voice is a constant and delightful surprise) and I was glad to learn more about the neighbors.
Oct 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014
Oh, Olive. You and your curious ways! I kept getting mad at her choices, and then I remembered I'm an adult ... reading a story through the lens of a pre-teen. Ha! I didn't love this book as much as the first in the series, The Shadows The Books of Elsewhere 1, but still a great story. And I love the cats. A little slow at the beginning, but stick with it. You won't be disappointed. Jacqueline West is a fresh voice. I can't wait to read the next book, The Second Spy.
Ann N.
Jan 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was wonderful! This second installment in the Books of Elsewhere series is yet another great mix of humor, insight, and suspense from Jacqueline West. Once I hit Chapter 10, I honestly could not put the book down again until I had finished it. It will be difficult to wait until the summer of 2012 to find out what happens in book #3!
Karen Arendt
May 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Very good continuation of The Book of Elsewhere. Olive finds a spell book of the McMartin family. She also meets her neighbor Rutherford, who always turns up at odd moments. Morton wants to find out what happened to his family and get out of the painting.... Lots of action and suspense, especially when the book of spells starts to turn Olive into an evil person....
Sep 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a wonderfully creepy second in the series of Elsewhere. Olive is a spunky female character. She is trying to save Morton from inside a painting where he's been spellbound by a wizard. She also meets a new neighbor boy, Rutherford, who turns out to be very helpful.
Sep 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
This series is fun. I sometimes wish I had a little girl that I could read stories like this with. I'm looking forward to more adventures with Olive and her funny cats.
Nov 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Just another one of Jaqueline West's great miserious novels. Can't wait for the next one!
Nov 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
I adore Olive and pals. Each page keeps me going after more like river rafting. West is talented and I'll dive into more.
Apr 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Reading the series with Alex. We love it!
Oct 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Poor Olive sure gets herself into a pickle. Glad she learned her lesson about the 'dark side'!
Jul 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I liked this book much better than the first. I put my back against the wall so that nobody would sneak up on me. I really enjoyed this book.
Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a good book, and it ties into the first book.
Chantele Sedgwick
Great sequel! This is a fun series middle graders will love!
Christian H
Oct 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
such a good book but not as good as the other 2
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it

In The Book of Elsewhere Olive is on a mission to get her friend Morton out of a painting that the McMartin trapped him in. He is stuck in a place called Elsewhere and It is up to Olive and her talking cats to help him find a way to get out of the painting… maybe with some additional help. Throughout this amazing fantasy, you are constantly on the edge of your seat, with constant tension and mystery you can't put the book down. Almost like when Olive finds the McMartin spellbook. She finds
Bradley Mavericks
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I gave "Spellbound" by Jacqueline West 4 stars because however much it was good and interesting, it still wasn't nearly as interesting as the preceding book "The Shadows". There aren't as many discoveries about Elsewhere, but the secrets the characters learn about Elsewhere are deeper and darker. What I didn't like about the plot was that Olive Dunwoody, the main character, becomes somewhat possessed by the house she lives in. Olive is left pretty much friendless as her allies leave her one by ...more
Kristie J.
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am really enjoying this series. Olive is a very likable main character, an 11-year-old girl who is an only child and a bit of a loner in school. Her parents are amazingly clueless and leave her alone a lot. That's the only thing that bothers me a bit about the books. It's amazing how much time Olive spends alone with her parents in their own little world. Olive spends her time exploring the big, old stone house she lives in, interacting with the three talking cats who came with the house, and ...more
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Other books in the series

The Books of Elsewhere (5 books)
  • The Shadows (The Books of Elsewhere, #1)
  • The Second Spy (The Books of Elsewhere, #3)
  • The Strangers (The Books of Elsewhere, #4)
  • Still Life (The Books of Elsewhere, #5)
“Olive was the type of girl who would rather climb a teetering stack of chairs up to a high shelf than ask for help, perhaps because she had a lot more practice at falling down than she did at talking to people.” 1 likes
“She was part of that tree now. And once you are part of something, it can’t really frighten you.” 1 likes
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