Erica Drayton I'm about halfway through it now and I will say it's for a reader who can easily keep track of and pace with several main characters. In this case there are 7 girls who are all distinct in their behaviors and speech but I can see how having SO MANY characters can easily frustrate a person who may not be able to differentiate them causing confusion. Having said that I think the author has, so far, done an amazing job at telling the story, given her bold move of having so many main characters. But she does it effortlessly and gives them each an equal amount of importance. I have not finished it yet but of the variety of "YA" books I've read this one, I believe, is more of a YA book than others that tend to have much more adult under (and over) tones, if that makes sense? It's not as "true to life" or emotionally driven as most popular YA books tend to be today. It's definitely historical (taking place in 1890) though very funny and the language is not hard to read or understand. like Shakespeare. Hope that was helpful.
Trish Yes, I think it is good for middle school through high school, but it will be the reader who likes historical fiction. It isn't for every reader. That said, I enjoyed it.
jordana If you are defining YA readers as people who read YA fiction, no. I would say that it's about 3rd-5th grade.
Tammi Moran Barnes and Noble and Amazon have this book shelved as middle school fiction. I think it's totally inappropriate for that age group. I couldn't even finish the book.
Ann Levine Yes. 11+ is probably best due to some romance and the slight violence that comes with a murder mystery. The hardest part of the book is, as some of the other people wrote, the large amount of main characters. Once you get about a third of the way through the book, you should be able to understand the different characters and the jargon that was used in the late 1800's in Britain.
Awake at Midnight Absolutely. The length and language might be a bit heavy for a mid-grade audience, but the story would not be too intense for younger readers. It's almost irreverently lighthearted mystery. Berry is adept at diffusing any scenes that might ordinarily be scary or threatening.
Ann The story is a historical dark comedy and murder mystery in the vein of Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events". It is appropriate for middle school-aged children through adult. I found it extremely entertaining, but I wouldn't recommend it for very young children.