Great Middle Grade Reads discussion

Greenglass House (Greenglass House, #1)
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ARCHIVE - BOTM discussions > Book of the Month for JUNE - GREENGLASS HOUSE

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message 1: by Jemima (new)

Jemima Pett | 1282 comments Mod
Well, it was a close thing in the run-off, and I had to use my casting vote, and eventually Greenglass House won on the toss of a coin. I'll be interested to see what our group made of it, since the reviews are very varied - and I wonder how many were looking at it as an MG book.

Post your comments below, but try not to give too many spoilers.


message 2: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth White | 25 comments I really enjoyed it: original, stories within the story, unexpected twist at the end (although it is necessary to suspend logic/belief when you get to it).

Considered as a middle grade read, I'm not sure the author is aware of the literal meaning of 'bugger'. It only appears once as a ?picturesque? swear word - but I must admit it startled me.

I will read the sequel.


message 3: by Rebecca (new) - added it

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1668 comments Mod
Elizabeth wrote: "I really enjoyed it: original, stories within the story, unexpected twist at the end (although it is necessary to suspend logic/belief when you get to it).

Considered as a middle grade read, I'm n..."


Maybe an American author?


message 4: by M.J. (last edited Jun 16, 2017 09:44PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

M.J. (mjmarston) | 47 comments I read this back in December and enjoyed it but preferred her first book The Boneshaker.


Mike (mcrowl) I'm nearly finished this book. It's complicated, and quite long for a kids' book (though one of my 11-year-old grandsons is reading Brisinger, which runs to around 700 pages), but it's full of inventiveness, and humour, interesting characters, a great setting and stories galore. I've never come across Milford before, so it's been a pleasure to be introduced to her.


message 6: by Jemima (new)

Jemima Pett | 1282 comments Mod
I'm hoping a few more people are maybe reaching the end of this one, since July is not far off.


Mike (mcrowl) I finished it and posted a review on its page. Very enjoyable over all, with some lovely ideas, a nice trick at the end, and a great deal of humour and inventiveness.


message 8: by Rebecca (new) - added it

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1668 comments Mod
I got my copy from the library, then promptly buried in my pile. Just dragged it back to the top tonight, and will start.


SaraKat | 218 comments Mod
I just finished the book today and it was really entertaining! I would definitely recommend this book to middle graders. I like the fantastical house and the heart of the protagonist, Milo. He has deep thoughts and does the whole coming of age and growing up thing that most middle grade books do. I liked the themes of adoption and the feelings that brings for the adopters and adoptees and the mild feelings of disquiet that changes brought about made me think perhaps that Milo had OCD or was on the autistic spectrum. I added the second book of the series to my to-read list and am glad I read this one. I wish I could go explore the house (and ride up the track), but only during the summer. :) No snow for me.


SaraKat | 218 comments Mod
Elizabeth wrote: "I really enjoyed it: original, stories within the story, unexpected twist at the end (although it is necessary to suspend logic/belief when you get to it).

Considered as a middle grade read, I'm n..."


Yes, I thought back through the book after the twist was revealed and noticed a few places where logic would dictate that it wouldn't really work, but it was still a good twist.


message 11: by Paula (new) - added it

Paula S (paula_s) I thought it started slow, but after a few chapters I was hooked and ended up loving the book. I loved how the role playing game gave Milo and Meddy and reason to go snooping around the house and I love how the book handled adoption.


message 12: by Rebecca (new) - added it

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1668 comments Mod
I agree with SaraKat and Paula--I just finished it night before last, and stayed up rather late to do so :) That's a sure sign that I'm hooked! I did rather want to go back and see if the twist would work--but it was a good one anyway, and I liked the whole thing. It kept skewing from my expectations, which kept me engaged.

BTW, I missed the cuss word.


Georgie | 39 comments I just finished Greenglass House. I really enjoyed it. First of all, the book uses a couple of plot-types that I love -
1) A group of strangers gathered together on a cold winter's night (or nights) in a house/inn all with secrets and stories to tell.
2)A mystery involving a set amount of people in a house - distinct flavours of Agatha Christie etc here

I absolutely loved the character of Milo. I liked that he was adopted and all the complicated emotions that brought him. I was a little nonplussed by the role-playing game at first, but I came to enjoy how it allowed Milo in particular to do things he didn't believe he was capable of as 'just Milo'.

Meddy I found difficult to like at times. Although she was a strong, smart girl character and was never just a 'sidekick', often initiating things and having better ideas than Milo, I found her immature and bossy on occasion, although given the eventual twist, I guess it makes sense as (view spoiler) I liked her a lot more by the end of the book than at the beginning.

I thought the adult characters were surprisingly well drawn for an MG book. After all, in many MG books, especially mystery stories, adults are usually conspicuously absent, and if they're there they tend to be either well-meaning-but-clueless or the bad guys. I liked how all of the guests turned out to be different to how Milo first thought they'd be, the way Mrs Hereward and Dr Gowerine had changed in Milo's view by the end of the story was particularly satisfying.

I thought Milo himself was very relatable. In addition to the issues he deals with because of being adopted, which I thought Milford handled with a very skilful, gentle hand, he also deals with issues/concerns any kid might face - working out where they belong, beginning to step out of their personal comfort zones and the protection of their parents, beginning to question the adult world.

I loved the mystery element of the plot which kept me intrigued. I especially liked the characters' stories, and whenever I came to a 'story chapter' I'd save it to read in bed with a hot drink and something sweet to eat. I thought the ending was really dramatic and quite scary for an MG book

I've downloaded 'The Boneshaker' as there was a preview chapter at the end of my Kindle book of 'Greenglass House' and am saving it to read when I'm on a short holiday in September, but I'm really looking forward to it. I know there's a sequel to 'Greenglass House' as well and will certainly be reading that at some point too.


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