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The House on the Gulf-Margaret Peterson Haddix

  • Title: The House on the Gulf
  • Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
  • Released: 2006-02-01
  • Language:
  • Pages: 201
  • ISBN: 1416914064
  • ISBN13: 978-1416914068
  • ASIN: 1416914064

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From School Library Journal Grade 5-8–Twelve-year-old Britt's older brother has helped watch over the family for as long as she can remember. So when Bran tells Britt and her mother that he's convinced a family to let them house-sit for the summer, no one questions the arrangement. This house-sitting job will give their mother the chance to go to school full time and try to get a scholarship to finish. However, when they move in, Bran starts acting strange, and Britt discovers that the owners really didn't give them permission to live there, only for Bran to mow their lawn. She also learns that they are her maternal grandparents, estranged from her mother. Bran explains that because their grandparents disowned her when she eloped, using their house is simply a long overdue payback. Britt isn't sure that she buys this, but goes along until they are discovered. Lo and behold, the owners of the house aren't their grandparents at all, and they are all in deep trouble. This novel starts out as an interesting and lightly suspenseful mystery but becomes too far-fetched to be believed with the "happy ever after" ending. Britt's character is the only one with depth; the supporting characters, especially the mother, are rather shallow. Not a bad read, but for books with more character depth try Avi's Midnight Magic (Scholastic, 1999) or Wolf Rider (Bradbury, 1986).–Saleena L. Davidson, South Brunswick Public Library, Monmouth Junction, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the edition.

From Gr. 4-7. Twelve-year-old Britt lives with her mother and her older brother, Bran, in a small, dismal apartment. Then Bran announces that he has a summer house-sitting job, enabling the family to live in a better neighborhood. When they move into their temporary home, Britt notices that Bran's recent, uncharacteristic rudeness is matched by a newfound mania for secrecy. Impelled by the dreadful certainty that Bran is concealing something, Britt discovers what she thinks is the truth, then what Bran believes to be true, and, finally, the one dreadful secret that neither of them had guessed. Like the books in Haddix's Shadow Children series, this story propels readers along on a strong current of narrative and jolts them with unexpected twists. One unusual addition is a sympathetic older character who is dealing with her son's long-term incarceration, a subject seldom acknowledged in books for young people. Though at times the story stretches credibility, Britt's first-person narrative makes riveting reading. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the edition. pdf
 
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