Two for Tweens


When I read Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty, I was really hoping that there would be more books about her in the future.  So, I was delighted to find Serafina and the Twisted Staff which came out last week.  These books are historical fantasy based in the year 1899.  In the first book we meet Serafina, who lives with her father in the basement of the Biltmore Estates, which is owned by the Vanderbilts.  Both the Biltmore Estate and the Vanderbilts are real, but most of the other characters in the stories are not.  Serafina is an unusual girl, she has the unusual talents of being able to walk quietly and remain unseen to the rich occupants of the house. In the first book she befriends Braeden, the nephew of Mr Vanderbilt, and I was glad to see the friendship continue in the second book.  Both of these books are very scary, although the black cloak that devours people in the first book is scarier than a staff that controls animals.  Both books are fast paced with plot twists and believable characters to keep most tween’s interest.  I am looking forward to seeing the next installment in the Serafina stories hopefully next year.

There is also a video for the second book, but this one gives you a better idea of the stories and the characters.

click here

This book is coming out tomorrow, July 18th.  It is a mystery, puzzle solving story with a great main character and supporting characters.  It is the story of Ted, who visits his Great-Uncle right before he dies.  At the end of their conversation, his Great-Uncle tells him “The box is only the beginning. Keep looking for the answers. Always go for broke! Promise me!”  At the reading of the will Ted finds out that his Uncle has left him all of the contents of his apartment.  When his friend Caleb and new girl Isabelle arrive at the apartment they find that it is a complete mess and full of junk.  They must unravel the clues left by his Uncle to find the treasure.  I should mention that Ted loves to play computer games, especially escape games, where you need to follow a series of clues in order to escape a locked room.  He uses these skills to help him uncover the clues left by his Uncle.  But he and his friends soon find themselves into something far more sinister and important, than a simple clue game.  This book was also fast paced and kept me guessing and wondering how he was going to solve the puzzle and keep his friends safe at the same time.  This was a first book for this author and I am looking forward to more.

Both Serafina and the Twisted Staff and Click Here to Start were reviewed from copies received by Netgalley.


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