TJ Burns — March 3, 2018
My 10-year-old daughter and I loved Ghosts of Greenglass House even more than the first book in this series, Greenglass House, which we absolutely loved! We were glad, along with Milo and his parents, to welcome back Georgie and Clem and especially Meddie. We also enjoyed meeting a whole slew of new and interesting characters and delving deeply into their histories and motivations.
New mysteries engaged and enthralled us and, as with the first book, we enjoyed guessing, second-guessing, and guessing again.
On the philosophical level, I valued how the lines in these stories are blurred between what is considered “right” and “wrong,” “good” and “bad,” “crazy” and “normal.” These unclear, blurry lines force the young reader to take a critical look at who is making the value judgements and what their interests are. Can thieves, smugglers, and ghosts be “the good guys”? Can customs agents be “the bad guys”? Can some thieves act honorably, while others act dishonorably? Can the same question be asked of customs agents? Who is “crazy” and what does it mean to be “normal,” and who gets to decide?
I enjoyed reading and discussing this book with my daughter to gauge her interpretations and analyze her reactions. She clearly didn’t delve as deeply into such philosophical topics as I did, but she also didn’t feel upset by such inconsistencies and had no problem identifying with and liking characters in which “society” may deem as “criminals” or “undesirables.”
As an educator and a parent, I also especially loved how Milo, like in the first book, takes on an alter-ego to engage in activities he himself feels too shy to attempt, to take on tasks that he feels incapable of accomplishing, and to use skills and talents that he doesn’t feel he has. Since a different set of skills and talents are needed in his current challenge, he creates a new alter-ego to respond to the new obstacles and challenges that present themselves. I think this is a fantastic idea and can engage young readers to look inside themselves to see what skills, talents, ideas, and abilities they actually have, but never never thought that they did.
I can highly recommend this creative series and am looking forward to reading a new Greenglass House adventure as soon as possible!
I received a copy of this book from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Published October 3rd 2017 by Clarion
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TJ’s Goodreads Review of Ghosts of Greenglass House (Greenglass House, #2) by Kate Milford
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