“There is a right way to do things and a wrong way, if you’re going to run a hotel in a smugglers’ town.”
Greenglass House, also known as a smuggler’s inn to certain people, is run by Milo Pine’s parents. The inn is also their home.
Milo is on Christmas vacation from school. Greenglass House is always empty at this time of year, which is not the busy season for their typical clientele. As a variety of unforeseen guests begin to arrive, it becomes evident that this will not be the usual Christmas season. Why are all of these people gathering at Greenglass House?
Smugglers, mystery, and even a ghost add up to make an adventure for Milo.
I felt the characters were very well developed and the story line was intriguing. I could relate to Milo right away when he had difficulty with the change of plans with Christmas vacation being thrown into upheaval! The story is engaging. There are even stories within the story, something I have a particular fondness for.
Milo does engage in a role playing game called Odd Trails, and pretends to be a brave adventurer to solve thefts and search out answers. Along the way he learns about himself.
If your children enjoy a mystery or adventure type story they may like reading Greenglass House.
The theme of adoption and Milo’s feelings about being different are an important element in the story. Adopted as an infant, Milo is of Chinese decent and is bothered by feelings of being different from his parents. There are many questions he turns over in his mind related to being adopted. One of the things that I liked about this book was the strong sense of family and the care shown between Milo and his parents.
This book is geared to ages 10-12
Issues that may be of concern to some are role playing games and mention of ghosts. These are in keeping with the fantasy element.
Milo befriends a girl who, near the end of the book, is revealed to be a ghost. There are some paranormal elements, notably the little girl ghost becoming large and intimidating the agent who caused her father’s death and is now threatening the current inhabitants of Greenglass House.
Themes and Issues
Adoption, Ghosts, Smugglers, Thievery, Fantasy, Role Playing, Spying
You can read the first chapter here.
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