Sunday, November 29, 2015

Book Review: Warren the 13th

Premise: Warren lives in a hotel that has been in his family for 13 generations. But now, his uncle isn't taking good care of the place, and has married a strange, heartless woman. With no guests, Warren is trying desperately to keep the hotel going, as his aunt destroys the rooms in her quest to find the mysterious "All-Seeing Eye," a treasure she claims is hidden in the hotel.

Title: Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye
Author: Tania del Rio
Length: 224 pages
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery
Content appropriate for: Grades 3-6

Three adjectives that describe this book: mysterious, creative, fun

This book has all the hallmarks of a fun middle grades book. A well-meaning protagonist, his questionable friends, useless adults, creative humor, and a delicious villain who is both creepy and fun to laugh at.

I was surprised how captivating this book was. I expected it to be quirky. And it was - with details like an uncle who sleeps in the lobby because he's too lazy to go up to his bedroom and a hotel guest who looks and acts like a pirate, but isn't one. There were so many terrific quirky elements thrown in that kept Warren the 13th super fun and engaging.

But what surprised me was how captivating the plot was as a mystery. There were twists and turns and dark corridors and clues and mazes and cellars. The whole thing had a lovely, mysterious, film noir feel and I loved it.

And look at those illustrations!

Plus the layout of the book is beautiful, and will keep middle grade readers going, providing them with visual support and keeping their curiosity/engagement piqued. Check it out:

And if you aren't intrigued enough, be sure to visit the wonderfully-crafted Warren the 13th website and watch the trailer below:

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