The Resource House of secrets, Chris Columbus & Ned Vizzini ; illustrations by Greg Call

House of secrets, Chris Columbus & Ned Vizzini ; illustrations by Greg Call

Label
House of secrets
Title
House of secrets
Statement of responsibility
Chris Columbus & Ned Vizzini ; illustrations by Greg Call
Creator
Contributor
Illustrator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Cordelia, Brendan, and Eleanor Walker, aged fifteen to eight, must rely on a mysterious book to face the Wind Witch and her father, the Storm King, who have kidnapped Dr. and Mrs. Walker and brought them to a strange world of magic
Member of
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • Grades 4-8 When director Columbus and author Vizzini collaborate on a title, it’s guaranteed to be cinematic and imaginative. This series opener introduces the bickering but affectionate Walker siblings: 15-year-old bookworm Cordelia, 12-year-old lacrosse player Brendan, and 8-year-old dyslexic Eleanor. Their parents find an unexpected deal of a new house in an exclusive San Francisco neighborhood. The builder was an esoteric fantasy writer known for stories with exotic locales. Unfortunately, his elderly daughter lives next door and is soon revealed to be more than just distinctly creepy; she is a witch who spirits away the Walker parents and hurls the house, with the children inside, into the locales of her father’s works. So begins a swift-paced, mildly gory, clever page-turner perfect for any reader who has wanted to take part in literary adventures. With pirates, witches, warlocks, dashing WWI flying aces, satisfyingly real sibling relationships, and the opportunity to rescue one’s parents, there’s something for everyone. While the writing isn’t especially elegant, the story is compelling, great fun, and sure to be popular. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: This novel was preempted within 24 hours, rights have been sold in 15 territories worldwide, and there’s a major national marketing campaign in the works. Get ready. -- Carton, Debbie (Reviewed 03-01-2013) (Booklist, vol 109, number 13, p66)
  • Gr 4 – 8 — Brendan, Cordelia, and Eleanor Walker are dragged by their parents to look at houses in San Francisco. Their father, a doctor, has lost his job due to an incident at the hospital, and the family has to downsize. The Kristoff House overlooking the bay seems to be too good to be true for the money, but, surprisingly, their father buys it. Once the family moves in, all kinds of strange things start to happen. It turns out that there is bad blood between a former owner of the house, Denver Kristoff, and an ancestor of the Walkers. Kristoff's daughter is now the Wind Witch, and she has enticed the family to the home so that she can get hold of The Book of Doom and Desire , which she plans to use as her vehicle to rule the world. To accomplish this, the witch incapacitates the parents and sends the children into the books her father created in the hope that they will help her retrieve the magical tome she desires. Along the way the youngsters meet many of Kristoff's characters, some of whom help them and others who try to annihilate them. The setup of the story drags a bit, but once the siblings leave contemporary San Francisco for the magical world of the Wind Witch, the pace picks up. The young Walkers are plucky, quick thinkers whom readers will grow to love. With a new adventure that seems to arrive with every chapter, the story unfolds quickly, thus keeping kids hooked and wanting to find out what will happen next.—Elizabeth Kahn, Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy, Jefferson, LA --Elizabeth Kahn (Reviewed July 1, 2013) (School Library Journal, vol 59, issue 7, p78)
  • In a rousing adventure reminiscent of The Emerald Atlas, director Columbus (The Help) and author Vizzini (The Other Normals) catapult a trio of siblings across time and space, as they square off against a forgotten writer’s literary legacy. When eight-year-old Eleanor, 12-year-old Brendan, and 15-year-old Cordelia Walker move with their parents into the ancient, eerie Kristoff House, they instantly suspect something’s not right. Then they’re attacked by the Wind Witch, their parents go missing, and the entire house is thrust into a bizarre conglomeration of settings taken from the works of Denver Kristoff, a prolific early 20th-century author. Seeking a missing book of immense power, the siblings battle warriors, giants, pirates, and skeletons to get home again. The nonstop action comes with increasingly high stakes, various scenarios paying homage to the likes of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard. The kitchen sink aspect of the plot gives the story a somewhat crowded, frenetic feel, but the deft characterizations and wildly imaginative concept more than make up for it. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 9–up. Agent: Dorian Karchmar, William Morris Endeavor. (May) --Staff (Reviewed March 18, 2013) (Publishers Weekly, vol 260, issue 11, p)
  • Columbus and Vizzini craft a fast-moving, cinematic narrative that packs plenty of punch but may still have trouble measuring up to the competition. The plot is predictable yet peculiar. Three kids lose their parents suddenly--and horribly--before being thrust into a series of manic adventures. The action ping-pongs wildly from a primeval forest peopled by savage warriors to the high seas, festooned with murderous pirates and hungry sharks, to a medieval-style castle ruled by a vicious queen. The children are cardboard characters at best: Cordelia, the brainy, bookish oldest sister; Brendan, the hyperactive, game- and sport-obsessed 14-year-old brother; 8-year-old Eleanor, spunky and sweet with a learning disability thrown in for spice (and plot potential). Secondary characters are even more sketchily drawn, which suits perfectly in some cases but weakens their impact in others. The text often reads like a script, providing direction rather than description. Some details seem gratuitously gross and/or violent, and the dialogue doesn't always ring true. Worst of all, how the authors get their heroes out of trouble and back to the real world seems anticlimactic and, even within the fantastic framework of the story, not entirely believable. Ending with the promise (or threat) of further adventures, this is clearly intended to be the next big thing--whether it fulfills that ambition remains to be seen. (Fantasy. 10-14)(Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2013)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10177401
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Columbus, Chris
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
no index present
LC call number
PZ7.C72
LC item number
Hou 2013
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 4
  • 8
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorDate
1981-2013
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
  • Vizzini, Ned
  • Call, Greg
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
House of secrets (Chris Columbus)
Series volume
0001
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Paranormal fiction
  • Brothers and sisters
  • Books and reading
  • Adventure and adventurers
  • Supernatural
  • Dwellings
  • Fantasy fiction
Target audience
pre adolescent
Label
House of secrets, Chris Columbus & Ned Vizzini ; illustrations by Greg Call
Instantiates
Publication
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
490 p.
Isbn
9780062192462
Lccn
2012051815
Other physical details
ill.
System control number
  • (Sirsi) o826300926
  • (Sirsi) o826300926
  • (OCoLC)826300926
Label
House of secrets, Chris Columbus & Ned Vizzini ; illustrations by Greg Call
Publication
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
490 p.
Isbn
9780062192462
Lccn
2012051815
Other physical details
ill.
System control number
  • (Sirsi) o826300926
  • (Sirsi) o826300926
  • (OCoLC)826300926

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