Parents' Guide to

Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head

By Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Page-turner of a mystery has orphans solving crimes.

Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 1 parent review

age 11+

More graphic than expected

Reviews mentioned the dark perspective and that the kids were investigating a murder. None of them mentioned that it was a serial killer and that the kids walked into every graphic murder scene. More than my 10 year old Hufflepuff could handle. I read it after she stopped reading and found it too graphic for kids.

This title has:

Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This captivating whodunnit blends murder, creepy oddities, relics, and the eerie indifference of city life with tales of friendship, fitting in, and survival. With ominous black-and-white sketches throughout, the story and vibe are skillfully woven for a meaty mystery with a human touch.

Though CURIOSITY HOUSE: SHRUNKEN HEAD has a slew of murders and a brooding, macabre tone, the children are relatably strange, believably resilient, and, ultimately, survivors who learn to trust each other and navigate a complicated, indifferent world by banding together. The result is a creepy page-turner that has a lot of heart and lessons about the way our differences are often our strengths.

Book Details

  • Author: Lauren Oliver
  • Illustrator: H. C. Chester
  • Genre: Mystery
  • Topics: Friendship
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: October 29, 2015
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
  • Number of pages: 368
  • Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
  • Last updated: July 13, 2017

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate