Ghosts of Greenglass House

Book review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
Ghosts of Greenglass House Book Poster Image
Engaging, spooky sequel has lots of charm and chills.

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Kids say

age 9+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

A few brief facts about Mandarin culture, including some pinyin vocabulary and facts about the different types of written Mandarin. "Derrotero" defined, along with some facts about mapping coastlines for the first time. Lock-picking tools and parts of a padlock explained; how to pick a padlock briefly described. Two different meanings of "asylum" explained. Orienting a map explained, and an example of two different orientations described.

Positive Messages

Don't make any assumptions, bad or good, about people based on how they look; assumptions are often inaccurate. You have to find a way to talk about it when people do and say hurtful things; try practicing what you want to say ahead of time. It's important to be able to speak up when someone hurts or offends you, or when you see it happening to others. Nothing stays buried forever; the truth always comes out eventually.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Milo's a smart, resourceful kid who carefully thinks things through to arrive at a logical conclusion. He grapples with strong emotions but has learned some good techniques for calming himself when he starts to lose control. Sometimes he feels as if he has two distinct parts of himself that are opposites, and with his parents' and friends' help is learning to live with those opposites, and even make them work to his advantage. His parents are great models for interracial adoption, supporting Milo's desire to know more about his origins and birth parents while making sure he knows they love him. Adult and teen friends are loyal, supportive, and helpful.

Violence

A woman half slaps, half shoves a man trying to kiss her cheek. People are hit from behind but don't know by whom or with what. A storyteller mentions a stabbing and blood. Bad guys mention that children make good leverage for getting what you want. Attempts at grabbing, guns brandished, hitting with a stick, and someone's knocked out by a blow with a candlestick. A fantasy creature kicks a bad guy. Mild scariness from ghosts, the supernatural, eerie animal skulls with antlers, and a few spooky atmospheres.

Sex

Some romantic dynamics between adults: occasional mild flirtation and an attempt to kiss on the cheek gets a half slap, half shove. Milo is nervous about talking to a girl.

Language

"Crap," "hell," damned," and "jerk."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults toast with champagne, Milo has punch. A few instances of adults wanting alcohol when they're emotional or after emotional events. Toddies, hot buttered rum, alcoholic punch, the Dark and Stormy cocktail, and cocktails in general mentioned a few times. Adults have bourbon and wine. A man falls on his face after drinking punch that's later suspected of being poisoned, possibly by knockout drops. Smoking is mentioned as something you give up.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kate Milford's Ghosts of Greenglass House is a sequel to the popular Greenglass House. Reading the first book isn't strictly necessary, but it'll help create a mental picture of the house and some of the recurring characters. Friendly, helpful ghosts, the supernatural, eerie atmospheres, and spooky animal skulls with antlers appear throughout. Violence is mild, with a couple of people getting hit or knocked out. Guns are brandished and a fantasy creature kicks someone to the ground. Strong language is very rare but includes "damned" once and "crap" a few times. There's some mild flirtation among adults, and a kiss is physically rejected. Adults drink alcohol and talk about cocktails. A man is knocked out by spiked punch that's suspected of being poisoned. Best for tweens and up who are strong, independent readers and who enjoy a chilling, spooky mystery.

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Teen, 15 years old Written byMyaAni March 12, 2018

A passable sequel

While Ghosts of Greenglass House retains some of the elements that gave the original book its charm, and added some additional, it lost a number of them in an a... Continue reading

What's the story?

GHOSTS OF GREENGLASS HOUSE begins a year after the events of the first book, Greenglass House. Once again, school's out for the winter break, Christmas is only a few days away, and the infamous inn where Milo and his parents live is overrun with guests during what should be their off season. Milo's glad that two of the guests, Clem and Georgie, are actually friends, which makes it not so bad for someone who prefers quiet and solitude. But it soon becomes clear that Clem and Georgie aren't actually on a bachelorette-party getaway. The more Milo learns about what they're really up to, the surer he becomes that at least some of the oddball carolers stranded at Greenglass House are after the same things Clem and Georgie are after. To discover the truth, find the map and the artifacts, unmask the villain or villains, and figure out who's telling the truth about who they are, Milo's going to need the help of more than one ghost.

Is it any good?

Mystery fans who enjoy a few chills on the side will love curling up over winter break, or any time, with this charming story and its colorful cast of oddball characters. The folklore and locations in Ghosts of Greenglass House are richly imagined and so vividly evoked you might be tempted to search online to see if Nagspeake is real. Now author Kate Milford has reunited all of these elements, which made the first book such a delight.

Like the first, this second book would be great for reading aloud, but tweens who love mysteries and are strong, independent readers will enjoy reading it themselves, too. The ending is satisfying, although fans might wish for more of a cliffhanger as the promise of more to come from Greenglass House. As it is, they'll just have to keep listening for the bell to announce the next adventure.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Ghosts of Greenglass House's message that you shouldn't make any assumptions about people, good or bad. Why isn't making good assumptions OK? Has anyone assumed something about you? How did it make you feel?

  • Why are mysteries, especially ones that are a little spooky, so popular? Did anything scare you in this book? What can you do to feel better when you're scared?

  • Did you read the first book? Which do you like better? If you didn't read it, what's your favorite mystery or mystery series? What do you like best about it?

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