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Title: Witherwood Reform SchoolWitherwood Reform School is the first book in a new series from Potterwookie author, Obert Skye. Like his other books, Witherwood is funny and often absurd. This offering is particularly reminiscent of Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events. Like that series, Witherwood features siblings, dark humor, and some rather unfortunate luck.
Author: Obert Skye
Pub. Date: March 3, 2015
Genre: Middle Grade
Rec. Age Level: 8-12
More by this author: PotterwookieDescription:
After a slight misunderstanding involving a horrible governess, oatmeal, and a jar of tadpoles, siblings Tobias and Charlotte Eggars find themselves abandoned by their father at the gates of a creepy reform school. Evil mysteries are afoot at Witherwood, where the grounds are patrolled by vicious creatures after dark and kids are locked in their rooms. Charlotte and Tobias soon realize that they are in terrible danger—especially because the head of Witherwood has perfected the art of mind control.
If only their amnesiac father would recover and remember that he has two missing children. If only Tobias and Charlotte could solve the dark mystery and free the kids at Witherwood—and ultimately save themselves.
One of my favorite things about this book was the narrator, who often speaks to the reader and comments on what is happening to the main characters, Tobias and Charlotte. Some books are well served by this kind of narration that breaks the wall between story and real life - I think this is a good example. There is a very distinct impression that, if the reader doesn't mind their parents, they might end up in a similar situation. And the situation - being trapped in a potentially evil reform school - is not a situation they want to be in.
In addition to mystery and adventure, there's some gross-out humor that young readers will likely be on board with. The prank that lands the siblings in reform school is rather disgusting: Tobias releases tadpoles into the dinner gravy, which their governess eats. This made my stomach turn rather unpleasantly - and I admit that I could have done without scenes like this - but I have no doubt many readers will find it hilarious.
This first installment leaves readers with more questions than answers and I'm curious about how the story will progress. And if the siblings will make it out of this dangerous reform school whole.
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