Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Kate Milford
Illustrator: Jaime Zollars
Publisher: Clarion Books
Milo Pine and his parents own the old and infamous Greenglass House, a secluded hotel used often by local smugglers. As he and his parents settle down for a quiet Christmas break, several unannounced visitors come to stay. Milo is upset his vacation is ruined, but he notices each guest has some tie to Greenglass House. With the help of his new friend, Meddy, Milo unravels the mysteries lurking behind each lodger. One unknown boarder is searching for the rumored final cargo of smuggler Doc Holystone, a past owner of Greenglass House. Milo and Meddy pursue the loot as well, but their efforts cause them and everyone in the hotel to be held hostage until the shipment is found. When Milo finds the treasure and his life is threatened, Meddy reveals herself as the protective ghost of Addie Whitcher, deceased daughter to Doc Holystone.
Milford's novel is a beautifully unpredictable story where Milo and Meddy delve deep into the history of Greenglass House. But behind the folktales and puzzles lies a heartfelt story of familial belonging. Milo loves his parents, but people immediately notice he is adopted. This awkward truth makes life difficult for Milo. But once Milo uncovers the guests' riddling backgrounds and sees their ongoing quest for belonging, he realizes that his true place is with the Pines. Fans of The Mysterious Benedict Society will enjoy this richly fun, yet thought-provoking middle-grade read with a fantastic twist of an ending. Readers will definitely want to reread this book to pull out clues to Meddy’s past that Milford has peppered throughout her story.