Hi all and welcome to a new feature that is near and dear to my heart — Multigenerational Monday! As I’ve mentioned before, my family has a book club that my 9-year-old son, Evan, started. He invited his dad and me as well as his grandparents who live in New York to read books together that he selects and then we all get on Alexa and discuss. It’s been a really fun thing for the last few months and we’ve gotten to read some awesome books.
This month, after a recommendation on Read Aloud Revival, we selected Greenglass House by Kate Milford. I figured since it’s a family book club we should present a family book review! So here’s a few questions I asked my son and my dad about Greenglass House after we all read it. I hope you enjoy!
About the BookGreenglass House (Greenglass House #1) by Kate Milford, Jaime Zollars
Published by Clarion Books on August 26, 2014
It’s wintertime at Greenglass House. The creaky smuggler’s inn is always quiet during this season, and twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing. But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings. Then rings again. And again. Soon Milo’s home is bursting with odd, secretive guests, each one bearing a strange story that is somehow connected to the rambling old house. As objects go missing and tempers flare, Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, must decipher clues and untangle the web of deepening mysteries to discover the truth about Greenglass House—and themselves.
Can you summarize this book for people who haven’t read it?
Evan: Milo wanted to be alone for Christmas but people came to stay at his hotel where they live. So, he started a game with his friend Meddy. Then, they tried to figure out why everybody came to the hotel.
Emily (Mom): Milo and his parents run a smugglers hotel and they are typically empty over the winter holidays. But this Christmas they get a handful of unexpected guests, most of whom are not completely what they seem. Milo and his friend Meddy go “undercover” by playing a role playing game called Odd Trails (DnD lite) to discover why everyone is there and, along the way, learn a lot about themselves.
Art (Grandpa): Milo Pine is looking forward to a solitary family Christmas in his parents’ inn (which is usually occupied mostly by smugglers). But then guest after guest keeps arriving during a snow storm. Milo is disappointed to lose his vacation, but soon he has a number of mysteries to solve — as well as continuing to come to grips with his adoption and his Chinese heritage.
What would you rate this book out of 5 stars?
Evan: 5 stars because I liked the end a lot!
Mom: 4.5 stars since it was a little slow to start, but once I figured out the pacing of the book I really got into it and couldn’t wait to finish.
Grandpa: I gave the book four stars because it took me a while to really get into it but I enjoyed it once it got going — enough that I want to see what happens next in the series.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Evan: Milo, because he liked Christmas and was good at sneaking around.
Mom: I liked Meddy the most! She was such a great encourager for Milo and had great ideas. She also made me laugh the most.
Grandpa: Milo was my favorite character because he is a good-hearted person and likes to have some time to himself (traits I value). I am drawn to him because of his adoption concerns and his attraction to playing games.
If you were planning an Odd Trails character for yourself, what three traits would you pick?
Evan: Stealth, lockpicking and flying.
Mom: Super-fast reading, charisma and luck!
Grandpa: Courage, stealth and empathy.
Did you see the twist at the end coming?
Evan: No, I was really surprised! But don’t say there’s a twist at the end because that’s a spoiler. (Mom note: This made me laugh a lot.)
Mom: Only about 5 pages before. I was really surprised! I think the twist and how the author tied everything together was one of the best parts of the book. It made me want to go back and reread to see the clues in a new light!
Grandpa: I did see the twist at the end coming. There are several clues as you read the book. But I saw it coming so early that as it didn’t happen, I began to doubt the clues were accurate. When the twist finally was revealed, I was a bit relieved.
Would you recommend this book to a friend?
Evan: I actually already have. I think they should read it because I really liked the end but I can’t spoil it so i can’t say anything else. I also really liked the storytelling that the characters did.
Mom: Yes, absolutely. I thought this was a beautifully written middle-grade book with enough fun mystery to keep younger kids interested and enough depth to keep older readers engaged. I thought Milford’s handling of what it feels like to be adopted was particularly beautiful. I also loved watching how much Evan liked this book. He started Book 2 in the series immediately!
Grandpa: I would recommend it to friends, especially younger friends.
What About You?
Have you read Greenglass House? What did you think? Have you read any other books that you think would make a great Multigenerational Monday read?