I’m not sure where I first heard about this book, but I saw it on the ebooks list through my library and immediately knew I had to put this on hold. I then, while doing a bit of work in the YA section at my library, stumbled upon the hardback copy at the library and skimmed through. You can’t help but notice the photographs while flipping through the pages. Boy oh boy were these photos creepy. It intrigued me more.
So my time came when my hold was available and I began to read the book. I was hooked. If it weren’t for being busy with grad school, I would’ve had this book done in a day. I finished the book last night and I loved it. 5 star book I say.
First note, when reading the book really look at those photos. The shame of the ebook version was the poor quality of the photos. I’m going to get the physical version just to look at those again. The photos are real! I didn’t realize this at the time, but the end of the book gives thanks to the collectors who lent these photos for use in the book. Really cool.
Anyways it’s hard to review this book without giving away any spoilers, but I’ll do my best. The book is very eerie and intriguing. It follows the main character, Jacob, and his relationship with his grandfather— and beyond. Abe, Jacob’s grandfather, was one of those grand old storytellers. He filled Jacob’s head with all sorts of stories of children with many oddities. To top it off he had photographs to show Jacob.
The premise was that Abe lived with these children after escaping Nazis (he was a Jewish boy and his family sent him away to an orphanage). Abe also explained the horrible monsters he was always afraid of. Jacob soon began to dismiss these fairy tales— but after some horrible turn events Jacob is on a mission to understand these stories his grandfather told. It brings him back to the origin, the house for the children that Abe grew up in. That’s all I’ll say about the plot. But it’s terribly exciting and keeps readers on the edge of their seats. I can’t wait for more.
I think this book can appeal to all: the mystery and fantasy of the book is fascinating, and the suspense can be exciting for adults, teens or children. I can see kids or teens relating to the feeling of being singled out and not belonging. The need for a “community” of their own— friends & family is important. It’s also just plain ol’ fun!