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House of Secrets (House of Secrets, Book 1)
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About the Author

For over twenty-five years, Chris Columbus has written, directed and produced some of the most successful box-office hits, which have established him as a major force in contemporary Hollywood film-making. As a writer, he launched his career with the legendary films Gremlins and The Goonies. Columbus directed and produced the first two films in the blockbuster Harry Potter series and produced the third. More recently, Columbus has directed features such as the hit film Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. As a director, Columbus has been at the helm of such films as Home Alone and Mrs. Doubtfire. Ned Vizzini (1981-2013) began writing for the New York Press at the age of fifteen. At seventeen, he was asked to write a piece for the New York Times Magazine, and at nineteen, he published Teen Angst? Naaah..., his autobiography of his years at Stuyvesant High School. His debut teen novel, Be More Chill, was selected for the Today Show Book Club by Judy Blume. It's Kind of a Funny Story, a cult classic, was adapted into a 2010 film starring Zach Galifianakis and named one of the 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels by National Public Radio. The Other Normals, his third novel, was a Junior Library Guild selection. He was the co-author, with Chris Columbus, of the New York Times bestselling fantasy-adventure series House of Secrets. He wrote for the New Yorker and Salon. He also wrote for television, including MTV's hit show Teen Wolf. His work has been translated into twenty-five languages

Reviews

In a rousing adventure reminiscent of The Emerald Atlas, director Columbus (The Help) and author Vizzini (The Other Normals) catapult a trio of siblings across time and space, as they square off against a forgotten writer's literary legacy. When eight-year-old Eleanor, 12-year-old Brendan, and 15-year-old Cordelia Walker move with their parents into the ancient, eerie Kristoff House, they instantly suspect something's not right. Then they're attacked by the Wind Witch, their parents go missing, and the entire house is thrust into a bizarre conglomeration of settings taken from the works of Denver Kristoff, a prolific early 20th-century author. Seeking a missing book of immense power, the siblings battle warriors, giants, pirates, and skeletons to get home again. The nonstop action comes with increasingly high stakes, various scenarios paying homage to the likes of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard. The kitchen sink aspect of the plot gives the story a somewhat crowded, frenetic feel, but the deft characterizations and wildly imaginative concept more than make up for it. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 9-up. Agent: Dorian Karchmar, William Morris Endeavor. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Gr 4-8-Brendan, Cordelia, and Eleanor Walker are dragged by their parents to look at houses in San Francisco. Their father, a doctor, has lost his job due to an incident at the hospital, and the family has to downsize. The Kristoff House overlooking the bay seems to be too good to be true for the money, but, surprisingly, their father buys it. Once the family moves in, all kinds of strange things start to happen. It turns out that there is bad blood between a former owner of the house, Denver Kristoff, and an ancestor of the Walkers. Kristoff's daughter is now the Wind Witch, and she has enticed the family to the home so that she can get hold of The Book of Doom and Desire, which she plans to use as her vehicle to rule the world. To accomplish this, the witch incapacitates the parents and sends the children into the books her father created in the hope that they will help her retrieve the magical tome she desires. Along the way the youngsters meet many of Kristoff's characters, some of whom help them and others who try to annihilate them. The setup of the story drags a bit, but once the siblings leave contemporary San Francisco for the magical world of the Wind Witch, the pace picks up. The young Walkers are plucky, quick thinkers whom readers will grow to love. With a new adventure that seems to arrive with every chapter, the story unfolds quickly, thus keeping kids hooked and wanting to find out what will happen next.-Elizabeth Kahn, Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy, Jefferson, LA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

"A breakneck, jam-packed, roller coaster of an adventure' - J. K. Rowling "an engrossing page-turner." - The Guardian "House of Secrets...serves up everything an eight to twelve year old reader could possibly want from an adventure." - Love Reading 4 Kids

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