Title: Walls Within Walls
Author: Maureen Sherry
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books, June 2010
Summary/Review: CJ, Brid, and Patrick Smithfork (along with little sister Carron) don’t want to move from their cozy Brooklyn apartment to a sprawling penthouse in Manhattan. But ever since their dad became a super-successful video game creator, it seems that their opinion matters less and less. With their dad spending all his time at work and their mom spending all her time picking out décor for their new place, the Smithforks want nothing more than to just go home – their real home, in Brooklyn. But when they find mysterious writing behind the wall, everything changes. A mystery years in the making that won’t end until they’ve unraveled the clues hidden all over New York – and might end with a missing treasure…and a new idea of what “home” means.
This book doesn’t just have a typical Wizard of Oz “there’s no place like home” theme. Instead, this is more of an underlying plot line which instead focuses on the beauty and history of New York City – complete with a study guide in the back which discusses what’s real and what’s fiction. While the set up takes a while, the book’s pace picks up rapidly toward the second half, as the children focus on clues which incorporate history, literature, poetry, and more. Although I was a little disappointed in how the librarian was represented, the author did a wonderful job of introducing late-elementary/early middle school readers to historical fiction. It’s also a Nutmeg nominee for 2015, and is less heavy-hitting in the morality department than others, which could be a real plus.
Who will like this book? A reader who wants to delve into the world of historical fiction. Parents and children who are interested in mystery and suspense.
If you like this, try this: There are tons of great mystery series available to children, some classic (Nancy Drew, Boxcar children) and some new (Mysterious Benedict Society, 39 Clues, All The Wrong Questions…). If you’re looking for some more historical fiction, try Nathaniel Philbrick (who writes for adults, too!) and Richard Peck. However, this book is unique in its history of New York architecture, literature, poetry, art, and everything else!
Recommended by: Lauren O, Library Assistant
If this looks like a book you or your child would like to read, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and/or place a hold!