Published March 1st 2016 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Format read: E-Galley via Publisher
Tobias and Charlotte Eggers are not on vacation. Well, I suppose they are on a vacation from everything they once knew. Locked within the walls of Witherwood, high upon a mysterious mesa, they are still looking for a way out. There are distractions, however. The very ground is shaking, and the creatures that protect the school are revolting. When one of their only friends goes missing it leads to a devastating secret. But there is hope. There are other students who have clear minds and are also fighting to get out. Luckily for everyone, Tobias has a plan. It's a dangerous one, but if it works, it could forever change their fate and Witherwood's future.
Readers rejoin Charlotte and Tobias in the midst of another strange, thrilling adventure at Witherwood Reform School. The siblings are still under the mind control suffered in the first book, but through circumstance and happenstance, Tobias is able to break free. After collecting himself, he and other clearheaded students join together to figure out how to fight their way out...
I always worry about sophomore books being the midpoint or filler books in a series, but that's definitely not the case here. Skye has written an entertaining tale that not only builds upon the sturdy foundations of the first book, but also expands enough so that we feel fully immersed in another adventure in Charlotte and Tobias's world.
Readers will definitely appreciate Skye's sly use of dark humor and clever verbiage throughout the book - there were instances where the book definitely felt Lemony Snicket-esque, and in the best way possible. The sibling relationship will also be much appreciated; Skye does a nice job of showing Tobias and Charlotte's love and concern for one another, in an continuous and increasingly strange situation.
While readers can definitely go into this book without having read the first book, reading both will definitely help fill in the blanks. Moreover, reading them in sequential order will help amp up the stakes, to the point that readers will be begging for the next book.
Strongly recommend for MG readers: this is a fun, engaging adventure that you do not want to miss.
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The Bumble Girl
About the author:
Obert Skye is the author and illustrator of the popular Creature from My Closet series: Wonkenstein, Potterwookie, Pinocula, Katfish, and Lord of the Hat(forthcoming Fall 2015). He has also written the bestselling children's fantasy adventure series Leven Thumps and Pillage. He lives in Idaho with his family.