If you or your kids are enthralled by the darker side of storytelling—think Neil Gaiman and Roald Dahl—then The Books of Elsewhere should be on your reading list. Full of magic, mystery, curiosity, and just enough danger to make it interesting, this series masterfully combines relatable characters with suspense to make it impossible to put down.
This is just the sort of story my 9-year-old son loves, and he and I blew through all five books within a week. The beauty of discovering a series that has been completed is you don’t have to wait for the next book! Released on June 16th, the fifth book in the series, Still Life, beautifully wrapped up the storyline in a satisfying way.
The main character, Olive, is flawed and perfect throughout the series and my son connected to her intensity, courage, and creativity. The author, Jacqueline West, is a descriptive author who knows just how much imagery to create without losing her audience.
Our story starts when Olive Dunwoody and her parents move into a house full of oddities and secrets. She discovers that by donning a pair of enchanted spectacles she found in a drawer, the paintings on the wall not only come alive but are portals to a magical world called “Elsewhere.” Unlike most magical worlds we read about, this one is not immune to the sinister or evil. This is a great introduction for kids to this genre, especially those not quite ready for the scope and sophistication of other series, like Harry Potter, though my son has read Harry Potter and still loved this series!
You can read an excerpt of Chapter 1 and 2 from The Shadows here! BooksofElsewhereVol1Shadows_Chap1&2
In honor of the release of the fifth and final book in the series, The Books of Elsewhere, the publisher and GeekMom are giving away 3 copies of the very first book, The Shadows so you can become as obsessed as we are! To enter our giveaway just log in to the Rafflecopter widget below with your Facebook account or email address (use a valid email so we can let you know if you win). You can then like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for up to two entries! If you already like/follow us it will still enter you in the giveaway. A winner will be chosen at random at the end of the contest and their name will be posted right in the Rafflecopter widget so you can check back to see who won.
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Author bio: A two-time Pushcart nominee for poetry, Jacqueline West came to writing by way of opera (she studied vocal performance) and acting (she worked as an actress at a dinner theater while earning her degree). Looking back on it, it’s hard for Jacqueline to believe she ever wanted to be an opera singer, but singing, acting, and writing have one thing in common, she says: “They’re all about telling a story, about getting inside the mind of someone other than yourself.” The Books of Elsewhere were inspired by a strange old house in Jacqueline’s home town—three floors, cracking paint, sagging porches—owned by a professor who created all sorts of odd contraptions. Like lots of kids who live mostly in their imaginations, Jacqueline was obsessed with all things mysterious, creepy, and darkly funny, and with stories where magic intersects with everyday life. She was enthralled by the likes of Roald Dahl, Lewis Carroll, John Bellairs, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, Calvin and Hobbes, and Bunnicula. Jacqueline lives with her husband and their dog in Red Wing, Minnesota.