Meet Warren the 13th, a cursed 12-year-old Victorian bellhop who’s terribly unlucky . . . yet perpetually optimistic, hard-working, and curious. Orphan Warren’s pride and joy is his family’s hotel, but he’s been miserable ever since his evil Aunt Anaconda took over the management. Anaconda believes a mysterious treasure known as the All-Seeing Eye is hidden somewhere on the grounds, and she’ll do anything to find it. If Warren wants to preserve his family’s legacy, he’ll need to find the treasure first—if the hotel’s many strange and wacky guests don’t beat him to it! This middle-grade adventure features gorgeous two-color illustrations on every page and a lavish two-column Victorian design that will pull young readers into a spooky and delightful mystery.
My take: 4 looks
This book, written for upper-elementary or lower-middle school students, is a combination of mystery, intrigue, familial relations, monsters, and shape-shifting witches. In short, there is something for every young reader here!
Warren is completely likable as he bears the burden of running a manse of a hotel while his uncle sleeps and his aunt dreams up new ways to make his life even less exciting than it already is. On a trip to the hedge maze one night (as punishment from his auntie), he finds a journal which may lead him to the “all-seeing eye”, thought to be a myth until now.
Will the creature in the boiler room turn out to be a friend or foe? Will the old teacher in the library come to Warren’s defense? Is pale Petula all she seems to be? And what on earth is Warren going to do with 100 guests showing up at the same time? Are the paintings of his ancestors trying to communicate with Warren?
Perfect for boys and girls, this is a great story, enhanced by wonderfully imaginative illustrations by Will Staehle.
Thank you to NetGalley for providing this galley proof in exchange for my honest opinion. Book is available November, 2015.