By Ben Guterson

Hi! Do you ever wonder what one of your older family members who have passed away looked like or what their personality was like or what kind of friends they had? Well, Elizabeth Somers wonders about these sort of things a lot. Her mom and dad died in a car accident and she was stuck with her boring aunt and uncle. Here’s one thing you should know about Elizabeth Somers. She and only she gets this feeling, like something unusual is about to happen. And then, something unusual does happen!

One morning, Elizabeth is just getting back from school and finally about to start her Christmas break. She is 11 years old and her parents died when she was 4. When she got up to the door, there was a note taped to the door. It said that her aunt and uncle were going on a vacation and she had a ticket to go to a hotel called The Winterhouse for three weeks and that she would be taking a train to get there. Elizabeth wondered how her aunt and uncle had the money to send her to the Winterhouse and to buy the train ticket because both her aunt and her uncle were very, very poor. So, with nowhere else to go, Elizabeth took the train ride there.

On the train, she noticed a very peculiar man and woman. They were sitting beside one another and both dressed in black. Beside them was a crate. It looked a lot like a coffin, actually. When they arrived at Winterhouse, Elizabeth was ushered by a bellhop named Jackson to Norbridge. Norbridge was the man who owned the Winterhouse. He gave her a little tour of Winterhouse and then showed her to her room.

The next morning, the bell rang for breakfast. On her way to the breakfast hall, Elizabeth became nervous because it was her first day here. She sat at an almost empty table, except for a boy beside her, who was sitting with a laptop in front of him. They started talking and Elizabeth discovered that the boy’s name was Freddy. He was a lot like her, actually. He was good with word puzzles, mostly anagrams and word ladders, just like Elizabeth.

Elizabeth soon discovered that there was a book hidden in the library that would unlock the secret to Nestor Falls’ portrait. Nestor Falls is one of Norridge’s ancestors. Elizabeth had found the book. Freddy was suspicious about the whole thing and wanted her to return it to the library, but Elizabeth kept it. Little did Elizabeth know that keeping could be the biggest mistake that she would ever make!

Will Elizabeth be able to discover the secret of the portrait before the book falls into the wrong hands, or will all be destroyed if someone bad gets it? As I always say, read the book to find out!

I recommend this book to readers who love magic, mystery, excitement and adventure. But you’ll have to read the book for yourself to see what other things I could say about this book!

A few helpful things I like to say about the books I read:

“Run and Get Mom” (how I describe the scariness factor):
There were a few scary parts in this book, and one really scary picture, but other than that, zero, none, nada.

“Yucky-Lovey Stuff” (how I describe the romance factor):
There was no yucky-lovey stuff in this book, although there was one gross part that didn’t involve yucky-lovey stuff.

5.5 STARS.png

I give this book 5 ½  wands.
This book was amazing! I loved it! It might have even become my new favorite book! I really think you should read it!