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The In-Between

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Cooper is lost. Ever since his father left their family three years ago, he has become distant from his friends, constantly annoyed by his little sister, Jess, and completely fed up with the pale, creepy rich girl who moved in next door, who won’t stop staring at him. So when Cooper learns of an unsolved mystery his sister has discovered online, he welcomes the distraction. Cooper is lost. Ever since his father left their family three years ago, he has become distant from his friends, constantly annoyed by his little sister, Jess, and completely fed up with the pale, creepy rich girl who moved in next door, who won’t stop staring at him. So when Cooper learns of an unsolved mystery his sister has discovered online, he welcomes the distraction. It’s the tale of a deadly train crash that occurred a hundred years ago in which one young boy among the dead was never identified. The only distinguishing mark on him was a strange insignia on his suit coat, a symbol no one had seen before or since. Jess is fascinated by the mystery of the unknown child—because she’s seen the insignia. And, she tells Cooper, he has too. It’s the symbol on the jacket of the girl next door. As they uncover more information—and mounting evidence of the girl’s seemingly impossible connection to the tragedy—Cooper and Jess begin to wonder if a similar disaster could be heading to their hometown. Thus begins an unforgettable adventure about the forgotten among us and what it means to be seen.


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Cooper is lost. Ever since his father left their family three years ago, he has become distant from his friends, constantly annoyed by his little sister, Jess, and completely fed up with the pale, creepy rich girl who moved in next door, who won’t stop staring at him. So when Cooper learns of an unsolved mystery his sister has discovered online, he welcomes the distraction. Cooper is lost. Ever since his father left their family three years ago, he has become distant from his friends, constantly annoyed by his little sister, Jess, and completely fed up with the pale, creepy rich girl who moved in next door, who won’t stop staring at him. So when Cooper learns of an unsolved mystery his sister has discovered online, he welcomes the distraction. It’s the tale of a deadly train crash that occurred a hundred years ago in which one young boy among the dead was never identified. The only distinguishing mark on him was a strange insignia on his suit coat, a symbol no one had seen before or since. Jess is fascinated by the mystery of the unknown child—because she’s seen the insignia. And, she tells Cooper, he has too. It’s the symbol on the jacket of the girl next door. As they uncover more information—and mounting evidence of the girl’s seemingly impossible connection to the tragedy—Cooper and Jess begin to wonder if a similar disaster could be heading to their hometown. Thus begins an unforgettable adventure about the forgotten among us and what it means to be seen.

30 review for The In-Between

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ivonne Rovira

    How easy it would be to reveal too much with this delicious middle-grade mystery by author Rebecca K.S. Ansari! Eighth-grader Cooper Stewart has been withdrawn and angry ever since his doctor father abandoned his family in Chicago to create a new one in San Diego. A loner now, Cooper is estranged from his friends, his 10-year-old sister Jess and his worried, overburdened single mother. But his sister Jess stumbles on a mystery about a 100-year-old train crash far away, one in which there was an How easy it would be to reveal too much with this delicious middle-grade mystery by author Rebecca K.S. Ansari! Eighth-grader Cooper Stewart has been withdrawn and angry ever since his doctor father abandoned his family in Chicago to create a new one in San Diego. A loner now, Cooper is estranged from his friends, his 10-year-old sister Jess and his worried, overburdened single mother. But his sister Jess stumbles on a mystery about a 100-year-old train crash far away, one in which there was an unidentified dead boy. A boy with the same crest as the rich, aloof girl next door. Cooper’s persistence in solving this mystery could bring Cooper back from his lonely abyss. Unless it dooms him first. Young or old, this suspenseful, creepy novel will keep you reading much too late into the night. I didn’t finish it in one sitting, but I sure came close. So many twists and turns! I never saw the ending coming, either. In the interest of full disclosure, I received this book from NetGalley, HarperCollins Children’s Books and Walden Press in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gmr

    First things first, that cool as all get out and yet ultra creepy cover! Once you get started in the book, you can see where the different elements come from and the significance of each, but before you read...it's another puzzle needing to be solved, and I was only so happy to have the chance to do just that! Story wise...I was glued to every page! The mystery of the catastrophes, the appearance of the crest, the fixture of a girl across the way with little to no interaction, the unusual things First things first, that cool as all get out and yet ultra creepy cover! Once you get started in the book, you can see where the different elements come from and the significance of each, but before you read...it's another puzzle needing to be solved, and I was only so happy to have the chance to do just that! Story wise...I was glued to every page! The mystery of the catastrophes, the appearance of the crest, the fixture of a girl across the way with little to no interaction, the unusual things they seem to be only privy too (well, Jess, Coop, and Gus, that is)…shall I keep going? Okay, but really....the friendships lost and found, the family connections severed and built, the sense of self and importance rediscovered...there are so many areas of interest to follow, and yet you never lose sight of the main thread. You feel included in this sibling plus friend trio, and despite their own doubts as to their standing in their own worlds, they are quite clearly an important part of your own once you're between the pages. I can't risk saying too much because to ruin the mystery at its heart would break my own...and trust me, mine was already broken as I had tears streaming down my face further along in the book...but suffice it to say, this is one family despite its history that you will want to be a part of. This is one gathering of friends that you will want to know. This is one story that will keep you on edge right to the very last page, and you most definitely won't soon forget. I mean, once someone has impacted your life, how can they ever truly be gone... *copy received for review; opinions are my own

  3. 4 out of 5

    Caryn - iam.caryn

    This is the type of story that mystery lovers of any age can enjoy. There are many twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. The author came up with a narrative that’s engaging and a writing style that keeps you hooked and unable to put the book down. The entire plot is a whole lot more than just a middle grade mystery as the genres suggest. There’s a slight fantasy/paranormal/magical realism faction woven into it as well. All of this intrigue and magical feeling is tied together with very rea This is the type of story that mystery lovers of any age can enjoy. There are many twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. The author came up with a narrative that’s engaging and a writing style that keeps you hooked and unable to put the book down. The entire plot is a whole lot more than just a middle grade mystery as the genres suggest. There’s a slight fantasy/paranormal/magical realism faction woven into it as well. All of this intrigue and magical feeling is tied together with very real issues such as loneliness, parental divorce and sibling diabetes.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Cooper is angry that his father has left him, his sister Jess, and his overworked mother in a run down neighborhood in Chicago and is now in California with his new wife and son. The rage spills into other areas of his life-- he has trouble getting along with his friends because their families are intact, and he is especially angry with the quiet, uncommunicative girl, Elena, in the newly renovated house next door. He managed to be kind to his sister, and to help E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Cooper is angry that his father has left him, his sister Jess, and his overworked mother in a run down neighborhood in Chicago and is now in California with his new wife and son. The rage spills into other areas of his life-- he has trouble getting along with his friends because their families are intact, and he is especially angry with the quiet, uncommunicative girl, Elena, in the newly renovated house next door. He managed to be kind to his sister, and to help her manage her diabetes, but he is somewhat relieved when a new boy at school, Gus, befriends him. Gus is having trouble fitting in, having been sent to live with his irascible grandmother while his parents are divorcing. The two boys bond over this, and also over one very odd fact. Cooper, Jess, and Gus can see Elena's house differently than everyone else. To them, it is decrepit and abandoned. When Jess is obsessed with an old train accident, and an unidentified boy who died, Cooper and Jess realize that Elena's school sweater has the same crest on it and start to investigate. what her connection might be. They eventually find that Elena and her sister were killed many years ago, but never died, and seem to travel from tragedy to tragedy, living in "the in-between". Because the three children can see Elena and the true state of her house, they worry that they are next in line for the tragedy they suspect that Elena will precipitate. Will they be able to find out what Elena's true purpose is, and to save themselves? Strengths: There are lots of twists and turns in this that I don't want to spoil! The real life portions of the story, with Cooper's absent dad, frazzled mother who is ready to move on, and responsibility for his sister's well-being, is solidly well constructed and believable. The constant dinners of various egg dishes was funny but made complete sense! The in-between is built and revealed in an understandable way. Elena and Gus are interesting characters, for various reasons, and there's a lot of hidden depth that we eventually see. Definitely an interesting story, and I love the cover. Weaknesses: This started out on the slow side, and a lot of time was spent on Cooper's various feelings of sadness, which also slowed down an otherwise interesting story. If this discussion had been replaced by ghosts haunting Cooper, it would do better with my students, who are always in favor of killer ghosts! What I really think: This was sort of a mix of Scarrow's Time Riders and Plum's Before I Die if it had been written by Judy Blume or Linda Urban. It was fine, but everyone else seems to be far more excited about it than I am.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kathie

    Thank you to Edelweiss+ and the publisher for an eARC of this book. I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery with some unexpected twists by Rebecca Ansari. I love books that take my by surprise, and this is definitely one of them. Cooper's dad left three years ago, and since then, he's been wrapped up in his own feelings and pushing away those around him. Lately, though, he's been a bit creeped out by his new neighbor across the street who sits on her swing and stares at him. When he discovers a link bet Thank you to Edelweiss+ and the publisher for an eARC of this book. I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery with some unexpected twists by Rebecca Ansari. I love books that take my by surprise, and this is definitely one of them. Cooper's dad left three years ago, and since then, he's been wrapped up in his own feelings and pushing away those around him. Lately, though, he's been a bit creeped out by his new neighbor across the street who sits on her swing and stares at him. When he discovers a link between an insignia on the jacket the girl is wearing, and some deadly accidents, Cooper, his sister Jess, and his new friend Gus all work together to try and solve the mystery of its significance and why it keeps appearing at the scene of the disasters. As their investigation continues, they discover that danger may be headed their way, and they need to figure out what's going to happen and stop it before it's too late. I really enjoyed the intrigue of this mystery, and the research the kids did to try and figure out the significant of the insignia (I think there was some important information also shared about how difficult it can be to find the information you want using a Google search!) I love stories where there is a link to the past, and how it comes back to impact the future, and this one did that very well. I also loved that although there is definitely a magical element to this story, it took place in the real world. Cooper and Jess both struggled to adjust to their dad's absence in different ways, and during the story they become closer and are able to support each other rather than suffering alone. I will be recommending this book to mystery lovers who love a good plot twist.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Julie Kirchner

    Thank you to the author, NetGalley, and Harper Collins for an E-ARC of this title. Cooper is dealing with the loss of his family as he knows it while trying to move on. In the midst of handling his emotions and helping his sister Jess realize she too must accept that things have changed, a new girl moves in to the rundown house across the street. The mysterious neighbor sits on the porch and will not let Cooper alone in his misery. Her stares from across their yards draws him in and makes him wan Thank you to the author, NetGalley, and Harper Collins for an E-ARC of this title. Cooper is dealing with the loss of his family as he knows it while trying to move on. In the midst of handling his emotions and helping his sister Jess realize she too must accept that things have changed, a new girl moves in to the rundown house across the street. The mysterious neighbor sits on the porch and will not let Cooper alone in his misery. Her stares from across their yards draws him in and makes him want to know why she appears to be obsessed with him. Meanwhile, his sister has connected the girl to an unsolved mystery and tragedy from years ago. The two siblings bond researching the mystery trying to uncover how the two might be related, and what the girl's sudden presence might mean. Cooper and Jess are not prepared for the truth nor do they understand the danger they have uncovered from their digging. Another masterful story from Rebecca Ansari with twists and turns that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    Rebecca has done it again!!! Superb story!!!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Michele Knott

    A very fun surprise. Hold on to the end!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Bennett

    I stumbled across this from my library. Every once and awhile I like to take a break from other genres and pick up a middle grade because they are usually on the lighter side. There are good subjects in this book like divorce. I couldn’t relate to the characters on that level as my parents are still married but I can understand their feelings because I married someone who has gone through it. It is a tough situation for the kids. The book discusses it at length as Cooper talks a lot about his fee I stumbled across this from my library. Every once and awhile I like to take a break from other genres and pick up a middle grade because they are usually on the lighter side. There are good subjects in this book like divorce. I couldn’t relate to the characters on that level as my parents are still married but I can understand their feelings because I married someone who has gone through it. It is a tough situation for the kids. The book discusses it at length as Cooper talks a lot about his feelings. At times this does tend to slow down the pace of the book as it isn’t the whole focus of the book but it does take up a large chunk. The other part of the plot has to do with the paranormal in a way and historical events but with a twist. I always enjoy seeing how authors can take events from the past and create a story out of it. This was no different. I liked those aspects although it wasn’t a favorite that has done it. There are twists and turns that I would try to speculate beforehand but always came up a bit short which is good. I never saw them coming. This is one of those books where it is better to go in with little expecations. Overall, this was a good book. Even though it deals with the aftermath of divorce, it is also about two siblings coming together. I liked their relationship and the friendships they created with others.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Barb

    THE IN-BETWEEN by Rebecca Ansari hit all the right notes for me: mystery with twists, ghostly elements, characters I really cared about, issues that touch so many of us, and really solid storytelling. It's a contemporary middle-grade book set in Chicago and featuring Cooper and his younger sister Jess. They're still adjusting to their parents' divorce, Jess's diabetes, and the tornado of emotions that comes with major life events, especially when you're a kid. It's easy to feel lost, invisible, THE IN-BETWEEN by Rebecca Ansari hit all the right notes for me: mystery with twists, ghostly elements, characters I really cared about, issues that touch so many of us, and really solid storytelling. It's a contemporary middle-grade book set in Chicago and featuring Cooper and his younger sister Jess. They're still adjusting to their parents' divorce, Jess's diabetes, and the tornado of emotions that comes with major life events, especially when you're a kid. It's easy to feel lost, invisible, and disconnected. When the house next door gets a remodel and new owners, the kids notice the new girl. She's not friendly and never speaks to them. There's also new kid Gus, who's in Cooper's grade and riding the same bus as the siblings. After Jess discovers an old mystery online, they realize there may be a connection between the strange new girl next door and tragic train accident that happened decades ago. Drawn into the mystery, Cooper and Jess discover other tragedies throughout the world that all seem to be connected to the private school patch on the new girl's jacket. With help from Gus, the kids work together to solve the mystery of who the girl is and why they're the only people that seem to be able to see her. While THE IN-BETWEEN is a mystery and ghost story, it's also a look into the often deeply-buried feelings of helplessness, rage, and despair kids can feel when loss, illness, and tragedy enter their lives. I think author Rebecca Ansari deals with these emotions in an honest way that not only kids can relate to, but that will touch adults as well, especially if you too were a kid who felt invisible. Go grab a copy of THE IN-BETWEEN, I highly recommend this book filled with mystery, friendship, and deep truths.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alysa

    Since his father left the family, Cooper has been carrying the weight of his pain around like a ten-ton backpack. His younger sister's diabetes has the family constantly on edge, and his mother's two jobs keep her so busy and distracted that Cooper has to not only watch his sister but also make sure her sugars don't get too low. Compounded with the anger and sadness over his father's abandonment of the family, it's a lot for a 12yo to carry. He can't even find solace in his friendships anymore, Since his father left the family, Cooper has been carrying the weight of his pain around like a ten-ton backpack. His younger sister's diabetes has the family constantly on edge, and his mother's two jobs keep her so busy and distracted that Cooper has to not only watch his sister but also make sure her sugars don't get too low. Compounded with the anger and sadness over his father's abandonment of the family, it's a lot for a 12yo to carry. He can't even find solace in his friendships anymore, preferring instead to spend much of his time alone. Until the day he and his sister uncover a series of strange incidents throughout history, all of which involve children wearing clothes embossed with a certain insignia. The same insignia the strange new girl who's moved in across the alleyway has on her school uniform. What follows is a fast-paced, and incredibly moving exploration of friendship, life, death, and connection. If you've read Ansari's previous work, The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly, you know she is a master of delivering twists you never saw coming. And there are several twists here that you'll never expect. The world of The In-Between is richly built and gorgeously written. It drew me in the kept hold of me as it effortlessly moved between the "real" world and a darkly imagined world balanced somewhere between life and death. I strongly recommend this wonderful exploration of grief, loss, and finding the courage to make yourself seen for middle-grade readers who are ready for some tougher themes and an action scene that will shake you to your core. Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss+ for the e-arc

  12. 4 out of 5

    Magdalena

    The following review is from my personal blog: Thirteen-year-old Cooper Stewart is initially baffled by his younger sister Jess’s fascination with a century-old mystery involving an unidentified victim in a train crash. But when she points out that the dead child was wearing a crest matching the jacket of the mysterious girl who recently moved into the house across the alley, Cooper decides it’s time to start asking some questions. Aside from introducing herself as Elena, the girl is unwilling t The following review is from my personal blog: Thirteen-year-old Cooper Stewart is initially baffled by his younger sister Jess’s fascination with a century-old mystery involving an unidentified victim in a train crash. But when she points out that the dead child was wearing a crest matching the jacket of the mysterious girl who recently moved into the house across the alley, Cooper decides it’s time to start asking some questions. Aside from introducing herself as Elena, the girl is unwilling to give any answers. One day, Cooper tries to follow her into her house only to discover that the entire house is an illusion. Together with Jess and a new friend named Gus, Cooper has to figure out who Elena is, why most people can’t see her or her house, and whether she’s connected to any of the historical disasters that Jess finds online when she tries to look for information about the crest. The kids gradually come to the realization that Elena is a ghost who repeatedly comes back to life just to die again in a different disaster every time, and that they must be in danger themselves. Meanwhile, Cooper and Jess are gradually coming to terms with their parents’ divorce several years ago and the fact that Dad has a new family now. These two storylines blend near the end of the book, when Cooper picks up on the underlying motifs regarding feeling “unseen” and the importance of human connection. An exciting, spooky mystery for readers who love plot twists and emotional depth.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Anise K.

    5 stars Wow...I finally finished this book and I'm surprised to say it was good. I love how the author blends supernatural fantasy with realistic struggles (such as divorce, diabetes, loneliness, feeling invisible) that the reader can relate to. It makes it seem more tangible, even if the whole story's about people who died but aren’t exactly dead and go around saving people from terrible accidents. I also enjoyed the growth of the siblings, Cooper and Jess. Their relationship's sweet and messy 5 stars Wow...I finally finished this book and I'm surprised to say it was good. I love how the author blends supernatural fantasy with realistic struggles (such as divorce, diabetes, loneliness, feeling invisible) that the reader can relate to. It makes it seem more tangible, even if the whole story's about people who died but aren’t exactly dead and go around saving people from terrible accidents. I also enjoyed the growth of the siblings, Cooper and Jess. Their relationship's sweet and messy, and in the end, they get closer, knowing that they have each other to turn to. (view spoiler)[ I’m still curious as to how Elizabeth and Gwen got stuck in the In-Between—were they chosen by chance? Did their “death” have more meaning that we just didn’t get to read about? (hide spoiler)] Other than that, I really enjoyed The In-Between ! If you want to settle down for a somewhat creepy, intriguing, and beautiful read, then I would definitely recommend this book. TW: The main character, Cooper, does cuss a couple times, but they’re all mild swear words. At first, you think it’s gonna be a freaky ghost story but it actually isn’t particularly disturbing. Two characters repeatedly die and sometimes the incidents are described in detail, but there’s nothing too graphic.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amber K.

    A couple years ago I read Rebecca Ansari’s debut, The Missing Piece of Charlie O’Reilly and absolutely loved it! It was just the sort of magical mystery that I loved and now Ansari has another magical mystery that is in the same vein as her first book. The In-Between just came out last week and I loved this one just as much!! The In Between is about brother and sister, Cooper and Jess. Jess is doing research for a school project one day and learns about a tragic train accident where everyone tha A couple years ago I read Rebecca Ansari’s debut, The Missing Piece of Charlie O’Reilly and absolutely loved it! It was just the sort of magical mystery that I loved and now Ansari has another magical mystery that is in the same vein as her first book. The In-Between just came out last week and I loved this one just as much!! The In Between is about brother and sister, Cooper and Jess. Jess is doing research for a school project one day and learns about a tragic train accident where everyone that died was identified except one child that had a uniform on with a strange symbol that nobody could figure out the origins of. That same day a girl moves in across the street from them named Elena and there’s something very off about her. … It would be too easy to give away important details so I’m going to stop there and say that you should just read this if you like mysteries that aren’t *too* scary but still keep you in suspense. The twists and turns in this book kept me on the edge of my seat, just like it did with Charlie O’Reilly and I loved every second! Rebecca Ansari, I am officially a huge fan! This mystery was perfect! I definitely recommend this one for 4th and up!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kirsti Call

    "Jess did as she was told. She moved like she was made of some unbendable material as she crossed to the other side of the kitchen. She stared at Cooper with pleading eyes as she came back to his side. But Cooper had nothing to offer her. The only solace he could find for himself was the knwledge that Jess was as lost as he was. At least he wasn't in this terrifying free fall alone." The In Between, by Rebecca Ansari is another mesmerizing mystery. I read the entire book in one sitting, compelled "Jess did as she was told. She moved like she was made of some unbendable material as she crossed to the other side of the kitchen. She stared at Cooper with pleading eyes as she came back to his side. But Cooper had nothing to offer her. The only solace he could find for himself was the knwledge that Jess was as lost as he was. At least he wasn't in this terrifying free fall alone." The In Between, by Rebecca Ansari is another mesmerizing mystery. I read the entire book in one sitting, compelled to turn the page and keep reading. Cooper and Jess's parents got divorced 3 years ago and Cooper is still angry. He distances himself from his sister, his best friend, his mom. He finally allows himself to connect again when he and Jess discover the In-Between. This story addresses themes of grief, loss, family, divorce, friendship, loyalty, poverty, selflessness, teamwork, and coming of age. It's the kind of book you savor long after you finish the last page.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Katie Reilley

    Thank you to the author and publisher for sharing an early copy with #bookexpedition. Wow. Just finished this one, and I’m still thinking about that plot twist I did not see coming! This middle grade novel has an intriguing mystery, heartwarming friendship, twisty adventures, and characters you won’t soon forget. Cooper and his younger sister Jess are dealing with their dad walking out on the family. While it’s been three years and Jess holds out hope, Cooper knows his dad has abandoned them. An Thank you to the author and publisher for sharing an early copy with #bookexpedition. Wow. Just finished this one, and I’m still thinking about that plot twist I did not see coming! This middle grade novel has an intriguing mystery, heartwarming friendship, twisty adventures, and characters you won’t soon forget. Cooper and his younger sister Jess are dealing with their dad walking out on the family. While it’s been three years and Jess holds out hope, Cooper knows his dad has abandoned them. And it’s affecting his relationships with his friends and sister. So when Jess becomes fascinated by an unsolved mystery that happened over 100 years ago involving a deadly train crash, Cooper can’t help but get caught up in the story. Especially because there is a connection to the spooky girl who just moved in next door. Highly recommend and preorder, friends. It’s publishing January 26, 2021.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Katie Derrick

    Twists and turns abound in this fantasy mystery! Part ghost story, part mystery, part coming of age, this story has something for everyone. Brother and sister Cooper and Jess are trying to cope with their own issues- dealing with diabetes, divorce, and loneliness- when they stumble upon several intriguing, deadly accidents in the past that all have a seemingly common victim. Following these clues, they embark upon a dark adventure that allows them to discover some amazing truths about themselves Twists and turns abound in this fantasy mystery! Part ghost story, part mystery, part coming of age, this story has something for everyone. Brother and sister Cooper and Jess are trying to cope with their own issues- dealing with diabetes, divorce, and loneliness- when they stumble upon several intriguing, deadly accidents in the past that all have a seemingly common victim. Following these clues, they embark upon a dark adventure that allows them to discover some amazing truths about themselves and a few of their neighbors. Fans of "A Wrinkle in Time" and Mary Downing Hahn will surely enjoy this book!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Ashby

    The mystery of Elena drew me in and kept me flipping pages to figure out what, exactly, was going on. I suspected it was going to be a version of an old Jeff Daniels movie called "Grand Tour - Disaster in Time". It was similar in some ways but this book had it's own unique twist on the idea that took events in a different direction. The impending disaster seemed glaringly obvious to me but I'm assuming it will be less so to teen readers. SO, I was tearing through the book until we finally got to The mystery of Elena drew me in and kept me flipping pages to figure out what, exactly, was going on. I suspected it was going to be a version of an old Jeff Daniels movie called "Grand Tour - Disaster in Time". It was similar in some ways but this book had it's own unique twist on the idea that took events in a different direction. The impending disaster seemed glaringly obvious to me but I'm assuming it will be less so to teen readers. SO, I was tearing through the book until we finally got to the disaster and the resolution of that. All good. But then things dragged on for too long after the resolution and I wanted to be done with the book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sam Subity

    I loved how Ansari uses real unexplained tragedies from history, like two children who died in a train crash nearly a century ago but were never identified, and builds a world that explains what might have happened. This is a mystery and lightly creepy ghost story where two kids try to figure out the story behind their new neighbor girl who does nothing but sit on the swing in her backyard and stare at them, and how they might actually be connected to those historical tragedies. It's also a sens I loved how Ansari uses real unexplained tragedies from history, like two children who died in a train crash nearly a century ago but were never identified, and builds a world that explains what might have happened. This is a mystery and lightly creepy ghost story where two kids try to figure out the story behind their new neighbor girl who does nothing but sit on the swing in her backyard and stare at them, and how they might actually be connected to those historical tragedies. It's also a sensitive and powerful exploration of grief that comes from more personal tragedies like grief and loss.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    Loved it! Another winner! This was another page-turner. Cooper and Jess are realistic, likable kids who are struggling with the divorce of their parents. To make matters worse, their dad has a new family and their mom needs to work all the time to make ends meet. That leaves Cooper stuck at home to watch his diabetic sister. And what is with the creepy girl across the street? She just sits there staring and swinging. When Cooper tries to talk to her and enters her house, you won't believe what h Loved it! Another winner! This was another page-turner. Cooper and Jess are realistic, likable kids who are struggling with the divorce of their parents. To make matters worse, their dad has a new family and their mom needs to work all the time to make ends meet. That leaves Cooper stuck at home to watch his diabetic sister. And what is with the creepy girl across the street? She just sits there staring and swinging. When Cooper tries to talk to her and enters her house, you won't believe what he discovers!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Robin Gillette

    A really engaging book aimed at middle grades. Blends the reality of being 13 years old, with your parents going through a divorce, and the fantasy that makes life intriguing. It held my attention as an adult, and it'd be great, of course, for kids. A really engaging book aimed at middle grades. Blends the reality of being 13 years old, with your parents going through a divorce, and the fantasy that makes life intriguing. It held my attention as an adult, and it'd be great, of course, for kids.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    This was an interesting book. I liked that it explored important topics. I loved the friendship between the characters but the rest, the mystery girl and all that stuff was just OK for me. I thought it would go in a whole different direction and was disappointed when that didn’t happen.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jana

    I went back and forth on the 4 or 5 stars it was hands down 5 stars not going to lie I cried and it had so many relatable and good lessons and then the very last 2 chapters threw me took a turn for the out there and left me a little lost but I still would highly urge you to read!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Abigail

    Overall, Great Book!!! I think that it helped to know I wasn't alone with also having divorced parents and at the end, I almost cried. The last chapter left me like what happened, but I would still recommend it! Its also sad to know that these tragic stories were real. Overall, Great Book!!! I think that it helped to know I wasn't alone with also having divorced parents and at the end, I almost cried. The last chapter left me like what happened, but I would still recommend it! Its also sad to know that these tragic stories were real.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Aimée Bissonette

    An exceptional middle grade novel with fantasy elements and wonderful plot twists and turns. Strong, well handled themes of friendship, grief, reconciliation, and the joy of doing things for others wrapped in a page turning, heart racing story. Love this book! Kudos to you, Rebecca Ansari.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Hottinger

    A mystery that kept me curious as the story unfolded! Mysterious neighbor girl, a puzzle needing to be solved, and the same insignia shows up...hmm! You will not be able to put this one down not only for the mystery at hand, but also the characters.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dara Yoder

    Great magical mystery for young adult readers! This book took twists and turns I wasn't expecting! A delightful book! #bookposse Great magical mystery for young adult readers! This book took twists and turns I wasn't expecting! A delightful book! #bookposse

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I think this book will be cool because i have read the blurb and it seemed pretty awsome and how i feel is like i really want to know what's inside this book and read it NOW I think this book will be cool because i have read the blurb and it seemed pretty awsome and how i feel is like i really want to know what's inside this book and read it NOW

  29. 4 out of 5

    Emerald Lavere

    The mystery starts from page one. The relationship struggles are authentic and compelling. A delightful page-turner.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mandi MacDonald

    This reads like a David Mitchell for middle schoolers or the time traveling bits of Umbrella Academy. I say middle schoolers, but clearly as an adult I loved it and its use of words like vehemently.

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