The Secret of Goldenrod

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 Jul 2016

Member Reviews

Very solid mystery for children aged 9 to 13. The nostalgic element may appeal to Nancy drew fans. The modern day technology should appeal to today’s pre-teens. Very enjoyable read, and I recommend it..
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I liked the first probably 80% quite alot. Then the end was just kind of blah. Idk, I liked the final ending I guess, I just didn't like how it got there. 
*I received a digital copy from NetGalley in exchange for a review.
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great gothic inspired mystery..loved it. highly recommend
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I have always had such a soft spot for old-fashioned books about old houses (see also: The Four-Story Mistake, Magic Elizabeth, Gone-Away Lake), and The Secret of Goldenrod fits so beautifully into that niche, even though it’s clearly a modern book with contemporary sensibilities.

Trina and her dad spend their life moving from house to house, fixing places up for other families to call home before moving onto their next fixer-upper. Their new project is a lonely Victorian mansion on the outskirts of New Royal, Iowa, a house called Goldenrod with a tragic past. When Trina and her dad move into the house, strange things start happening, and Trina’s convinced the old house is haunted. When she discovers an antique doll called Augustine, she’s sure that Goldenrod is no ordinary house. But what does it want?
It is no surprise that I loved this book, which was warm and gentle and just a pleasure to read. Though it deals with complicated issues, including Trina’s long-absent mother and the loneliness of always being “the new kid,” in a realistic way, it’s never bleak or depressing. And though the story is about a haunted house, it’s not scary at all—there are a couple of creepy moments when Trina’s alone in the house early on—but it’s the opposite of a horror story. Trina’s relationship with her single parent dad is beautifully written—complicated and caring and completely authentic. Watching Trina slowly open up her defenses, making friends and becoming part of a community, while the old house is slowly restored to its old splendor, feels good—but it also feels right, like something Trina has earned and built for herself.

This is the kind of book I would have checked out of the library over and over again. I think it would make an absolutely lovely readaloud—in fact, it’s up next in my family’s readaloud queue.
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