Walls Within Walls

( 49 )

Overview

After their father, a video-game inventor, strikes it rich, the Smithfork kids move from their cozy Brooklyn neighborhood to a swanky apartment on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue.

One day Brid, CJ, and Patrick discover an astonishing secret about their apartment. The original owner, the deceased multimillionaire Mr. Post, long ago turned the apartment itself into a giant puzzle containing a mysterious book and hidden panels—a puzzle that, with some luck, courage, and brainpower, will ...

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Walls Within Walls

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Overview

After their father, a video-game inventor, strikes it rich, the Smithfork kids move from their cozy Brooklyn neighborhood to a swanky apartment on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue.

One day Brid, CJ, and Patrick discover an astonishing secret about their apartment. The original owner, the deceased multimillionaire Mr. Post, long ago turned the apartment itself into a giant puzzle containing a mysterious book and hidden panels—a puzzle that, with some luck, courage, and brainpower, will lead to discovering the Post family fortune. Unraveling the mystery causes them to race through today's New York City—and to uncover some long-hidden secrets of the past.

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Editorial Reviews

Blue Balliett
“An intriguing, exciting story about the secrets hidden in a familiar world.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“The book has much of the enterprising spirit of old-fashioned series fiction about young sleuths from the HARDY BOYS to TRIXIE BELDEN.”
ALA Booklist
“Readers will get a real sense of the uniqueness that is New York City.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"The book has much of the enterprising spirit of old-fashioned series fiction about young sleuths from the HARDY BOYS to TRIXIE BELDEN."
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“The book has much of the enterprising spirit of old-fashioned series fiction about young sleuths from the HARDY BOYS to TRIXIE BELDEN.”
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“The book has much of the enterprising spirit of old-fashioned series fiction about young sleuths from the HARDY BOYS to TRIXIE BELDEN.”
Children's Literature - Judy Crowder
Anyone who loves puzzles or mysteries should appreciate this book about three children, newly moved toa posh old New York apartment, who explore the big city in search of a potential treasure. The Smithfork children, Brid CJ, and Patrick, have moved from their comfortable Brooklyn brownstone—complete with yard—to a fancy neighborhood in Manhattan in a historic building once known as the Post mansion, across from Central Park. Not only do the three dread the prospect of a new school in the Fall, but twelve-year-old CJ faces life without being part of a baseball team. To top it all off, their parents are so busy that they have hired a nanny, Marcel, to care for them. All changes for the better when rowdy play results in a broken metal grill, revealing a huge painted eye, part of a large mural and—wait!—is that writing painted on the picture? Eventually the trio discovers a library book with a due date of 1937. Does it contain clues to the rumored lost Post family fortune? As the three children pursue the clues they meet Lilly and Lukas, children Brid's and CJ's ages, who live on the other side of the building, along with a member of the Post family. The children begin the hunt for the Post fortune, will they be successful or walk into danger? Whom will they meet along the way? One thing is guaranteed: the children as well as the reader will learn a lot about the history and geography of the city. Stower's charming black and white illustrations add to the excitement. What a great book to banish a lazy afternoon case of boredom! Reviewer: Judy Crowder
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Twelve-year-old CJ, his nine-year-old sister Brid, and six-year-old Patrick Smithfork resent leaving Brooklyn for Manhattan, even though they are pleased that their dad's video-game company has struck it rich. Finding a wall, a painting, and a book behind a grille in their historical Fifth Avenue apartment, the children start to decipher clues that send them on an architectural treasure hunt. Their neighbor Eloise Post hopes that the hunt will reveal the whereabouts of her father's lost fortune from the 1930s. The man left a book of poems by Langston Hughes, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and others that lead to seven famous structures around the city. This debut novel is a breathtaking romp, focusing on the work of little-known master tile mason and architect Rafael Guastavino. Sherry's passion will make readers fall in love with New York and the poems that portray its many personalities. Full-page illustrations appear throughout. There is a majesty to the author's juxtaposition of monument and poem, although this grandeur masks some of the book's irregularities. The third-person perspective shifts in a way that distances readers from the main characters and impedes character development. Secondary figures are sometimes sketched lightly, although the implied sequel may develop them more fully. Similar to "The 39 Clues" (Scholastic) books or Michael D. Beil's "The Red Blazer Girls" (Knopf), this story incorporates many subplots but lacks a tidy narrative. Nevertheless, readers will relish being tourists on this treasure hunt, no matter what. Pick it up and watch for the sequel.—Caitlin Augusta, Stratford Library Association, CT
Kirkus Reviews

Myriad mysteries and long-lost treasure await the Smithfork children when they move from Brooklyn into an eccentric, historic apartment on the Upper East Side of New York City. Lonely and uncomfortable at first in this new environment, they find adventure behind the apartment walls, in secret passageways and in the nooks and crannies of their building as they make one remarkable discovery after another and meet a cast of fascinating neighbors. CJ, Brid and Patrick explore Manhattan from Harlem to Central Park to Ellis Island and get trapped in an abandoned subway station on their way to solving the clues that will lead them to a fabulous treasure trove and a happy ending. These children and their family dynamics are natural and engaging. The plot is well paced and completely believable, as Sherry deftly weaves fact and fiction in an intricate series of poetry and puzzles that challenge both characters and readers to look at the world with fresh eyes, humor and imagination. A delicious multilayered romp. (Magical adventure. 8-12)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061767036
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/12/2012
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 71,399
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 770L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.28 (w) x 7.46 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Maureen Sherry graduated with a BS from Cornell University and worked on Wall Street for twelve years. She went on to receive an MFA from Columbia University in nonfiction writing. Several years ago, she and her family moved into a historic apartment, where she found herself wondering about the family living there before them. She added to the history of the apartment by embedding, with the help of an architect, a mystery that would eventually be solved by her children. The apartment and her four children are the real-world inspiration for this book.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 49 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(39)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 49 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2013

    Great book and engaging mystery

    This was a great book. Although its one big mystery so if you dont like mysteries dont read it. I loved reading this book. It was always my first choice to read when i had free time. Definitly one of my favorites!!!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2012

    Awsome!

    Its about time someone wrote a book with history,puzzles,mystery,and treasure. I really liked it

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2011

    great mystery - great characters!

    A fantastic scavenger hunt that introduces the fun in poetry and some great places in the city. Highly recommend this book to 10-13.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 16, 2011

    Very good

    I loved it and found it very interesting

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    You've got to read it!

    An awesome mystery book.With a great adventure.Plus a fun book to read.I couldn't put it down!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2012

    Epic

    Its awesum read it in 1 and 1/2 days epic like hunger games

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2012

    Wonderful!

    I read it and was B-L-O-W-N A-W-A-Y! Loved it and read it in 2 1/2 days! Please write more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Olivia AKA Brid :P

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2011

    Didn't want to put it down....

    fascinating and enjoyable. A fun, well written adventure.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2013

    CLICK ME IM A REVIEWR

    This book looks like its

    SUPERCALAFRAGILISTICEXPIALADOCIOUS!!!!
    Like she said

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2013

    Best book

    Best book ever never whant to put it down

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2012

    Supercalifricisexpaladouso Excellent book!

    Its the best book every!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2012

    This is the best book i have ever read by far. I didnt want to put it down this is a MUST read mystery.

    I loved it!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2012

    Loved it!!

    It was amazing

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2011

    Der

    Pages>.<

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 17, 2011

    cool!

    this book was good,but kind of weird!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2014

    Jordan

    He walks in.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2014

    Kat

    Hey jordan

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2014

    Bekah

    Curls up crying

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2014

    Bekah

    Im so sorry

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2014

    Madi

    Im just heart broken

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 49 Customer Reviews

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