The first in an exciting new series, this suspenseful debut brings readers on a journey filled with secrets, mystery, and unforgettable characters.
With a dad who disappeared years ago and a mother who's a bit too busy to parent, Emmy is shipped off to Wellsworth, a prestigious boarding school in England, where she's sure she won't fit in.
But then she finds a box of mysterious medallions in the attic of her homemedallions that belonged to her father. Her father who may have gone to Wellsworth.
When she arrives at school, she finds the strange symbols from the medallions etched into walls and books, which leads Emmy and her new friends, Jack and Lola, to Wellsworth's secret society: The Order of Black Hollow Lane. Emmy can't help but think that the society had something to do with her dad's disappearance, and that there may be more than just dark secrets in the halls of Wellsworth...
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What I Liked This is a great mystery for middle graders! The setting is very realistic and has a very sort of quasi-magical feel to it. One of my favorite parts of living in England was the history of the place. The house I rented was older than the USA (and haunted, according to the landlady, but he was a nice ghost and wouldn't bother us, so not to worry). So being transported into an old school-slash-church and remembering the feeling of living in a 350-year-old house made of thick stone with winding staircases and strange doors to nowhere was just wonderful. Emmy is a great protagonist who is wiser than her years, and her friends are great to read about. Lola is stubborn and unafraid, and Jack is careful and quietly thoughtful. The three of them together are a force to be reckoned with, and their mystery-solving skills lead them on grand adventures all over their school. What I Would Have Liked to See Some more British culture! I lived in England for a few years and the culture shock was for real, friends. There was definitely some stuff in this book that made me nostalgic for my time in England (in East Anglia, no less!) and I kind of wanted more. My Favorite! The Coventry carol making an appearance in the book! This is my favorite Christmas carol because it's so haunting and sad. My favorite version was done by the King's College Choir years and years ago, and unfortunately I can't find it online anymore. But any version is beautiful, and it really hit me with that melancholic beauty as I read! TL;DR Emmy goes to a boarding school in England when her famous mom goes on tour. When she realizes her missing father used to go there, she starts to uncover mystery upon mystery, with her father--and herself--at the center of it. P.S. I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley for my honest review. All thoughts are my own!
I received a free copy of THE MYSTERY OF BLACK HOLLOW LANE by Julia Nobel in exchange for an honest review. Emmy’s mom is a parenting expert. More interested in furthering her career than in parenting her actual daughter, Emmy’s mom ships Emmy off to boarding school in England. At Wellsworth, Emmy makes a couple of really good friends but has to put up with several bullies. When Emmy finds out her missing father also attended Wellsworth, she seizes the opportunity to find out more about him. However, she’s going to have to go through the bullies to do so. I enjoyed this book. It was both interesting and entertaining. There was an element of danger and plenty of suspense.
School is hard enough without a secret society spying on you. But it makes for a wonderful middle grade novel in Julia Nobel's The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane. At Wellsworth, a gothic boarding school in England, the worst villain Emmy Willick expects is Latin and loneliness until an unexpected letter gives her a perilous after school activity: unravel the mystery left by her missing father. Every clue she deciphers brings her closer to the truth but drags her deeper into a conspiracy stretching back centuries. By cleverly intertwining history into the narrative, Julia Nobel has crafted a page-turning mystery in which a charming cast whose true-to-life interactions make them feel real investigates a secret society whose menace is made worse because it could rationally exist. In addition, Nobel artfully walks the line of leaving enough clues to reward readers who hope to predict what comes next without leaving so many that the answer is obvious or so few that the truth comes out of nowhere. This makes the novel an excellent introduction to the genre, while providing twists that will keep more experienced readers guessing. Altogether The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane will earn Julia Nobel and the mystery genre many young fans.