Review of “The Books of Elsewhere: The Shadows”

The Books of Elsewhere: The ShadowsThe_Books_of_Elsewhere-The_Shadows
By Jacqueline West
Published by Puffin books
241 pages

Eleven year old Olive Dunwoody’s family moves into the old stone house on Linden Street. With the help of three magical cats Olive learns that the previous owners of the house, the McMartins, where evil witches, and the last of the McMartins had died. The McMartins, however, were still around. Well, sort of. Their shadows were stuck in living paintings. Using a pair of magical spectacles, Olive enters the paintings where she has numerous adventures. In her first painting she meets a new friend, Morten, a nine-year-old who has been stuck in the painting for a thousand years. During  her adventures, she learns that the McMartins want their house back, and will do almost anything to get it back!

I like this book because it has dangerous magic in it. Although the main character isn’t magical, she has friends that are.  My favorite character other than Olive is Harvey, the crazy cat who always thinks he’s Robin Hood or Captain Black Paw, or one of a bunch of other characters. My favorite part is at the end when Olive defeats Aldus McMartin, the most evil McMartin, but I can’t tell you how. I think that girls who like the Harry Potter series will also like this series because it has magic, kids, and evil witches, but the lead character is a girl.

This book is the first in a series of five books. I recommend reading this series in order because each book builds on what Olive learns in the last book. I recommend this book to girl’s ages 9-10.


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