Greenglass House by Kate Milford had been sitting in my To Read Aloud stack for several weeks, ahem, months? After a quick preview, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to read it aloud. However, desperate times…..we finished up a book and the children were ready to jump into another read. I wasn’t sure what book to pick up next and they asked for Greenglass House. So we began.
Greenglass House is the story of Milo Pine and his house, The Greenglass House; also know as The Smugglers’ Inn. This old house with windows full of green stained glass windows is the frequent stopping point of a variety of guest, ahem, smugglers. As Milo is ready to settle in for his holiday break, one unexpected guest after another arrives at Greenglass House.
What a unique group of guests they are. Unique except for the fact that something has drawn each of them to the Greenglass House. When things go missing and tempers flair, Milo’s holiday is anything but relaxing. However, with the help of Meddy (the cook’s sister) and a fun role playing game, the holiday winds up being exciting.
While Milo is busy trying to solve the mystery of stolen items and what everyone is after, he also deals with his struggles of being adopted. Milo loves his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Pine. There is a part of him that doesn’t like “looking different” and a part of him yearns to know where he came from. As Milo’s character develops through the story, you see him become more comfortable with who he is.
Greenglass House has some great aspects. An old house with an attic full of discarded treasures, a mystery of theft, unusual guests who could all be likely suspects, a secret underground train system, and a ghost or two thrown in the mix. You have Milo who truly is a great kid and Mr. and Mrs. Pine are loving parents.
It was a bit disappointing in that the book progressed slowly. We were almost halfway through the book before the pace of the story picked up. There were several times I debated on sitting the book aside. Personally, I’m not a fan of role playing games and could have done without that aspect. It seemed to break up the flow of the story for the characters of Milo and Meddy to be constantly shifting to their role play characters: Negret and Sirin. As the house is also know as The Smugglers’ Inn, it appears that the Pines condone smuggling. For their town, it seems to be an accepted trade. We had a bit of discussion on this one evening.
If you have a mystery lover in your home, this is definitely one to consider. It is a pretty long read that at times has a bit complex story line to follow. You need to know your reader to judge if this book would be a good fit. Would I recommend it as a read aloud? Only if you have children that have been read aloud to for some time. The slow start and long chapters are not for the new to reading aloud. I’m not sure that I would read it aloud if I had it to do over again. All that said, I will keep my eye for the next book by Kate Milford.
Have you read Greenglass House? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Now on to our next read aloud…..