Recommended for ages 10-14
Sukie’s not having an easy time of it these days. Her older sister, Kitty, has passed away but has vowed to always protect her – often to the point of scaring away potential new friends. Now, she’s living in some huge, creepy mansion with her distant cousin, an elderly woman named Hepzibah, and she’s dreaming about ghosts that look like her and her classmate, Cole. She’s hearing all sorts of wacky stories about magic brooms and doorknobs, and when two employees from the New-York Circulating Material Repository show up to her family’s flea market stand, she hears things she really can’t believe – but together with Cole, Hepzibah, and her new friends from the Repository, she’s off on an adventure full of adventure, pirates, possibly some romance, and maybe, just maybe, a hint of fiction – or not. Now, if only Kitty will give her some space to grow up…
The lines between fiction and reality blur in The Poe Estate, which makes it fantastic reading for tweens and young teens. It’s full of imagination and literary references, but first and foremost, it’s fun. Readers start off thinking they’re getting an interesting ghost story, but The Poe Estate becomes so much more – it’s an adventure tale heavily imbued with fantasy and book lovers won’t be able to help but think, “I knew it!” about literary artifacts they’ve always treasured. I don’t want to drop any spoilers, so I’ll just reiterate that any fans of Warehouse 13 will love this book, and fans of something new and exciting, with a light touch of reality, will enjoy. I enjoyed the characters and would love to see more tales from the Repository – after reading, so will you. Anyone unfamiliar with the SyFy Channel series Warehouse 13 can watch episodes here.
Need a good reading group activity to go with this book? Have your readers create their own Repositories, loaded with artifacts they’d track down and store there. And watch a couple of episodes of The Librarians while you’re at it.
Polly Shulman is also the author of The Grimm Legacy (a Bank Street Best Book and Mythopoeic Fantasy Award Finalist) and The Wells Bequest. Her author website includes a list of her books, a bio and FAQ, and social media links.