Together, they begin their investigation and quickly find a dumbwaiter inside the wall that leads up to a secret room with no doors. The room is filled with books – and it also has a threatening note (written in rhyme) that tells them they should all leave. Of course, the kids have nowhere to go and they’re not going to just walk away from a puzzle.
The story continues to get more creepy and intense (Mallory wakes up with her hair tied in knots to her bed and Simon gets beaten black and blue). Worst of all, Mom blames Jared for everything, and his brother and sister aren’t sure that he didn’t do it. There isn't a whole lot of action yet because everything is getting set up, but the book's atmosphere is spooky and mysterious, which is just how kids like it.
I read these books by myself before I started reading them to my son. I was intrigued. The illustrations and the handsome hardbound editions, especially in the boxed set, are simply a delight. I even bought a set for my wife’s fourth grade class and got the school librarian to order a set for the kids.
I loved watching my son’s mind work as he tried to figure out the puzzles and clues. And it was great to see his imagination kick into high gear as he saw all of DiTerlizzi’s fantastic illustrations.
These are definitely books kids will enjoy. More than that, though, these are truly awesome books to share with your child. Both of you will be carried away to another, slightly darker and more dangerous, world. And you’ll both be stoked for the movie. Trailers for it are on the Internet now.