O’Dell, Kathleen The Aviary, 337 pgs. Yearling, 2012. $15.99. Language: G; Violence: PG; Mature Content: G
The Glendoveer Mansion is old and falling apart. Living inside its crumbling walls are the elderly Mrs. Glendoveer, a cook, a housekeeper, and the housekeeper’s daughter, Clara. More than anything Clara would love to go to school and have friends, but her bad heart keeps her always inside. She does love Mrs. Glendoveer and doesn’t begrudge the time spent caring for her, but the aviary in the back garden filled with its screeching birds scares her. One day one of the birds speaks the name, “Elliot,” and Clara finds herself plunged into a mystery that threatens to destroy everything she loves.
This book offers a new twist on the typical ghost story. While the effort should be applauded and the overall story is enjoyable, the book lacks any kind of tension or real sense of mystery. The characters seem bland and the supernatural elements lack the whimsy and magic needed to carry the story.
EL, MS—OPTIONAL. AEB Social Studies Teacher