Ellie Makes Her Move

Holiday House. Feb. 2021. 176p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780823446094.
Gr 4-8–After 12-year-old Ellie’s father’s humanitarian project leads to resentment in her hometown, she and her family relocate to Lakeside. Wanting to avoid being hurt like she was by her old friends, Ellie becomes a loner at her new school. But her new house has a fascinating secret: In the attic, an old spyglass shows not just what is, but all kinds of strange things that can’t be possible. To figure out what’s going on, Ellie recruits some other “loners” at her school, determined to connect with them even when they resist. The writing trots along, making this an immersive, light read. Ellie exhibits admirable traits, but her narration isn’t convincing: From the beginning, she emphasizes wanting to be a loner, but almost right away she tries to befriend people. The spyglass presents an intriguing mystery at first but falls to the wayside and functions only as a convenient plot device as the book goes on. At times, the narrative has a clear plot arc; at others, it seems to be aspiring toward a slice-of-life story, and the result is an unresolved ending.
VERDICT While the writing style makes this a fun read, kids will feel unsatisfied by inconsistent characters and a failure to develop promising story lines.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing