The Secret of White Stone Gate

Sourcebooks. (Black Hollow Lane: Bk. 2). Mar. 2020. 320p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781492664673.
Gr 4 Up–In this sequel to The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane, Emmy, back at Wellsworth and reunited with her friends Jack and Lola, is looking forward to a school year free from the nefarious secret society known as the Order of Black Hollow Lane. But when Lola is framed for a crime Emmy and Jack know she didn’t commit, it becomes clear that the three tweens are still very unsafe. The Order wants the location of Emmy’s father, and with mounting threats against her friends and family, Emmy scrambles to untangle her relationships and determine whom she can trust. She vows to clear Lola’s name, but she may have to sacrifice someone else in her life to do it. With much of the setting located outside of Wellsworth, Emmy’s second adventure loses some of its homey boarding school feel—but the breakneck pace, mystery, and intrigue remain as constant as in the first installment. Information from the first novel is woven throughout the initial chapters, providing a smooth return to Emmy’s life in England. Although readers well versed in the twists of middle grade mystery may figure out the culprit of one or two deeds before the characters do, with so many surprises throughout, fans will be more than satisfied. Truth is at the center of Emmy’s current predicament, and the story successfully explores this theme while tying up loose ends from the trio’s previous Wellsworth exploits while still leaving room for the next book in the series.
VERDICT A solid sequel with truth and trustworthiness at its core.

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