The Deceivers

HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Bks. (Greystone Secrets: Bk. 2). Apr. 2020. 448p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062838407.
Gr 4-7–In the sequel to The Strangers, Haddix reintroduces 12-year-old Chess (Rochester), 10-year-old Emma, eight-year-old Finn, and their neighbor and partner-in-crime, 13-year-old Natalie. This mystery and science fiction adventure features sleuthing reminiscent of Lemony Snicket’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” Packed with the resourceful ingenuity of kids cracking codes and traveling to other worlds to save their beloved mothers, this installment picks up where the Greystone children’s mom is found but still trapped in the other world, an evil world mirroring their own, with Natalie’s mom. Haddix weaves a dystopian tale about government control, prison reform, fair trials, scapegoats, and the importance of believing people are innocent before proven guilty. Each chapter is told from a different point of view. It is definitely a prerequisite to read book one. The narrative brings up more questions than it solves. How did the people in the other world become bad? Why don’t the kids wonder if they themselves are the impostors of the other world, and not the other way around? Why all the surveillance?
VERDICT This adventurous sequel paves the way for a trilogy where the families save both worlds.

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