The house in Poplar Wood / K. E. Ormsbee.

Item request has been placed! ×
Item request cannot be made. ×
loading   Processing Request
  • Additional Information
    • Abstract:
      Summary: The Vickery twins, Lee and Felix, live in a house in Poplar Wood, where, because of the "Agreement," their mother serves Memory, and their father assists Death, and only Lee is allowed to leave the house, except for Halloween; but when a local girl is murdered, Gretchen Whipple, daughter of the mayor, offers the boys a deal--help her solve the crime and she will help them break the Agreement, and regain their freedom.
    • ISBN:
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:


Booklist Reviews 2018 July #1

The house in Poplar Wood sits on the outskirts of town. It's here that two Shades reside and conduct their business—Death from his side of the house, Memory from hers—each with the help of a human apprentice. It is also home to Felix and Lee Vickery, twin boys, who are expected to take over their parents' apprenticeships one day. In town, Gretchen Whipple seethes at being barred from the "family business" of summoning (performing rites to keep the Shades in check), simply because she's not firstborn. When she overhears a conversation suggesting that a high-school girl's recent death wasn't an accident, as reported, she decides to find out what really happened, though it means teaming up with the "enemy" Vickery boys. Narration shifts among the three kids, drawing readers into their secretive worlds, and the foreboding atmosphere perfectly matches the dark mystery and high stakes confronting the middle-schoolers. In their search for truth, they are able to see beyond old family prejudices, while Ormsbee's invented mythology bestows complexity and richness to the story.  Grades 5-8. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2019 Spring

Ormsbee personifies Death and Memory and indentures a human family to them in this allegorical story set in present-day Tennessee. Once readers surrender to the premise, they'll be swept up in the attempts of twins Lee and Felix to escape their family's Agreement with help from strange new-girl Gretchen. Magical, mysterious, and somewhat macabre, their story escalates to a rousing conclusion. Copyright 2019 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

PW Reviews 2018 July #1

In Boone Ridge, Tenn., 13-year-old twins Lee and Felix Vickery live at opposite ends of the same house. Per the Agreement, Lee lives with his mother and Memory in the warm west end, where he jars and labels memories ("sealed tight") before he leaves the house for school. Felix has it harder; he lives with his father in the frigid east end, serving Death and stirring healing broths ("brewed right"), but never leaving the house except for one day each year: on Halloween, Death takes a holiday, and Felix can finally venture beyond their home and adjacent wood. After Gretchen Whipple, sworn enemy of the Vickerys and daughter of the town's most powerful family, stumbles into the brothers at a Halloween bonfire, she strikes a deal with them: if they help her investigate a mysterious death, she'll help them break the Agreement. With expert pacing and detailed worldbuilding, the story unfurls into a smart, thrilling mystery, equal parts dark and gentle, that explores questions about freedom, power, and choosing one's master. Ages 8–12. Agent: Beth Phelan, Gallt & Zacker. (Aug.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.