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House of Secrets (House of Secrets, Book 1) Paperback – 27 Feb 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks (27 Feb 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 0007490151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007490158
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

“A breakneck, jam-packed, roller coaster of an adventure’ –
J. K. Rowling

“an engrossing page-turner.” – The Guardian

“House of Secrets…serves up everything an eight to twelve year old reader could possibly want from an adventure.” – Love Reading 4 Kids

About the Author

For over twenty-five years, Chris Columbus has written, directed and produced some of the most successful box-office hits, which have established him as a major force in contemporary Hollywood film-making. As a writer, he launched his career with the legendary films Gremlins and The Goonies. Columbus directed and produced the first two films in the blockbuster Harry Potter series and produced the third. More recently, Columbus has directed features such as the hit film Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. As a
director, Columbus has been at the helm of such films as Home Alone and Mrs. Doubtfire.

Ned Vizzini (1981-2013) began writing for the New York Press at the age of fifteen. At seventeen, he was asked to write a piece for the New York Times Magazine, and at nineteen, he published Teen Angst? Naaah…, his autobiography of his years at Stuyvesant High School. His debut teen novel, Be More Chill, was selected for the Today Show Book Club by Judy Blume. It's Kind of a Funny Story, a cult classic, was adapted into a 2010 film starring Zach Galifianakis and named one of the 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels by National Public Radio. The Other Normals, his third novel, was a Junior Library Guild selection. He was the co-author, with Chris Columbus, of the New York Times bestselling fantasy-adventure series House of Secrets. He wrote for the New Yorker and Salon. He also wrote for television, including MTV's hit show Teen Wolf. His work has been translated into twenty-five languages


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Hugh M. Joseph on 28 April 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I just bought a sample of this book and i am absoloutley hooked. I am a big fan of J.K. Rowling, so when i saw her reveiw of this book i had to give it a go and im so glad i did. Really well written it makes a story that could seem so unrealistic, realistic.You can really feel for the kids and all together, it is just brilliant. I would really recomend this book to anyone, any age
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By homeport_uk on 6 May 2013
Format: Hardcover
THE HOUSE OF SECRETS follows three siblings and their family as they are forced to move to a mysterious new house in San Francisco and end up embarking on a journey to retrieve a dark book of untold power.
The Walker kids had it all: loving parents, a big house in San Francisco, all the latest video games . . . But everything changed when their father lost his job. Now the family is moving into Kristoff House, a mysterious place built nearly a century earlier by a troubled fantasy writer. Suddenly the siblings find themselves launched on an epic journey, to retrieve a dark book of untold power and uncover the Walker family's secret history. Oh and save their parents . . . and maybe even the world.

House of Secrets was a brilliant read. Once I had read a few pages, I found it difficult to put down. Well written, fast paced, lots of action and humour. This is a true adventure story about three children, Brendan, Eleanor, and Cordelia Walker, who moves to Kristoff House, perched on or literally over Sea Cliff. The house which appears almost Tardis like is an old Victorian house that once belonged to the Kristoff family.
The house seems way out of the family's budget, especially after the "incident" that is hinted at, that had befallen their surgeon father. However the agent tells them that they are looking for a particular family fallen on hard times and they are that family. Of course things are never that simple and as the story unfolds we learn of the connections between the Walker's and the Kristoff's.
All the children feel uneasy at the house, but the parents love the house, and they decide to buy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dan Thompson on 15 Oct 2013
Format: Hardcover
We really do have to thank JK Rowling for making reading and books enticing for children. Before the Harry Potter series, reading amongst children was on the decline, but it is as strong as ever now, with hundreds, if not thousands of new titles being published each year - all with varying degrees of success. So it was always going to be a winner wasn't it when JK Rowling has a quote saying: "A breakneck, jam-packed, roller coaster of an adventure." written on the cover. But with Ned Vizzini being a popular YA author already and Chris Columbus well-known for the popular 80's film, The Goonies as well as directing some of the Harry Potter films, House of Secrets was always going to be well received and big on adventure.

To be fair, this book had a lot of potential, and yes, it does take you on a hugely action packed adventure, whether that be fighting skeletons, riding with pirates, toppling an evil queen, feeding a giant colossus ... the list goes on. This type of packed adventure will undoubtedly please and excite its 10 year + age group. And in particular, when everything comes to a head in the form of magical battle at the end of the book against the 'Wind Witch' - it gets very exciting indeed! But I'm afraid, for me at least, this is where the positives end. I have numerous qualms with this lengthy book, it's almost difficult to know where to start.

I guess the first qualm is with the writing itself. It must be very difficult writing a book with two authors; each taking a turn to write a chapter before swapping over - and the two voices here are obvious, yet neither successful. It suffers from way too many cliches and badly formed descriptions. At times the books is written quite formally, whereas in other parts, colloquialisms take over and it can get a little confusing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 29 Oct 2013
Format: Hardcover
People who are comparing this book to Harry Potter are just being ridiculous. Just because J.K Rowling has said something good about the book does not mean it is Harry Potter. Adults who are comparing this to Harry Potter must have not read either carefully because there is really nothing much in common because there is pirates and swords and pistol and British pilots from World War One I think.
It is a brilliant book and I felt I was actually there. When Cordelia was feeling pain I could feel pain burning within me.
This is coming form an Nine-year old girl who actually knows the difference between two quite different books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Duncan on 3 Jun 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 11 year old daughter loved this book! A real page turner that she couldn't put down. Can be scary in parts so perhaps not suitable for readers much younger.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kay Chester on 24 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I purchased this book in part because of the recommendation of J K Rowling.
The story is not bad but the characters do not draw the reader into their world; they are a little under developed and consequently the story feels overlong. The premise of the tale is a mixture of "InkHeart" and the usual quest story. I disliked the younger sister finding her very irritating at times. I also think that this is aimed at a slightly younger age group perhaps 9 to 11. "The Emerald Atlas" series is more exiting and a better read.
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