Watch Hollow
Deep within the enchanted woods in the town of Watch Hollow stands the once-grand Blackford House, whose halls hold a magical secret: a giant cuckoo clock that does much more than tell time. But when the clock’s gears cease to turn, an evil presence lurking among the trees begins to come out of the shadows.When Lucy and Oliver Tinker arrive in Watch Hollow, they have no idea that anything is wrong. A mysterious stranger has made their father an offer that’s too good for him to refuse. All Mr. Tinker needs to do is fix the clock at Blackford House and fistfuls of gold coins are his to keep.It doesn’t take long, however, for the children to realize that there is more to Blackford House than meets the eye. And before they can entirely understand the strange world they’ve stumbled into, Lucy and Oliver must join forces with a host of magical clock animals to defeat the Garr—a vicious monster that not only wants Blackford House for itself, but also seeks to destroy everything the Tinkers hold dear.

Watch Hollow Details

TitleWatch Hollow
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 12th, 2019
PublisherHarperCollins
ISBN-139780062643452
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Mystery, Gothic

Watch Hollow Review

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    January 1, 1970
    On sale now! Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:Gregory Funaro’s just-published Watch Hollow is a charmingly spooky (or perhaps spookily charming) contemporary fantasy featuring an 11-year-old girl, Lucy Tinker, her 13-year-old brother Oliver, and their clockmaker father … and also a fearsome giant, a boy who mysteriously appears and disappears, and a full dozen magical talking animals sure to warm the hearts of middle grade readers. After a brief prologue with a heart-stopping chase invo On sale now! Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:Gregory Funaro’s just-published Watch Hollow is a charmingly spooky (or perhaps spookily charming) contemporary fantasy featuring an 11-year-old girl, Lucy Tinker, her 13-year-old brother Oliver, and their clockmaker father … and also a fearsome giant, a boy who mysteriously appears and disappears, and a full dozen magical talking animals sure to warm the hearts of middle grade readers. After a brief prologue with a heart-stopping chase involving the giant, a traitorous crow, and a rat named Fennish Seven, the story shifts to our main characters, Lucy and her brother Oliver. Between their mother’s death from cancer two years earlier and their father’s lack of business acumen, the Tinker family is teetering on the brink of financial disaster. So it feels like a huge windfall when a stranger, Mr. Quigley, appears in Tinker’s Clock Shop and offers Mr. Tinker a fortune in gold coins to come to Quigley’s old, abandoned mansion, Blackford House, deep in the woods in Rhode Island, and fix a huge clock that’s built into the home and is the source of electrical power for the home. To sweeten the deal, Lucy and Oliver are invited along.The Tinker family finds Blackford House an ominous place, dingy and dilapidated, with black twisted trees pressing in on every side. The broken clock is ten feet in diameter, with twelve animal-shaped holes where the numbers on the face of the clock would normally appear. Lucy finds two wooden statues of a snarling cat and a cute little dog that are the perfect size to fit in the clock face, but the animals’ positions are the wrong shape. The answer to that mystery is explained (at least in part) that night, when the wooden dog turns into a real one and begs Lucy for her help. Blackford House is sentient but weakened by an evil giant called the Garr who lurks in the woods. The house, its magical clock and animals, and even the Tinkers themselves are in danger.Watch Hollow is an appealing magical adventure with just enough tension and creepiness to keep things exciting for younger readers. Both boys and girls will find the Tinker siblings sympathetic; they’re well-rounded characters with both strengths, like their courage and love, and problems, like Lucy’s tendency to get in fights with a bullying classmate and Oliver’s anxiety about his acne. The animal characters are also delightful, with some distinct personalities. Torsten Six, the little dog, is anxious but loving and eager to trust; Meridian the cat is far more suspicious of the Tinker family.Funaro’s writing has improved noticeably since he wrote his first middle grade novels a few years ago, Alistair Grim's Odditorium and Alistair Grim's Odd Aquaticum. While Watch Hollow isn’t quite as crazily fantastical as those books, I found Watch Hollow more coherent in its plot, with improved flow and characterization. Funaro still occasionally does some telling rather than showing, but overall the plot flows well, with enough depth and interesting details to keep the reader engaged."Everything here was designed to work together in perfect balance ― sunstone and shadow wood, light and dark, day and night. For in such balance there is potent magic.Watch Hollow is the type of book that would lend itself to reading aloud to younger children, as well as being given to middle grade readers who love fantasy, animals, or both. The story ends on an open note (not a cliffhanger, thankfully), with a second book, Watch Hollow: The Alchemist's Shadow, expected in early 2020. I look forward to the further adventures of Lucy and Oliver.Thanks to the author for sending a copy of this book to me for review!
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  • Candace Robinson
    January 1, 1970
    I don’t read a lot of middle grade books but this one was awesome and super fun! Give me weird, magic, and gothic vibes any day! I got sucked right in after the intriguing prologue! Beautiful and magical writing, great characters, and a mysterious house! Also, I could definitely see this one as a movie! 😍
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  • Alexandra
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to the generous offer of an ARC copy from the author.Another imaginative Middle Grade Fantasy, I'm looking forward to what seems to be the promise of a continued story. But don't worry, this has a satisfying end. I'm always on the lookout for good Middle Grade Fantasy stories, and so many end up being anemic or very derivative. Not this one, it's original, imaginative, with age appropriate tense moments and lots of heart.My second win with this author, he's now on my Watch list for future Thanks to the generous offer of an ARC copy from the author.Another imaginative Middle Grade Fantasy, I'm looking forward to what seems to be the promise of a continued story. But don't worry, this has a satisfying end. I'm always on the lookout for good Middle Grade Fantasy stories, and so many end up being anemic or very derivative. Not this one, it's original, imaginative, with age appropriate tense moments and lots of heart.My second win with this author, he's now on my Watch list for future books.
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  • Cameron Chaney
    January 1, 1970
    I've been a reader of Gregory Funaro's books since the very beginning when his novel Alistair Grim's Odditorium was released by Disney Hyperion. The Alistair Grim series was simply magical and is still one of my very favorites. If only Hyperion wasn't so focused on stretching thin their beloved Percy Jackson series, maybe Alistair Grim would have received a third book to wrap up the series. But alas, Disney's publishing is an unfair mess, so we have yet to see what happens to Alistair and his ma I've been a reader of Gregory Funaro's books since the very beginning when his novel Alistair Grim's Odditorium was released by Disney Hyperion. The Alistair Grim series was simply magical and is still one of my very favorites. If only Hyperion wasn't so focused on stretching thin their beloved Percy Jackson series, maybe Alistair Grim would have received a third book to wrap up the series. But alas, Disney's publishing is an unfair mess, so we have yet to see what happens to Alistair and his magical Odditorium. (Please go support that series, by the way. There's still hope for it as long as people keep reading.)Fortunately, Harper has wisely given Funaro a chance to spread his creative wings with the brand-new middle grade fantasy Watch Hollow. The story begins with Lucy Tinker and her family receiving an invite to Blackford House in Watch Hollow to fix a very mysterious clock. While staying at the house, they discover that it isn't a normal place, and neither are the woods bordering the house. In fact, the woods are inhabited by The Garr, a monster that wants Blackford House all to itself. Now it is up to Lucy as the new caretaker of Blackford to protect the house, its magic, and her own family from the beast.Creepy mansions, small towns, giant monsters... Watch Hollow is a decent mix of fantasy and spookiness that never fails to be cute and entertaining. The characters are lovable and the villains are scary, but not too scary. I liked Lucy as a main character, but I liked her brother Oliver even more. It's sweet how closely he looks out for his little sister and even his father. I also like that, since he's a teenager, he's struggling with acne and his voice cracking. You don't often see details about puberty in middle grade fantasy books, but the characters are at that age so it makes sense to reference that. It made Oliver seem more realistic.While the Grim series took place in Victorian times, Watch Hollow is a modern-day tale with a very different feel. This book doesn't have the whimsy and old-fashioned charm of Funaro's previous work, but I don't think it is supposed to. If I had to choose between the two, I prefer the quirky energy of Alistair Grim, but Watch Hollow may appeal more to modern day children.Overall, while not as fleshed out and epic as the Alistair Grim books, this is a worthy addition to your middle grade fantasy shelf and is a great book to put in the hands of children. It has just enough adventure, mystery, spookiness, and cute animals to keep them turning the pages.A big thanks to Gregory Funaro for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review! I'm still drooling over this beautiful cover!
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  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by Young Adult Books CentralLucy and Oliver Tinker's father repairs clocks for a living, but the business isn't doing well. After the death of their mother from cancer, the family moves into an apartment attached to the business and is struggling to make ends meet, to the point where school mates taunt the pair about being on food stamps. When the mysterious Mr. Quigley shows up and offers Mr. Tinker a large sum of money to fix a clock that is built into a house, Watch Hollow, that ARC provided by Young Adult Books CentralLucy and Oliver Tinker's father repairs clocks for a living, but the business isn't doing well. After the death of their mother from cancer, the family moves into an apartment attached to the business and is struggling to make ends meet, to the point where school mates taunt the pair about being on food stamps. When the mysterious Mr. Quigley shows up and offers Mr. Tinker a large sum of money to fix a clock that is built into a house, Watch Hollow, that he has inherited, the family packs up and moves to the wilds of Rhode Island for the summer to complete this task. Of course, the house is big, spooky, and decrepit, and has interesting quirks, like wooden animals. Oliver meets Teddy, the son of the former clock repairman who was unable to fix it, and Lucy finds out that the wooden animals come to life at midnight! It turns out that the clock, which somehow powers the house, feeds off of the power of the Shadow Wood, but evil is lurking there in the form of The Gar, which is trying to get into the house. The Shadow Wood is encroaching on the house and feeding off the fear of the animals and the children, and can only be repelled by Sun Stone and love. While the father and Oliver try various repairs, Lucy tries to figure out how the animals can help save the clock and the house. The ending reveals surprising villains and leaves the door open for a sequel.Watch Hollow is a deliciously spooky setting, and the clock with places for wooden animals is fresh and interesting. Who wouldn't want to befriend a wooden dog named Torsten that comes alive at night? The world building is especially solid in this novel, complete with creepy historical back story of original owners of the house and a complex but sensible reason for how the clock is powered. One fun use of the shadow wood was that the acorns from the trees helped clear up Oliver's acne!Lucy and Oliver don't actually hang out with each other at the beginning of the book, which I thought was especially realistic. Oliver is busy with Teddy and helping his father, and Lucy is more interested in investigating the animals and the original owners. They both learn a lot about the house, but it doesn't make much sense until the communicate and share what they know. It's a good thing they do, because The Gar and his minions are NOT fooling around and want to take over the house. If the children weren't there to stop them, who knows how widely the evil would spread!This is slightly reminiscent (how could it not be?) of the newly popular Bellairs' The House with a Clock in Its Walls, and will be popular with readers who like spooky tales like Oh's Spirit Hunters, Currie's The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street or Schwab's City of Ghosts.I could have done without the death of the mother, the bullying before the children moved, and the premise that love could save the children. The first two are just tropes that have been tremendously overused, and the third is just personal distaste. I wouldn't count on love for anything more serious than tying my shoes. And even that is a bit foolish-- well tied shoes are important.
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  • Gerardo Delgadillo
    January 1, 1970
    5 out of 5 shining stars!I received an ARC ebook from Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review.Wow. Wow. Wow. I loved-loved Watch Hollow. This story is quite different than the Odditorium series, which I also liked a lot. While the latter has a huge, super-cool world, this new book focuses more on the mystery and the characters. Told from dual POVs, the story takes us in a magical adventure to the land of weirdness and coolness. I mean, how cool are talking wooden animals?If I had to define Wat 5 out of 5 shining stars!I received an ARC ebook from Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review.Wow. Wow. Wow. I loved-loved Watch Hollow. This story is quite different than the Odditorium series, which I also liked a lot. While the latter has a huge, super-cool world, this new book focuses more on the mystery and the characters. Told from dual POVs, the story takes us in a magical adventure to the land of weirdness and coolness. I mean, how cool are talking wooden animals?If I had to define Watch Hollow in one word, it would be: Characterization.The characters feel alive and pop out of the page–so good. I’ve read my fair share of middle grade fantasy, and the majority focus on complex magic systems, plotting, or heavy world building. In this tale, the characters are what matter, and every single one have its own personality and quirks, including a pig, a turtle, and a very-impatient cat (all made of wood!).Another aspect that grabbed my attention was the cinematic factor of the novel. It’s one of those novels you can visualize in your head–it’s all about great descriptions without boring the reader.In summary, a very impressive middle grade fantasy novel with excellent characterization and world building. Hey, Hollywood studios, Netflix, movie dudes–make a Watch Hollow movie!More on my blog: https://gerardowrites.wordpress.com/2...
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  • Cheryl
    January 1, 1970
    I first was introduced to this author, Mr. Funaro when he wrote his darker suspense novels. Which I just enjoyed a lot. Than, Mr. Funaro started a new journey into young adult author. The Alistair Grim's Odditorium series is great. It is magical and whimsical. All ages from children, teens, to adults can enjoy that series. Mr. Funaro's newest offering is not to be missed. I absolutely had a magical and fun time getting to know the Tinker's and all of the animals in this book. Mr. Funaro strikes I first was introduced to this author, Mr. Funaro when he wrote his darker suspense novels. Which I just enjoyed a lot. Than, Mr. Funaro started a new journey into young adult author. The Alistair Grim's Odditorium series is great. It is magical and whimsical. All ages from children, teens, to adults can enjoy that series. Mr. Funaro's newest offering is not to be missed. I absolutely had a magical and fun time getting to know the Tinker's and all of the animals in this book. Mr. Funaro strikes gold with Watch Hollow! Guaranteed to be one of the "not to be missed" books of 2019!Lucy Tinker was my favorite. She just went with the flow. She never really questioned why there were magical animals who could talk. All she knew is that she had to save them. Yet, when the situation got tough her brother, Oliver and her dad both came to the rescue as well. Because that is what family does. There are twelve magical animals featured in this book. Although, there are a few that played bigger roles. There is Fennish Seven, a rat, Torsten is a dog, Meridan is a cat, and Tempus Crow. Although, we don't like Tempus Crow as he is the henchman for the evil, Garr. Garr resides in Shadow Woods. He is capturing all of the animals. This book is a quick read. That is the downside to the book; this is because I didn't want it to end. I loved every moment of this book. The ending does lead me to believe that this will not be the last time that readers will see the Tinkers, Fennish Seven, Torsten, and the other animals. Which I really hope is true.
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  • Benjamin Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    I always look forward to a new book by Gregory Funaro but wow, this time he really dials it up to 11!Eleven year-old Lucy Tinker and her older brother Oliver (age 13) are struggling through life after the death of their mom two years earlier. Their father is the proprietor of a small clock repair shop and tries to maintain optimism in the face of very little income and is just trying to get through each day as it comes. But into their life comes a golden opportunity in the form of Mr. Quigley wh I always look forward to a new book by Gregory Funaro but wow, this time he really dials it up to 11!Eleven year-old Lucy Tinker and her older brother Oliver (age 13) are struggling through life after the death of their mom two years earlier. Their father is the proprietor of a small clock repair shop and tries to maintain optimism in the face of very little income and is just trying to get through each day as it comes. But into their life comes a golden opportunity in the form of Mr. Quigley who wants to hire Mr. Tinker. Seems Mr. Quigley has recently bought a once grand house called the “Blackford House” and within it is a huge cuckoo clock that no longer works. He invites the little family to move into the house for the summer while the clock is repaired. The money he offers for the job is staggering. It’s a dream come true for the Tinkers.Not long after their arrival, Lucy and Oliver discover that not all is as it seems and in fact there are some unexplainable and truly magical things happening in the house and the surrounding Shadow Woods. I won’t go into details in order to avoid spoilers but trust me, it’s really cool. Readers will likely identify with either Oliver or Lucy (or both) as they separately discover the magical nature of what they encounter. The build-up through the first half of the plot is enticing and serves to develop these characters nicely. The mystery of the nature of the magic as well as the history of the house also builds, leading to the second half which is filled with exciting, and at many times, scary and perilous action.One thing I always appreciate in a good YA or children’s novel is when the author does not dumb down the plot or the situation. Here, I was pleased to see the scenes when Mr. Tinker and Oliver work on the clock, thoroughly and interestingly describing the mechanics of how cuckoo clocks actually work. As an educated adult, I can tell you I certainly learned a thing or two about winding mechanisms, pendulums, pipe couplings, and conductor spheres and how the various parts work together. But more importantly, several major themes run through this book, including the nature of fear and love, and the importance of balance in all things. In addition, the family must always deal with life after the death of their mother from cancer. From my point-of-view, as someone who has lost an immediate family member in this same way, I can say this is handled extremely well in the book and with just the right amount of subtlety and pathos. Bottom line: this is a wonderful book for young people (and not-so-young), alike. The overarching themes wind their way through an energetic and unique plot that keep the pages turning. This is one of those books that you won’t let things like eating and sleeping get in the way of. While the story is complete in this one volume, there is a brief hint of further adventure to come in just the last couple of paragraphs. I certainly hope so and if so, I’ll be first in line to get my hands on it!
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  • Patty
    January 1, 1970
    Watch HollowByGregory FunaroWhat it's all about...A summer spent trying to fix a clock that defies all reasonableness. The Shadow Woods...a dark wood that seems to grow and grow. Wooden animals who come to life. Acorns that turn into black dust and cure illnesses...these are the things that Oliver and Lucy encounter as their father labors to fix a house clock for an odd little man. But things get more and more dangerous! And more and more mysterious! And more and more unbelievable! Why I wanted Watch HollowByGregory FunaroWhat it's all about...A summer spent trying to fix a clock that defies all reasonableness. The Shadow Woods...a dark wood that seems to grow and grow. Wooden animals who come to life. Acorns that turn into black dust and cure illnesses...these are the things that Oliver and Lucy encounter as their father labors to fix a house clock for an odd little man. But things get more and more dangerous! And more and more mysterious! And more and more unbelievable! Why I wanted to read it...I wanted to read this because of the magic! Lucy...an ordinary girl...is now the caretaker of a magical house. She is on a mission with a magical rat to save other magical animals who are prisoners of “The Garr” in these dark magical woods called The Shadow Woods. Who rules these woods and why do these woods get closer and closer to the house? Yikes! What made me truly enjoy this book...I loved Lucy and the animals...loved them. I loved the courage and the love and the fear that had to be conquered to help the animals and keep magic in this house. Why you should read it, too...Readers who love mystery and suspense and lots of magic...and just a “few” scary bits...these readers will love Lucy and her family. These readers will love the animals...especially Nessie...my favorite...yes...my fave is a rat! These readers will love the way this book ends with a hint and perhaps a promise of more adventure to come. I received an advance reader’s copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss and Amazon. It was my choice to read it and review it.
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  • Jenna (Falling Letters)
    January 1, 1970
    Review originally published 8 January 2019 at Falling Letters. I received a free copy from the author.Watch Hollow is less creepy than the cover implies but Funaro establishes a consistently spooky atmosphere throughout the book. References to iPads and Google searches early on give way to descriptions of a bleak wood and eerie sensations. I enjoyed Lucy’s first impression of the old house – a gradual introduction that shows how unsettling has become. Illustrated clock faces at the top of each c Review originally published 8 January 2019 at Falling Letters. I received a free copy from the author.Watch Hollow is less creepy than the cover implies but Funaro establishes a consistently spooky atmosphere throughout the book. References to iPads and Google searches early on give way to descriptions of a bleak wood and eerie sensations. I enjoyed Lucy’s first impression of the old house – a gradual introduction that shows how unsettling has become. Illustrated clock faces at the top of each chapter emphasize that atmosphere.The story involves a lot of puzzling things out. Puzzle narratives aren’t my favourite, and this isn’t, strictly speaking, what I would call a puzzle book, but I can see a lot of kid appeal here. One type of ‘puzzling out’ I do like is when someone finds themselves having to resolve a problem that’s rooted in the past. I enjoy following how they piece things together bit by bit. Third person narration explores both Lucy and Oliver’s perspectives. They’re dealing with their own problems, which they eventually realize are intertwined. Lucy and Oliver also have to puzzle out how the clock works and how its connected to Watch Hollow, Teddy, the Garr, and the Shadow Wood. There are some creative ideas with the world-building, like the wooden animals who come to life and the power of sunstone and shadow wood.Apart from the fantastic elements, Oliver deals with some of the challenges of puberty, notably acne and voice cracking. I haven’t seen a lot of this in middle grade – perhaps because it’s more common in contemporary fiction than in the speculative fiction that I usually read. The family dynamic between Lucy, Oliver and their father also plays an important role in the narrative.I noted one sentence in which fat was used in a derogatory way. Lucy describes one of her bullies as being fat. This is a small point, but this kind of language – associating meanness with someone’s weight – can be harmful, especially in fiction for children. Lucy also calls Oliver a spaz, which is an ableist term.The Bottom Line: Young readers will find lots to enjoy in Watch Hollow, especially if they have a soft spot for talking animals, monster stories, or a dose of classic spookiness!Original thoughts: I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. I definitely see improvement in this book over Alistair Grimm's Odditorium ! Full review to follow.
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  • Jillian (PidginPea's Book Nook)
    January 1, 1970
    This is being called The Mysterious Benedict Society meets The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place and I am HERE FOR IT.
  • Pop Bop
    January 1, 1970
    A Tale of "Magical Balance""No one can hear you scream in the Shadow Woods."One of Gregory Funaro's previous series was built around Alistair Grim's Odditorium, and while they were fun books they were also a bit manic and were loaded with weird and fantastical inventions. I expected this book would take off on a similar funsy-steampunky-magicky sort of action/adventure path. I was wrong, sort of. This opens as a more carefully, tightly, and elegantly structured book with many lovely throwaway li A Tale of "Magical Balance"“"No one can hear you scream in the Shadow Woods.”"One of Gregory Funaro's previous series was built around Alistair Grim's Odditorium, and while they were fun books they were also a bit manic and were loaded with weird and fantastical inventions. I expected this book would take off on a similar funsy-steampunky-magicky sort of action/adventure path. I was wrong, sort of. This opens as a more carefully, tightly, and elegantly structured book with many lovely throwaway lines and turns of phrase. The characters are appealing and the pace is more measured; the atmosphere and settings more richly imagined. Indeed, the whole magicky angle doesn't even show up until more than a quarter of the way into the book, and well after the Gothic setting and the interesting characters have been established. After that, of course, the magic clock and its weird characteristics start to move to center stage, so there's still quite enough Odditorium-style creativity to satisfy fans.But at the outset it's the quality of the writing that first impresses. Our heroine, eleven year old Lucy, sits cross-legged in the display window of her father's clock shop. She looks out through the backwards word "clock" and the "o" and "c" look like a pair of spectacles. Isn't that a nice image? That's what I'm getting at in terms of writing. The book zips along, but nicely placed lines here and there establish a more interesting atmosphere, more appealing characters, and a more layered fantasy reading experience than what I think of as usual for a middle grade fantasy actioner. Of special interest and appeal is the relationship between the two sibling heroes. Lucy, the younger of the two, and eventually the main character, is a mix of feisty and dreamy. Older Oliver is introduced as a bit of a nerd, but he turns out to be a substantial, empathetic, and resourceful hero. The two siblings support and encourage each other with a deep and authentic mutual understanding and regard that avoids all of the usual battling-siblings cliches you find so often in middle grade fiction. These two appreciate and respect each other, count on each other's strengths, and allow for and forgive each other's weaknesses. It is refreshing and upbeat to have resourceful and self-reliant, but still cooperative, good-humored and supportive, siblings.All of that said, the magical animals, (why have just one when you can have twelve?), do go right up to the edge, and Funaro can't resist having a complex piece of magical machinery at the heart of the action. MILD SPOILER. The house and grounds are constructed of "light" and "dark" materials and they have to be kept in balance. Because the house is out of whack everything is going to pot. Why it's out of balance is the central mystery. But even here the magicopunk is less central to what's going on, and it never overwhelms the heroes. The themes are more personal and character driven, and the energy is drawn more from enchantment than magical mayhem. That said, though, there is more than enough action - hiding, lurking, running, resisting, fighting - to keep the pages turning. At times the book can get a bit complex, (especially toward the end), but there is a fair amount of monologuing and explaining by the characters, and if the reader pays attention to these well placed mini-info dumps it all makes sense.So, this was a treat. Good writing complemented engaging characters, and the magic light/evil angle added a lot to the magicopunk vibe. A nice find.(Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book from the author, through Goodreads, without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)
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  • Brendan
    January 1, 1970
    I had the privilege of reading this as part of an advanced readers group and, WOW! I loved Watch Hollow from page 1. The author pulls you right into the story from the moment it starts.Kids will love the book, to be sure, but as an adult I was reminded - dare I say - of The Boy Who Shall Not Be Named. I tire of the countless books that promise to be the next HP, but this truly grabbed me like no other YA since that famous title.It has magic and mystique, but the kids are grounded in a reality th I had the privilege of reading this as part of an advanced readers group and, WOW! I loved Watch Hollow from page 1. The author pulls you right into the story from the moment it starts.Kids will love the book, to be sure, but as an adult I was reminded - dare I say - of The Boy Who Shall Not Be Named. I tire of the countless books that promise to be the next HP, but this truly grabbed me like no other YA since that famous title.It has magic and mystique, but the kids are grounded in a reality that's relatable to any kid. I cared deeply about the characters and didn't want the book to end. I'm definitely going to recommend this to all my parent-friends.High stakes and high adventure, do your children (and yourself) a favor and pick this up when it comes out! You'll adore it.
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  • Dana
    January 1, 1970
    As I suspected I would, I really enjoyed this book! An enjoyable cast, a giant fantastical cuckoo clock, and a charming (if sometimes unsettling) manor. The story is unique and very intriguing from the get go. The Tinkers are a sweet and loveable family, and my initial love of the characters made for an even more enjoyable read. The mystery was so fun to figure out along with Lucy and Oliver. Their unique friends and the magic they discover along the way make for a fascinating story that keeps y As I suspected I would, I really enjoyed this book! An enjoyable cast, a giant fantastical cuckoo clock, and a charming (if sometimes unsettling) manor. The story is unique and very intriguing from the get go. The Tinkers are a sweet and loveable family, and my initial love of the characters made for an even more enjoyable read. The mystery was so fun to figure out along with Lucy and Oliver. Their unique friends and the magic they discover along the way make for a fascinating story that keeps you reading from start to finish. I quite enjoyed the originality of this story and eagerly await more adventures with the Tinkers!Gregory Funaro has delivered another excellent middle-grade page turner!
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  • Phoenix
    January 1, 1970
    Watch Hollow, by Gregory Funaro. This story is all about mysteries and excitement. Mr. Tinker is a clock repairman. He brought his two children, Lucy and Oliver with him to fix a massive clock. They had moved to a mysterious house for the summer. Little did they all know, something shocking will happen to all of them. Watch Hollow is a must read book! Very appropriate for all ages. Full of mysteries, danger and clues. Read to find out all the excitement with Mr. Tinker and his two children on th Watch Hollow, by Gregory Funaro. This story is all about mysteries and excitement. Mr. Tinker is a clock repairman. He brought his two children, Lucy and Oliver with him to fix a massive clock. They had moved to a mysterious house for the summer. Little did they all know, something shocking will happen to all of them. Watch Hollow is a must read book! Very appropriate for all ages. Full of mysteries, danger and clues. Read to find out all the excitement with Mr. Tinker and his two children on their adventure.
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  • Amelya
    January 1, 1970
    Watch Hollow, by Gregory Funaro, is a story with characters that you will love, and full of mysteries, and excitement. Mr.Tinker, and his two children Oliver, and Lucy moved to Watch Hollow to repair a clock full of mysteries. Little did they know that they would encounter the mystery of their lives. Watch Hollow is a must read book, filled with danger, fear, excitement and mystery. Read on to find out if the Tinkers survive the scary woods.
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  • Kimberly
    January 1, 1970
    Watch Hollow, by Gregory Funaro, is a story for both children and adults. It's a story about Mr. Tinker, a clock repair man and his two children, Oliver and Lucy, they move to Blackford House for the summer to repair a clock in the house. Little did they know they were in for the surprise of their lives. Watch Hollow is a really great book that you must read. Filled with danger, fear, excitement, and mystery. Read on to find out if the Tinkers survive the scary and mysterious woods.
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  • Lucas
    January 1, 1970
    Watch Hollow, by Gregory Funaro, is a story full of mystery and excitement. I think that Gregory Funaro did a wonderful job with the book Watch Hollow. When the owner of the Blackford House needed the clock fixed, he went to Mr.Tinker, so Mr.Tinker and his two children Olaverd and Lucy head to Blackford House and when they got there they saw strange things on the property of Blackford House. This book was very adventurous.
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  • Matthew
    January 1, 1970
    Watch Hollow, by Gregory Funaro, is a good story with characters that you will love by the end of the book. In this book Mr.Tinker was hired to repair a clock in Watch Hollow, Rhode Island and brought his two children with him, Oliver and Lucy. If you like mystery’s and excitement this is the perfect book for you.
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  • Marcus
    January 1, 1970
    Watch Hollow By Gregory Funaro was a very interesting the book about magical creatures which are wood figures an came to life. My favorite part is when Lucy “The Care Taker” finds out that the animals come to life. I recommend this book for summer reading or just reading in general. This book is for all ages.
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  • Isabella
    January 1, 1970
    Watch Hollow by Gregory Funaro is a family friendly book with characters that you will love by the end of the book. Mr.Tinker, a clocksmith and his two children where hired at the Blackford House in Watch Hollow RI. Little did they know what they would encounter.
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  • Samara
    January 1, 1970
    This book was a timeless book where you join Lucy, Oliver, and Mr. Tinker on a journey to a mysterious house with a strange, broken clock. Lucy makes friends with the animals while Oliver helps his father fix the clock. Watch Hollow by Gregory Funaro is an amazing read recommended for middle school ages and up.
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  • Tonja Drecker
    January 1, 1970
    Jam-packed with imagination, this is a fast-paced adventure with something unexpected waiting around every bend.Lucy and Oliver's father has been trying to keep his clock business afloat, but especially after the death of their mother, things aren't exactly easy. When a strange car and an even stranger man come into the picture, it appears that, at least, the financial worries might be taken care of for awhile. But the clock Lucy and Oliver's father is to fix is an intricate part of a strange ho Jam-packed with imagination, this is a fast-paced adventure with something unexpected waiting around every bend.Lucy and Oliver's father has been trying to keep his clock business afloat, but especially after the death of their mother, things aren't exactly easy. When a strange car and an even stranger man come into the picture, it appears that, at least, the financial worries might be taken care of for awhile. But the clock Lucy and Oliver's father is to fix is an intricate part of a strange house. Strange animals dwell there, and an evil monster, Garr, is trying to take everything over. Lucy and Oliver find themselves in the strangest yet most exciting adventure ever.The thing which first struck me about this book was the descriptive writing. Unlike the author's last book, care and time is take to let a perfect setting and atmosphere evolve. While not running into the danger of being overly descriptive, just the right, tiny moments are picked out and brought to life. It sucks the reader right into the store and the characters, allowing them to meet on a personal level right away. And what wonderful characters they are.While things appear to start out relatively normal, the book soon dives into a vivid and fantastic world. The creatures are fantasy pure, teetering on the border of extreme but never crossing over. It's a delight to meet every one. And, of course, the house itself is filled with amazement after amazement, making every nook and cranny an exciting discovery.Lucy and Oliver are a great pair. Each has their very own personality and holds their own strengths. As siblings, they work together well and stand by the others side until the very end. Which is good, considering the very sticky, tense and difficult situations they find themselves in.This is a read for middle graders who love to dive into the realm of imagination and adventure. There's never, ever a boring moment, and it's a world the reader is sure never to forget.I received a complimentary copy and enjoyed the world so much that I wanted to leave my honest thoughts.
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  • Gmr
    January 1, 1970
    The Tinkers are a family that's been through the mill, what with them falling on hard times, and the loss of one of their one, if a world could be shades of grey, theirs would be fading to black. One day, an offer that's SO GOOD it can't possibly be hiding anything dark or sinister (yeah, right, and my name is George Washington) is laid at the feet of their father. He's a kind, loving man, who just wants to see his family out of debt, while somehow rediscovering their joy of life, of togethernes The Tinkers are a family that's been through the mill, what with them falling on hard times, and the loss of one of their one, if a world could be shades of grey, theirs would be fading to black. One day, an offer that's SO GOOD it can't possibly be hiding anything dark or sinister (yeah, right, and my name is George Washington) is laid at the feet of their father. He's a kind, loving man, who just wants to see his family out of debt, while somehow rediscovering their joy of life, of togetherness, despite the cloud of sadness they remain cloaked in. Accepting the "gift" fate has granted him, he takes on the task of fixing a massive clock (with abilities much beyond that of telling time!) in a mysterious old house, in the mysterious (and perhaps enchanted?) dark woods of Watch Hollow. What could go wrong... *-*Right from the start, I felt for Lucy and Oliver. No, I've not had the sadness of my heart breaking in the same way as theirs, but I definitely feel their pain in my own way. They were finding their way through the dark days that absence created and while getting on each other's nerves, they were also constantly on the look out for the other. It was utterly endearing and played an integral part throughout the story, including the DANGEROUS and SUSPENSE FILLED END. Though Oliver liked to reason his way through things, being close to teen-dom, he wasn't always thinking clearly...add in a dose of morose to the heart, and it's easy to see how the wool was pulled over his eyes, and yet I can't find room in my heart to totally write him off as a "bad guy" for his choices. Lucy is an equally lovable character, though prickly in her own right. Worried about worrying everyone else, she kept too many things to herself, but her heart was ever so much in the right place. Her kindness, her caring, her utter desire to do the right thing even when it was the hard thing to do, kept her shining in my eyes, even when her own self-esteem faltered.All in all, it was DARK, and ENCHANTING, filled with HOPE and with DESTRUCTION, but in the end, it reminds us to love the ones we're with, try not to regret the past but most certainly learn from it, and always spare a bit of kindness for a stranger...just, you know, don't invite the darkness in.**ecopy received for review
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  • Sandra Stiles
    January 1, 1970
    One of the best books I've read this year. I love reading middle grade books because I teach middle grade students. This is one that will be on my shelves the day it comes out. Who wouldn’t love a story that had middle school age kids with all of their issues, monsters, a spooky house with talking animals? On top of that there is a monster in the woods called the Garr.The book opens with Lucy Tinker sitting in the display window of her dad’s clock repair shop. She is sitting there because she is One of the best books I've read this year. I love reading middle grade books because I teach middle grade students. This is one that will be on my shelves the day it comes out. Who wouldn’t love a story that had middle school age kids with all of their issues, monsters, a spooky house with talking animals? On top of that there is a monster in the woods called the Garr.The book opens with Lucy Tinker sitting in the display window of her dad’s clock repair shop. She is sitting there because she is in trouble. Her brother is trying to help her father. As they begin to close up a gentleman enters and makes a proposal that seems too good to be true. Mr. Quigley wants Mr. Tinker to repair a cuckoo clock in an old house he has recently acquired. He throws down a large amount of gold as an advance. Up to this point the family has had it financially tough. It doesn’t help that their mother had died from cancer two year before. Lucy seems to be the one who is often impulsive yet seems to be the glue holding them all together. Mr. Tinker agrees to move to the house and fix the clock. It seems that Mr. Quigley didn’t tell them everything they should have known. The house is very peculiar. There are talking animals. The woods seem to be alive with something evil within. Lucy can tell that something is not right. There father is thinking about how far the money would go. Trouble is not that far away. This book definitely takes you on a journey. The characters are very well done. My students could easily identify with them. Some of the problems they face are the same problems my own students face each day. This has easily become one of my favorites of this year. The adventure, magic, overall story will draw you in and hold you there for some time. I highly recommend this book.I received an advance copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.
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  • Ally
    January 1, 1970
    This charming spooky middle-grade thriller was delightful. It reminded a bit of the movie Monster House, just less scary. We follow the story of 11-year-old Lucy and 13-year-old Oliver Tinker. The siblings live in a click shop, with their clocksmith father Charles Tinker. One day a mysterious man shows up at their shop — with a lot of money — wanting to hire Mr. Tinker to repair his clock. But his clock was part of a house and that clock gave the house power. Desperate for money, Mr. Tinker take This charming spooky middle-grade thriller was delightful. It reminded a bit of the movie Monster House, just less scary. We follow the story of 11-year-old Lucy and 13-year-old Oliver Tinker. The siblings live in a click shop, with their clocksmith father Charles Tinker. One day a mysterious man shows up at their shop — with a lot of money — wanting to hire Mr. Tinker to repair his clock. But his clock was part of a house and that clock gave the house power. Desperate for money, Mr. Tinker takes the job offer and soon Lucy and Oliver are their summer vacation at the Victorian style Blackford House. Soon enough the Tinker siblings find out there is more to the house and the forest around it than it seems. In Watch Hollow we follow the narrative of both Lucy and Oliver. However, what is most stricken and how distinct and different the two point of views are. Lucy does feel like a young child: young, curious, courageous and scared. While Oliver’s needs to be smart and be the older sibling while dealing with the start of puberty. Lucy’s sentences were straight forward and simple. And Oliver’s were more complex. It was nice being to feel their ages. There were moments that felt that the siblings could feel or know each other thought which felt a bit unrealistic. Especially when a chapter was focusing on a specific voice. The plot began slow, much like the start of a train, and then quickly built up to a story I had a hard time putting down! (I almost missed my train stop while reading it.) Once Lucy met the animals of the clock the story truly started moving. I enjoyed the puzzles and hints Mr.Funaro left throughout the story giving you a chance to figure out the mystery of the Blackford house. Overall, this was an enjoyable read and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a fun quick spooky/thriller read.4/5
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  • LitPick Student Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    In the book Watch Hollow by Gregory Funaro, the town of Watch Hollow is the home of the Blackford House, an ancient house with a clock that powers the entire house! But soon it stops working Then some unnatural trees begin to creep toward the house from the nearby Shadow Woods and are about to destroy everything - at least that's how it looks! Luckily, the Tinkers - Lucy, Oliver, and their dad - arrive to fix the clock under the supervision of the new owner, Mr. Quigley. All they have to do is f In the book Watch Hollow by Gregory Funaro, the town of Watch Hollow is the home of the Blackford House, an ancient house with a clock that powers the entire house! But soon it stops working Then some unnatural trees begin to creep toward the house from the nearby Shadow Woods and are about to destroy everything - at least that's how it looks! Luckily, the Tinkers - Lucy, Oliver, and their dad - arrive to fix the clock under the supervision of the new owner, Mr. Quigley. All they have to do is fix a cuckoo clock, and they’ll never be poor again, because Mr. Quigley is offering pockets full of authentic gold worth hundreds of dollars! It doesn’t take long for the Tinkers to realize that this offer is too good to be true, but they decide to play along and hopefully get more gold! It can’t be that hard fixing a cuckoo clock, can it? How could it be THAT dangerous? They are about to find out!Opinion: I really enjoyed Watch Hollow by Gregory Funaro because of the way he gave each character their own personality. Some were timid, some were bold, others were confused or reliant. I also enjoyed how I could picture the different places the Tinkers went by the way Gregory Funaro described them. I especially enjoyed the Watch Hollow house because I could picture the dark hallways and secret passageways. My favorite part was how the author mixed magic with modern technology. Readers are sure to finish this book. I give it 5 stars because of how well it was written.I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Christy
    January 1, 1970
    Since the death of their mother, Oliver and Lucy Tinker find their lives unsettled and uncertain. Their father’s clock repair shop is on the brink of bankruptcy when a mysterious man from London offers him what seems a substantial amount of money to repair a cuckoo clock in his recently purchased home, called Blackford House, in Watch Hollow, Rhode Island. The clock, which mysteriously provides electricity to the house, has stopped ticking and, unbeknownst to the Tinkers, safeguards it from evil Since the death of their mother, Oliver and Lucy Tinker find their lives unsettled and uncertain. Their father’s clock repair shop is on the brink of bankruptcy when a mysterious man from London offers him what seems a substantial amount of money to repair a cuckoo clock in his recently purchased home, called Blackford House, in Watch Hollow, Rhode Island. The clock, which mysteriously provides electricity to the house, has stopped ticking and, unbeknownst to the Tinkers, safeguards it from evil lurking in the Shadow Woods, the forest surrounding Blackford House. Lured by the money to be made, Mr. Tinker agrees to move his small family to Blackford House for the summer, where he intends to repair the clock. But from the beginning, Lucy Tinker senses a mysterious air about the house and almost immediately finds herself in the position of caretaker, caught between the goodness of Blackford House and the evilness of Shadow Woods. Gregory Funaro provides his reader with a fun, fast-paced read that holds the attention throughout. He incorporates into the book mystery, magic and adventure, all wrapped around the love a grieving family holds for one another. Although a book for middle-grade readers, adults will enjoy this book as well.
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  • Tangled in Text
    January 1, 1970
    Thrilling and very well developed! I was not expecting to enjoy this middle-school read as much as I did and at times forgot its intended audience because it was extremely entertaining. Watch Hollow could easily be classified as a young adult novel with the amount of thrill and intrigue and I'm lucky to find such a gem written for this reading level. I host a book club for a group of teens taken from domestic abuse and trafficking situations and it is hard to find a clean read that does not have Thrilling and very well developed! I was not expecting to enjoy this middle-school read as much as I did and at times forgot its intended audience because it was extremely entertaining. Watch Hollow could easily be classified as a young adult novel with the amount of thrill and intrigue and I'm lucky to find such a gem written for this reading level. I host a book club for a group of teens taken from domestic abuse and trafficking situations and it is hard to find a clean read that does not have any triggers and sensitive material to navigate around. I feel lucky to have found this one! Watch Hollow is an inspiring book of hope, showcasing the power of love and the strength in opening up. This story advocates for vulnerability because when the characters shared the weight of their struggles, they were able to overcome the shadows literally crawling closer to them together as one. I can't wait to buy each one of my girls a copy to help them escape reality for a bit with this gripping read.
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  • Jenny Gray
    January 1, 1970
    What a beautiful, entertaining read! Throughout the whole story Mr. Funaro gave us just enough clues to make us keep reading. Leaving us on edge yet with so much hope for our young heroes. I loved how he finds balance through magic and love and in the same time makes it so relatable to real life. I love the pace of this story, never getting dull and always full of excitement. This book begins with a family who lost a loved one and are still coping with that loss till a stranger walks into their What a beautiful, entertaining read! Throughout the whole story Mr. Funaro gave us just enough clues to make us keep reading. Leaving us on edge yet with so much hope for our young heroes. I loved how he finds balance through magic and love and in the same time makes it so relatable to real life. I love the pace of this story, never getting dull and always full of excitement. This book begins with a family who lost a loved one and are still coping with that loss till a stranger walks into their lives and completely changes it around on an adventure they will never forget. Though not all strangers are good you realize in the end that fate has a way of bringing you back to your roots (pun intended) and what was destined for you all along. I'm already excited for whats to come for the Tinkers. Mr. Funaro did a great job in telling this story as it's not only an entertaining read for children but for adults as well.
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