Open If You Dare
Like Birdie Adams didn't have enough problems this summer. But Birdie's Birdie. And if a long-buried box has "Open if you dare" written on its lid, then Birdie and her best friends, Ally and Rose, are going to open it.And now, along with everything else that's going on--Ally's pitching slump, Rose's banishment to Britain, and Birdie's annoying younger sister being, you know, annoying--the best friends are caught up in solving a mystery planted by a dead girl forty years ago.

Open If You Dare Details

TitleOpen If You Dare
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 17th, 2017
PublisherFeiwel & Friends
ISBN-139781250085726
Rating
GenreMystery, Realistic Fiction, Childrens, Middle Grade

Open If You Dare Review

  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC from NetgalleyBirdie and her friends Ally and Rose have always hung out together, running through their neighborhood and setting up camp on a small island near their homes. When school is out, they spend their summer doing what they have always done, but with a sense of dread hanging over them. When 7th grade starts in the fall, Rose will be back at England and the other two will be at separate middle schools. Rose is irritated with her parents; she considers herself more American than Bri E ARC from NetgalleyBirdie and her friends Ally and Rose have always hung out together, running through their neighborhood and setting up camp on a small island near their homes. When school is out, they spend their summer doing what they have always done, but with a sense of dread hanging over them. When 7th grade starts in the fall, Rose will be back at England and the other two will be at separate middle schools. Rose is irritated with her parents; she considers herself more American than British and doesn't want to leave her friends and return to wearing a uniform to school. She's also tired of being constantly expected to practice violin, and has a huge crush on a boy in their class, Romeo. Ally has her ups and downs on her baseball team, but Birdie is obsessed with a box that the girls have found on their island. It contained an Allman Brothers band concert ticket from 1973, a mood ring, and a cryptic notes saying that the writer, as well as someone else, was dead! Using the clues from the note as well as talking to neighbors, visiting a nursing home, and venturing to the public library, Birdie manages to uncover some information that leads her to believe there wasn't actually a murder, but discovers that solving the mystery is a good way to pass the summer (besides babysitting her younger sister Zora) and make her peace with the changes that the coming year will bring.Strengths: I was close to Birdie's age in 1973, so I thought this one was fun. My best friend and I had a island in the woods where we set up a camp. Ten years ago, when my daughter was this age, she could have talked to original residents of our current neighborhood. There were a lot of things that I enjoyed about this. It wasn't a murder mystery, but it was charming, and the tween drama is very true to life. The twist at the end was fun as well. Very good conversation between Birdie and her mother about how Birdie feels she fits in as a child of a black father and white mother. Weaknesses: A teenager would not have had a mood ring in 1973. They weren't produced until 1975, and they were on the expensive side. Also, I don't think a mood ring would still change colors after being in the damp ground for that long. They're pretty delicate. I can't believe a public library would store old books. It works out well for the mystery, but nobody has that kind of storage space. Children aren't going to know these things, but they also might not like the cover. What I really think: Oh, like Beil's Summer at Forsaken Lake, I'll have to buy this one, and will recommend the heck out of it.
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  • Jill Diamond
    January 1, 1970
    I loved Middleton's first book, THE INFINITY YEAR OF AVALON JAMES, so I was so excited to read OPEN IF YOU DARE. And it sure didn't disappoint! Once again, Middleton captures a voice that feels so authentically MG and overlays it onto a wonderful story. Birdie and her two best friends, Rose and Ally, immediately won my heart and I loved their sweet and respectful relationships. I also loved that each girl was such a distinct personality and character, but the trio's friendship seemed so natural I loved Middleton's first book, THE INFINITY YEAR OF AVALON JAMES, so I was so excited to read OPEN IF YOU DARE. And it sure didn't disappoint! Once again, Middleton captures a voice that feels so authentically MG and overlays it onto a wonderful story. Birdie and her two best friends, Rose and Ally, immediately won my heart and I loved their sweet and respectful relationships. I also loved that each girl was such a distinct personality and character, but the trio's friendship seemed so natural and realistic. Combined with a tale that weaves in themes of growing up, change, family, fun, not to mention an exciting dose of intrigue, Middleton has another winning combination in her second novel!
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  • K.L. Hallam
    January 1, 1970
    Open If You Dare begins with a mysterious box found by three best friends who live in Georgia. From the start, we are thrust into a complicated emotional dilemma between eleven-year-old Birdie Adams and one of her best friends. It’s a one-sided dilemma because Birdie wrestles with a decision that could hurt her best friend, which is the last thing she wants to do. It’s easy to enter into Bird’s world, a supportive family, and best friend’s who are thick as thieves: the pragmatic Rose, and Ally, Open If You Dare begins with a mysterious box found by three best friends who live in Georgia. From the start, we are thrust into a complicated emotional dilemma between eleven-year-old Birdie Adams and one of her best friends. It’s a one-sided dilemma because Birdie wrestles with a decision that could hurt her best friend, which is the last thing she wants to do. It’s easy to enter into Bird’s world, a supportive family, and best friend’s who are thick as thieves: the pragmatic Rose, and Ally, the shining star of the pitching mound. Best friends since the first grade, but after summer they’ll each go separate ways, with Rose moving back to England and middle school separating Bird from Ally. Bird won’t know anyone at middle school and she’s not looking forward to it. It’s their last summer together, and the girls plan on making every day count. Making plans on their special island under the willow tree, they discover a wire and the wire leads to a box underground, with the warning: OPEN IF YOU DARE.The girls dare to open the box, and inside, they find the written words of a twelve-year-old girl from 1973, a mystery and clues. Bird becomes obsessed even when her best friends grow tired of trying to figure out what happened to a Rosie Delgado, the author of the note or the dead girl she mentions. One clue leads to another, but life holds up Bird’s sleuthing. Her family counts on her to watch her little sister, Zora. Bird’s a very good big sister – until the one day she isn’t. That one moment in the chain-of-events, Bird wishes she could change because she didn’t do the right thing for her best friend when she should have. Our choices have consequences, as does our lack of making the right decision. Bird learns this the hard way. One of the worst feelings is when you want to turn back the clock to help a loved one, or two, in this case. Bird’s heartfelt conversation with her mom near the end choked me up. This book shares the pains of growing up, growing apart, and eventually learning to trust yourself and make connections on your own, and the excitement that comes with that journey. It’s a huge part of growing up. There’s a fantastic twist near the end. A fun and compelling mysterious adventure for middle-grade readers ages 9-12. Expected publication: October 17th, 2017 by Feiwel & FriendsReview and Giveaway on The Kidliterati Blog July 24th, 2017
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  • Lisa Tyre
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed Dana Middleton’s debut book, THE INFINITY YEAR OF AVALON JAMES, so I was very interested when I heard she had another book publishing soon. The second I read the blurb on the back of OPEN IF YOU DARE, I was hooked! Like Birdie Adams didn’t have enough problems this summer. But Birdie’s Birdie. And if a long-buried box has “Open if you dare” written on its lid, then Birdie and her best friends, Ally and Rose, are going to open it. And now, along with everything else that’s going on–Ally I enjoyed Dana Middleton’s debut book, THE INFINITY YEAR OF AVALON JAMES, so I was very interested when I heard she had another book publishing soon. The second I read the blurb on the back of OPEN IF YOU DARE, I was hooked! Like Birdie Adams didn’t have enough problems this summer. But Birdie’s Birdie. And if a long-buried box has “Open if you dare” written on its lid, then Birdie and her best friends, Ally and Rose, are going to open it. And now, along with everything else that’s going on–Ally’s pitching slump, Rose’s banishment to Britain, and Birdie’s annoying younger sister being, you know, annoying–the best friends are caught up in solving a mystery planted by a dead girl forty years ago. The idea of a long buried box and a dead girl was an invitation to read that I couldn’t refuse. I figured Ally’s pitching slump and Rose heading to Europe were story lines I would skim through to get to the heart – THE MYSTERY -but something amazing happened as I began to read. Ally and Rose came to life in a big way! Middleton did an amazing job weaving the three story lines together and making me care about each character. As a writer, it was like taking a class on character development.At its heart, OPEN is a mystery and I enjoyed guessing along with Birdie as she followed the clues to a satisfying, and surprising, end. OPEN IF YOU DARE should be on every mystery lover’s To-Be-Read list. I look forward to reading more from Middleton!
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  • Linda V
    January 1, 1970
    Birdie and her best friends Ally and Rose are determined to make the most of their last summer together. Things are changing a little too fast for Birdie as she anticipates entering middle school all alone. Rose's family is moving back to England and Ally is going to a different school. When they discover a mysterious box Birdie becomes wrapped up in the mystery of it's contents. The summer begins to unravel as Ally looses her mojo on the pitchers mound, Rose tries to sabotage the sale of her ho Birdie and her best friends Ally and Rose are determined to make the most of their last summer together. Things are changing a little too fast for Birdie as she anticipates entering middle school all alone. Rose's family is moving back to England and Ally is going to a different school. When they discover a mysterious box Birdie becomes wrapped up in the mystery of it's contents. The summer begins to unravel as Ally looses her mojo on the pitchers mound, Rose tries to sabotage the sale of her house and Birdie stresses over the boy who sent her a Valentine while trying to solve the box mystery. The character's choices are typical of this age group. Some bad decisions, sneaking around and rebellious behaviour. I liked Birdie's relationship with her sister Zora who she took care of, played with, taught, got frustrated and angry with, but really loved. The story line with the three boys and the pitching rivalry was fun. Friends, not friends, almost boyfriend/girlfriend, and competitors. What is typical of this emerging adolescent age group.Fun read for young middle graders.Thank you Net Galley for the ARC to review.
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  • Bethany
    January 1, 1970
    Birdie, Ally, and Rose have always been friends. Best friends. But big changes are coming as Rose's family is moving back to England, and Ally will go to a different middle school next year. Birdie dreads the changes as their final summer together begins.When she finds a mysterious box buried on an off-limits island where the trio spends their time, Birdie dives into the clues for a long-ago murder. Ally and Rose are less agreeable, but they, too, are willing to go along ... for a while. Current Birdie, Ally, and Rose have always been friends. Best friends. But big changes are coming as Rose's family is moving back to England, and Ally will go to a different middle school next year. Birdie dreads the changes as their final summer together begins.When she finds a mysterious box buried on an off-limits island where the trio spends their time, Birdie dives into the clues for a long-ago murder. Ally and Rose are less agreeable, but they, too, are willing to go along ... for a while. Current-day life is more pressing than crimes from decades ago.The three girls shine with individuality, and their friendship sparks many memories of lazy summers on the brink of those teenage years. The murder mystery is an unusual element in a coming-of-age story, but it's handled well and always firmly in the context of Birdie's own anxiety about all the changes coming her way.Highly recommended for readers who crave realistic fiction, and also recommended for those who like some light mystery.(Read as an e-arc via NetGalley.)
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  • Ronda
    January 1, 1970
    The summer before middle school, when everything changes.... Ally, Rose and Birdie have been friends since 1st grade, but this summer is different. Rose is moving back to England and Ally and Birdie will be attending different middle schools. When they find a mysterious box that is labeled Open If You Dare, the three find themselves trying to solve a 40 year old mystery while navigating the changes that come along with turning 12.Review based on ARC provided via NetGalley.
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  • Wendy MacKnight
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book so much. A mystery, a coming of age story, a friendship story - this book has it all. I stayed up late turning pages, desperate to see how it was going to end. This book is wonderful.
  • Michele Knott
    January 1, 1970
    Spot on middle grade voice. Kids are going to relate to everything that happens to these characters. Enjoyed the mystery too!
  • Maureen
    January 1, 1970
    The was a sweet mg novel about how things change as children grow up. I liked the diversity within the characters, both the children and adults. In addition, the mystery was interesting. I did not like the times Birdie let Zora get hurt because she was too busy worrying about herself and her friends. Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the chance to be an early reader in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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  • TJ Burns
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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