The Strangers (Greystone Secrets, #1)
Told in alternating points of view from Chess, Emma, and Finn Greystone, Greystone Secrets #1: The Strangers is the beginning of a new page-turning adventure that examines assumptions about identity, family, and home, from the master of middle grade suspense.What makes you you?The Greystone kids thought they knew. Chess has always been the protector over his younger siblings, Emma loves math, and Finn does what Finn does best—acting silly and being adored. They’ve been a happy family, just the three of them and their mom.But everything changes when reports of three kidnapped children—who share the same first and middle names, ages, and exact birth dates as the Greystone kids—reach the Greystone family. This bizarre coincidence makes them wonder: Who exactly are these strangers? Before Chess, Emma, and Finn can question their mom about it, she takes off on a mysterious work trip. But puzzling clues left behind lead to complex codes, hidden rooms, and a dangerous secret that will turn their world upside down.

The Strangers (Greystone Secrets, #1) Details

TitleThe Strangers (Greystone Secrets, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 2nd, 2019
PublisherKatherine Tegen Books
ISBN-139780062838391
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Mystery, Fantasy, Fiction

The Strangers (Greystone Secrets, #1) Review

  • Jessie_Book
    January 1, 1970
    My recommendation to anyone who wants to read this book is to go in almost completely blind. This book is like a puzzle. Trying to put the pieces together as you read this book is half the fun. I'll confess that my theory didn’t pan out but I did still enjoy it!If you have read any other Haddix book you are going to enjoy this one. This book has mystery and intrigue in abundance. So much so that I had a hard time putting it down even when it too late in the night and later too early in the morni My recommendation to anyone who wants to read this book is to go in almost completely blind. This book is like a puzzle. Trying to put the pieces together as you read this book is half the fun. I'll confess that my theory didn’t pan out but I did still enjoy it!If you have read any other Haddix book you are going to enjoy this one. This book has mystery and intrigue in abundance. So much so that I had a hard time putting it down even when it too late in the night and later too early in the morning. Though I lost some interest in the book after the puzzle was solved.
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  • Books on Stereo
    January 1, 1970
    A fun, alternate universe story.
  • Violet Sinclair
    January 1, 1970
    DISCLAIMER: I received a digital review copy of THE STRANGERS via Edelweiss Above the Treeline in exchange for an honest reviewLet me just start by saying...WHAT THE HECK WAS THATI shouldn’t expect anything other than amazing plot twists from Margaret Peterson Haddix, but wow. This one was really just...wow.A LITTLE SUMMARY:This story is basically about three kids - Chess, Emma, and Finn Greystone - who come home from school one day, and overhear a news broadcast talking about three kids from Ar DISCLAIMER: I received a digital review copy of THE STRANGERS via Edelweiss Above the Treeline in exchange for an honest reviewLet me just start by saying...WHAT THE HECK WAS THATI shouldn’t expect anything other than amazing plot twists from Margaret Peterson Haddix, but wow. This one was really just...wow.A LITTLE SUMMARY:This story is basically about three kids - Chess, Emma, and Finn Greystone - who come home from school one day, and overhear a news broadcast talking about three kids from Arizona who were kidnapped with their exact same names, which definitely creeps these kids out. The day after that happens, their mom announces that she’s going on an unexpected business trip and doesn’t know when she’ll come back. The Greystone kids then go to live with a woman who used to be friends with their mom, and who has a daughter of her own, Natalie. From there, they start to notice a bunch of screwy things going on and decide to investigate, sending the four kids on this crazy mission.Okay, I can’t say too much without giving away spoilers and believe me, you do not want to get spoilers for this book, but think Nickelodeon’s mystery series HUNTER STREET meets Netflix’s STRANGER THINGS.But yeah, all in all, definitely one of my favorite Haddix books, and definitely purchasing when it gets released.
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  • Tiffany Miss.Fiction
    January 1, 1970
    I received a digital review copy of THE STRANGERS via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest reviewWe follow the story of the siblings Chess, Emma and Finn. One day, after coming home from school, they discover from TV that some children with their exact same names and birthdate were kidnapped in Arizona. The day after, their mom leaves for a business trip and leave them with the stranger Mrs. Morales and her daughter Natalie but soon, they will find out that their mom is not coming back and a huge I received a digital review copy of THE STRANGERS via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest reviewWe follow the story of the siblings Chess, Emma and Finn. One day, after coming home from school, they discover from TV that some children with their exact same names and birthdate were kidnapped in Arizona. The day after, their mom leaves for a business trip and leave them with the stranger Mrs. Morales and her daughter Natalie but soon, they will find out that their mom is not coming back and a huge mystery floats around them, those kidnapped kids and their mom's past. 3.5 Stars.I really liked the first part, it was a full 4.5 stars but at 70% of the book i quiet lost interest and the story felt a lot less believable (even thou the sci-fi elements are not bad at all) but still, i enjoyed myself very much and couldn't wait to find out what was happening.I really liked how the three point of views from each child is developed and explains a little bit more, not only about the story and the plot that progress, but even what they are feeling, what they are thinking individually and how each of them is different and at a different age stage.I think this is seriously an excellent middle grade and i can't wait to read more about the Greystone kids!
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  • Jenni Frencham
    January 1, 1970
    Haddix, Margaret Peterson. The Strangers. Katherine Tegen Books, 2019.Chess, Emma, and Finn come home from school to find their mother staring at her laptop, where there is a news recording of three children in Arizona who have been kidnapped. Three children who have the exact same first and middle names as they do and who share their birthdays. The next day their mother has to leave town for work, and the trio stumble into a mystery that has them looking for clues, breaking secret codes, and tr Haddix, Margaret Peterson. The Strangers. Katherine Tegen Books, 2019.Chess, Emma, and Finn come home from school to find their mother staring at her laptop, where there is a news recording of three children in Arizona who have been kidnapped. Three children who have the exact same first and middle names as they do and who share their birthdays. The next day their mother has to leave town for work, and the trio stumble into a mystery that has them looking for clues, breaking secret codes, and traveling to other worlds. I remember reading and loving Haddix's Hidden Children series as well as her book Running Out of Time. I was very excited, then, to receive a digital ARC of this book to review. Similar to Haddix's other books, this book is filled with lots of action and adventure to help keep kids reading and turning the pages. Unlike many of her other works, though, this one has a rather slow build. There is a lot of explanation and a lot of description of the kids sitting around trying to figure things out. If you have read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, you'll remember the 100+ pages when Harry and Hermione (and sometimes Ron) are camping - they move from place to place and keep trying to figure things out, but there isn't much action in that section of the book. It's the same in this book for the first 75% or so. It's a very slow build up, which makes it quite different from many other of Haddix's shorter, compelling stories. Because of this, I wouldn't give this book to a reluctant or struggling reader, but I would give it to a child who enjoyed A Wrinkle in Time, and I would give it to a child who had read all of Haddix's other works and was looking for a new book to read. The story is interesting, but not compelling. It's a solid clean read, though, so keep it on your shelves for patrons who want books without violence or language. Recommended for: middle gradeRed Flags: mild perilOverall Rating: 4/5 starsRead-Alikes: Book Scavenger, What We Found In the Sofa and How It Saved the World, A Wrinkle in TimeI received a complimentary copy of this book through Edelweiss for the purpose of review.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this DRC! I can say, without a doubt, that this new series will be an incredible hit! Filled with suspense and twists you don't always see coming, I couldn't put this one down. I loved how it is written in the three different voices of the children. This allows the reader a deeper understanding of the family relationships as well as each character's strengths and flaws. I don't want to write much about the plot for fear of ruining the suspense. Suffice i Thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this DRC! I can say, without a doubt, that this new series will be an incredible hit! Filled with suspense and twists you don't always see coming, I couldn't put this one down. I loved how it is written in the three different voices of the children. This allows the reader a deeper understanding of the family relationships as well as each character's strengths and flaws. I don't want to write much about the plot for fear of ruining the suspense. Suffice it to say that middle grade readers will eat this up! I am anxiously awaiting the next installment of this series!Margaret Petereson Haddix has done it again!
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  • Beth Bryden-miller
    January 1, 1970
    Alternate universe the premise is intriguing but takes a while to get there. The ages of the kids makes it awkward for middle school. Would recommend as a purchase for higher elementary.
  • Denise
    January 1, 1970
    I want to start this by saying, I dont normally read middle grade books, but the plot of this sounded interesting and It was available to me immediately at the library to reserve before it was published. I did not at all expect to be so drawn in my the story. Its close to see how resemblances to A Wrinkle In Time have been made, and I would go a step further to say that it also has a big Stranger Things vibe going on too. Part of it is magical realism, though it's definitely rooted more in reali I want to start this by saying, I dont normally read middle grade books, but the plot of this sounded interesting and It was available to me immediately at the library to reserve before it was published. I did not at all expect to be so drawn in my the story. Its close to see how resemblances to A Wrinkle In Time have been made, and I would go a step further to say that it also has a big Stranger Things vibe going on too. Part of it is magical realism, though it's definitely rooted more in reality and technology than the two aforementioned examples.Three siblings go missing, and three other siblings with the same names, birthdays, and other similar characteristics suddenly have to deal with changes in their world that seem beyond comprehension. Their mother leaves for an unexpected trip, they are left with a woman who they have never met before, and her daughter that seems to know more about what's going on than they do...but as you get through the book you quickly find out that none of them could have thought of what was truly going on in their wildest dreams.From genius riddles and puzzles that need to be solved, code words like succotash, and a cliffhanger ending that will leave you wanting more...this book offers up great adventures for kids and keeps their imagination on their toes from page to page. A highly original story, and jam packed with mystery and intrigue.
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  • Giselle Bradley
    January 1, 1970
    DNF'd 7% in.
  • Melanie Dulaney
    January 1, 1970
    Margaret Peterson Haddix is one of the 3 most read authors in my 5th grade library after removing the graphic novels and never-ending Jeff Kinney books. She, Mary Downing Hahn, and Peg Kehret never fail to excite my students with their edge-of-your-seat action/adventure novels. I expect that this newest Haddix series, Greystone Secrets, will have as long a waiting list as her Shadow Children and Missing series always do. Summaries of book 1, “The Strangers” abound and I will not repeat those her Margaret Peterson Haddix is one of the 3 most read authors in my 5th grade library after removing the graphic novels and never-ending Jeff Kinney books. She, Mary Downing Hahn, and Peg Kehret never fail to excite my students with their edge-of-your-seat action/adventure novels. I expect that this newest Haddix series, Greystone Secrets, will have as long a waiting list as her Shadow Children and Missing series always do. Summaries of book 1, “The Strangers” abound and I will not repeat those here, but will add a few literary comments. Telling the tale from the perspectives of all 3 abandoned siblings provides a thorough look at every event as it occurs and allows for complete character profiles of out-going 2nd grader Finn, analytical Math genius Emma, and protective older brother Chess. Strong-willed Natalie shows clear changes in her personality as fear and need force her to respond to the rapidly changing world around her. Readers who want a light, don’t have to think about it much, “fluffy” novel will need to stick to the earlier mentioned Diary of a Wimpy Kid type of book, but 5th graders and up who are looking for a fast-paced, slightly sci-fi, make-you-think book need to keep this one at the top of their “want to read” list and then get it as soon as possible. Librarians could easily place this one in upper elementary through 9th grade collections. Content note: no profanity, sexual content, or blood and gore. Thanks for the dARC, Edelweiss!
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  • Mark Buxton
    January 1, 1970
    My name is Emma, and I'm figuring out that our mom has some untold secrets. Finn, Chess, and I got our first hint of them when the news reported a kidnapping of two brothers and a sister. We thought it was really strange that the kids had the same names and birthdays as us. I love math, but even I couldn't figure out the odds of that coincidence. Our mom seemed a disturbed by the story and then she announced she needed to leave on a business trip. Well, to make a long story short, we now believe My name is Emma, and I'm figuring out that our mom has some untold secrets. Finn, Chess, and I got our first hint of them when the news reported a kidnapping of two brothers and a sister. We thought it was really strange that the kids had the same names and birthdays as us. I love math, but even I couldn't figure out the odds of that coincidence. Our mom seemed a disturbed by the story and then she announced she needed to leave on a business trip. Well, to make a long story short, we now believe she may know more about those kids than she said. We've discovered a coded message she left for us in the Boring Room and a secret passage behind a hidden door. We have no idea what it all means, but we're sure going to find out. Overall, this book didn't work for me, although it may appeal to others. The big secret was interesting and creative, but the plot moved too slowly. The information regarding the kidnapped kids and the mother's past were too vague, and there wasn't much clarity until the book's halfway point. The story became more engaging once Emma and her brothers started to decode the mother's message. A curious twist was the mother didn't expect them to discover anything until years had passed. She never imagined her kids would be capable of decoding her message. I felt Emma and Finn's characters were more well-developed. Emma brought systematic, mathematical logic to the problem-solving, while Finn's thoughts were more trusting and simple. Chess was the oldest child, but he didn't seem to fit the leadership role, until later in the book. My feelings are obviously subjective, and I can see how someone else might totally disagree with me. I don't plan on reading the sequel, but I won't be surprised if you love the series.
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  • Melanie Dulaney
    January 1, 1970
    Margaret Peterson Haddix is one of the 3 most read authors in my 5th grade library after removing the graphic novels and never-ending Jeff Kinney books. She, Mary Downing Hahn, and Peg Kehret never fail to excite my students with their edge-of-your-seat action/adventure novels. I expect that this newest Haddix series, Greystone Secrets, will have as long a waiting list as her Shadow Children and Missing series always do. Summaries of book 1, “The Strangers” abound and I will not repeat those her Margaret Peterson Haddix is one of the 3 most read authors in my 5th grade library after removing the graphic novels and never-ending Jeff Kinney books. She, Mary Downing Hahn, and Peg Kehret never fail to excite my students with their edge-of-your-seat action/adventure novels. I expect that this newest Haddix series, Greystone Secrets, will have as long a waiting list as her Shadow Children and Missing series always do. Summaries of book 1, “The Strangers” abound and I will not repeat those here, but will add a few literary comments. Telling the tale from the perspectives of all 3 abandoned siblings provides a complete look at every event as it occurs and allows for complete character profiles of out-going 2nd grader Finn, analytical Math genius Emma, and protective older brother Chess. Strong-willed Natalie shows clear changes in her personality as fear and need force her to respond to the rapidly changing world around her. Readers who want a light, don’t have to think about it much, “fluffy” novel will need to stick to the earlier mentioned Diary of a Wimpy Kid type of book, but 5th graders and up who are looking for a fast-paced, slightly sci-fi, make-you-think book need to keep this one at the top of their “want to read” list and then get it as soon as possible. Librarians could easily place this one in upper elementary through 9th grade collections. Content note: no profanity, sexual content, or blood and gore.
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  • Brittney
    January 1, 1970
    *Thank you so much Katherine Tegan Books at HarperCollins for providing me an eARC from Edelweiss in exchanged for an honest review.*dnfed at 60%1.75 / 5 stars The Greystone children have always had a happy, close relationship with their mother. When a kidnapping occurs that hits too close to home, all things become chaotic for this family. The Greystone children are separated from their mother after she mysteriously goes away for work and they are left to hunt for answers.I really tried to enj *Thank you so much Katherine Tegan Books at HarperCollins for providing me an eARC from Edelweiss in exchanged for an honest review.*dnfed at 60%1.75 / 5 stars The Greystone children have always had a happy, close relationship with their mother. When a kidnapping occurs that hits too close to home, all things become chaotic for this family. The Greystone children are separated from their mother after she mysteriously goes away for work and they are left to hunt for answers.I really tried to enjoy this one, but I just could not. There was nothing unique about the children and it was so hard to differentiate who was who. I could not remember which personality traits went with each child. As I read each chapter I could not remember which child’s POV was being used. I thought that all the characters were so bland and the mystery was extremely lacking. I was intrigued by the mystery as well as few things that occur; ultimately though the mystery was not that great to me. While the mystery is interesting, not much happens in this story. When all the elements are combined together, it’s just not enough to hold my interest despite of how much I wish it would.I gave this book a fair shot, but it just was not for me. I think this book would be a good middle grade for those just entering a more middle grade reading transition. However, I have read amazing middle grade that I adore so age difference is not the main issue for me and this book.
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  • Natalie [genreneutralreader]
    January 1, 1970
    This was a cute mystery adventure book for the middle-grade set. It held my interest and I enjoyed it. I would recommend it for mostly younger middle-grade readers as I think older ones, and especially teens might find it TOO immature for them. The love between the siblings and their mother was really sweet, though there was none of the typical angst, jealousy or fighting that would have made it more realistic to me. There wasn't really a "lesson-to-be-learned" in The Strangers, either, which is This was a cute mystery adventure book for the middle-grade set. It held my interest and I enjoyed it. I would recommend it for mostly younger middle-grade readers as I think older ones, and especially teens might find it TOO immature for them. The love between the siblings and their mother was really sweet, though there was none of the typical angst, jealousy or fighting that would have made it more realistic to me. There wasn't really a "lesson-to-be-learned" in The Strangers, either, which is what I look for in a really good juvenile book. And while the fact that this is going to be a series explains why there is an unresolved ending, I wished for a bit more resolution and explanation. (I hate it when I have to censor myself so much that my review doesn't feel complete, but I don't want to give away anything about the mystery of this story.)I think most kids would find The Strangers a really fun way to spend some hours.
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    Since this is book #1, you know going in there will be a cliffhanger. I hadn't anticipated just how good a cliffhanger there would be. Good plot, but more important is the character development. The four kids featured in this book all have different personalities and they come through. I feel like I could strike up a conversation with any of them, knowing them as well as I do after only one book.
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  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    Oh I would have loved this book when I was growing up! Great story and it’s like a puzzle figuring it out. This is just book one so some things are solved by the end but others not. Loved all the characters of the kids and how each contributed to the story.
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  • Haley Yoesting 🌻
    January 1, 1970
    4.5
  • Radha
    January 1, 1970
    It was ok. I was hoping/expecting more mystery, but it was more Science fiction based than anything else. It was just fine. The characters are cute. But nothing too memorable or distinguishable.
  • Amanda Mae
    January 1, 1970
    This book wasn’t bad or anything — on the contrary, I quite liked the mystery and sci-fi elements — but it’s DEFINITELY a middle grade book.
  • Shae McDaniel
    January 1, 1970
    I very much enjoy books that make me feel tense as an adult and would have made me feel tense as a kid, but for different reasons. Layered writing, friends!
  • Caitlin Hoffer
    January 1, 1970
    I was so hooked for the first 3/4 of this book. The last 1/4 was fine, but it was all action action action. Not my jam. I'll hopefully remember what the pull was when the next one comes out.
  • Alison
    January 1, 1970
    Another great adventure by Haddix! I couldn’t put this down.
  • Jessica Hernandez
    January 1, 1970
    OMG! Such a fun book! It's like reading a modern A wrinkle in Time. And like nothing I've read before at the same time. My only problem is that the book ends on cliff hanger and I need the next book in the series now! Having the multi-perspective of the three Greystone kids makes the book so much more interesting. You really feel like you understand what each child is going through and how different and similar 8,10, and 12 year olds are.
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  • Jennifer Hill
    January 1, 1970
    LOVE it! I don't think I've read or heard of any book like it. But it did remind me of "Stranger Things" a little which I can use to promote it to my students! What a novel concept of an alternative world with our doppelgangers there. Really gave me something to think about. There is mystery and intrigue from the beginning. Three kids with their exact names and birthdays go missing in Arizona and then the Greystone kid's mom has to go somewhere on business and they must stay with a lady who they LOVE it! I don't think I've read or heard of any book like it. But it did remind me of "Stranger Things" a little which I can use to promote it to my students! What a novel concept of an alternative world with our doppelgangers there. Really gave me something to think about. There is mystery and intrigue from the beginning. Three kids with their exact names and birthdays go missing in Arizona and then the Greystone kid's mom has to go somewhere on business and they must stay with a lady who they've never stayed with before. They still go back to their house to check on their cat and when they do they find their mom's cell phone pre-programmed with text messages to them, her laptop, and the key to a room in the basement. They discover that it has a secret tunnel to another house. As they start to research about the missing kids, their mom's website designs, and other clues they begin to realize there is an alternate world and they are from there.
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  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    See, here's the issue. Every Haddix book sounds SUPER AWESOME, but the execution of it always leaves me cold. Take this book for example. One day the three MC siblings come home to find their mother in the kitchen, in shock because three children halfway across the country have been kidnapped. They were incredibly similar to the three MCs, the same age, had the same birthdates, same first and middle names, as well as being siblings. She then leaves on a "business trip", which is obviously a cove See, here's the issue. Every Haddix book sounds SUPER AWESOME, but the execution of it always leaves me cold. Take this book for example. One day the three MC siblings come home to find their mother in the kitchen, in shock because three children halfway across the country have been kidnapped. They were incredibly similar to the three MCs, the same age, had the same birthdates, same first and middle names, as well as being siblings. She then leaves on a "business trip", which is obviously a cover for trying to at the least protect her own kids or at the most, find and save those three. Sounds cool, until I realized that this suffers from the Harry Potter "adults don't tell the kids ANYthing in a misguided attempt to protect them, when the kids are going to get involved and make stupid/dangerous mistakes because they don't know any better, because those who have the knowledge won't share it" trope. I mean, HONESTLY, wouldn't knowing the kids are connected to a parallel world to the one they are living in, the political climate, language, maps of that world and who they should and shouldn't trust on BOTH worlds, etc., be handy for them to know? So they could, for example, have a finely tuned stranger danger warning system and response? Maybe stay under the radar and not garner attention? I HATE that trope and unless the book with that trope is as good or better than Harry Potter, there is no way I will be able to tolerate it.This book is no Harry Potter.Also, this book has the Disney trope of only one parent, as the dad died when the oldest kid, now 12, was four. And then, without tell the kids ANYthing, the mom goes off, with her phone set to send out automatic messages every day, until a week later when the last message was, "sorry kids, I'm never coming back, don't worry or try to look for me." Say WHUT??!?And YET, despite the whole, don't look for me or worry, she left ALL OF THESE CLUES for her kids to follow. So which is it, don't worry, but I'm skipping out on you or come and find me, despite me skipping out on you?So yeah, COMPLETELY didn't like the mom skipping out on her kids plot, especially since there is no other parent.Also, the youngest child was SO ANNOYING. Now, we get to see inside of his head, as each chapter alternates between all three siblings, so it kind of explained the thought process, or lack thereof, of the character and he IS only eight AND the baby of the family, used to getting laughs and all of the attention, but I was not amused. At least the two older kids thought things through before acting, but the youngest one? Yeah, no. I'm sure he was written true to life, but it didn't do anything positive for me.DNF at 172 pages, with a peek at the end to see if it was worth me finishing it. It was not. 2 stars because it is written well for the middle grade level, but it doesn't translate well for older than that age group. Also, first of a series with a cliff-hanger ending so you HAVE to read the next one to finish the whole story arc and I am done.This would be good for a voracious middle grade reader who likes big books (this one clocks in around 400 or so) and a continuing series. Not for me, but I will recommend to customers and get copies for the kids in my life who I think would enjoy it. Not against the book, but it wasn't my cuppa.
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  • Becky B
    January 1, 1970
    The three Greystone kids' lives are pretty ordinary until the day there's news of a kidnapping of three kids with the exact same first and middle names and same birthdays in Arizona. The Greystones live in Ohio, but the similarities seem uncanny to them, and it seems to really shake their mother. Since their dad passed away years ago, when their mom announces she has to go on a sudden business trip, the kids have to stay with practical strangers, Ms Morales and her daughter Natalie. When the kid The three Greystone kids' lives are pretty ordinary until the day there's news of a kidnapping of three kids with the exact same first and middle names and same birthdays in Arizona. The Greystones live in Ohio, but the similarities seem uncanny to them, and it seems to really shake their mother. Since their dad passed away years ago, when their mom announces she has to go on a sudden business trip, the kids have to stay with practical strangers, Ms Morales and her daughter Natalie. When the kids find their mom's laptops and phone still at the house when they go to care for their cat, they start to get suspicious. They get even more suspicious when they see the messages Mom has left on her phone to be delivered to Ms Morales in her absence. Does her disappearance have something to do with the missing kids? A file in code on their mom's computer might have answers, and so might the mysterious hidden room they find in the basement.I listened to this book on audio during a trip on Songkran break. Audio is not my preferred reading method. I am a very visual learner and over the years I've realized that that means I really prefer to see what I'm reading. (I also read way, WAY faster than someone can talk. I bumped the speed up to a average of 1.5 and it still took hours longer to listen to the book than it would have taken me to read it.) But I also get carsick if I try to read, so it is better than nothing. All that to say, the format of absorbing the book definitely affected my rating of the story. The way the author read the kids' voices made the book seem a little more juvenile than it may have come off in my head. I still think the middle school readers at my school will love this book and its tantalizing mysteries and premise. They absolutely LOVE Haddix's Missing series, and her Shadow Children series, and several other of her books, so this should get immediately snatched up. Haddix seems to have gone on a streak of writing a bunch of books about kids with mysterious backgrounds of late. Between this one, her Children of Exile series, and Under Their Skin she's got three series that all start off with kids thinking they are normal but then finding out that maybe that's not so much the case. Of course, all three series go in very different directions from there. I listened to a webcast of Haddix talking about the Greystone Secrets yesterday and she said this story was actually inspired by a real news story about a woman who stopped driving after she heard about a car accident that killed three children all the same ages as her own children, 2 of which had the same names as her kids and the 3rd would have had the same name if the girl had been a boy. It was interesting to hear how that inspired this story. Highly recommended to kids who like mystery/thrillers, code breaking, and books with touches of scifi.Notes on content: No language issues. No sexual content. Violence is threatened, but most people seem ok (for now...there's a bit of a cliffhanger). A past murder is mentioned. There's some manipulation by mysterious substances at one point.
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  • Marilla
    January 1, 1970
    This was a quick and easy read.The chapters were short, and I loved how we got to know the thought processes and fears and wants of each of the three Greystone siblings. I also enjoyed the novelty of having them be 8, 10, and 12, even though of course Finn's chapters were more simplistic.Emma was fabulous and I love her and also Chess is so responsible even in his self-doubt and, you know, the fact that he's 12. I love how close the siblings are, and how close they are to their mother.I really d This was a quick and easy read.The chapters were short, and I loved how we got to know the thought processes and fears and wants of each of the three Greystone siblings. I also enjoyed the novelty of having them be 8, 10, and 12, even though of course Finn's chapters were more simplistic.Emma was fabulous and I love her and also Chess is so responsible even in his self-doubt and, you know, the fact that he's 12. I love how close the siblings are, and how close they are to their mother.I really didn't get Natalie, though. She had... no character? Or, it fluctuated so much I couldn't tell what she was actually like or why she was there (view spoiler)[(until the end, of course, I suppose). (hide spoiler)]Even though I did whip through this quickly, it didn't really feel like there was a lot of action like at all until definitely past the 50% mark? Not a lot is explained about the (view spoiler)[parallel universes or how they work, exactly, or what the heck was going on with the breathing-the-air-there-makes-you-feel-something-but-yelling-the-truth-disrupts-it aspect? (hide spoiler)] But the ease-of-read alone made me a lot more fond of it.Anyway, I've been so overwhelmed that this was a nice light read. Middle grade fantasy-ish (though I feel like the next books will be heavier on the fantasy aspect). I haven't read Haddix in a long time, and this book brought back my appreciation for her writing.
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  • Trisha Perry
    January 1, 1970
    This is a new series by Margaret Peterson Haddix and let me say it is another home run, she has knocked this one out of the park as well. Siblings Chess (oldest sibling and protector) , Finn (youngest sibling and best at being cute and silly) and Emma (middle sibling and best at math and codes) must figure out the clues and codes left behind when their mother disappears after leaving them in the care of Ms. Morales and her teenage daughter Natalie. But were those secrets ones they were to find j This is a new series by Margaret Peterson Haddix and let me say it is another home run, she has knocked this one out of the park as well. Siblings Chess (oldest sibling and protector) , Finn (youngest sibling and best at being cute and silly) and Emma (middle sibling and best at math and codes) must figure out the clues and codes left behind when their mother disappears after leaving them in the care of Ms. Morales and her teenage daughter Natalie. But were those secrets ones they were to find just yet or when they are much older? Did the kidnapped kids from a few days before have anything to do with it, they did have the same names and ages as Chess, Emma and Finn? So many questions the children need answers to in order to find their mother, can they do it?This book is awesome! So much action and suspense and twists and turns that you will think you are on a roller coaster at times so hold on to your lunch. This is definitely a book that will have you up past your bedtime just to see what happens next. The characters are great my favorites are a toss up between the very strong Natalie and the coming into herself Emma, they are not overbearingly so that boys won't like the story but I hope girls will see these girls strengths and take that away. Anyway you want to look at it, it is a great book and I think tweens as well as young adults and adults are going to love this series
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  • Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
    January 1, 1970
    The Strangers (Greystone Secrets #1) by Margaret Petersen Haddix, 416 pages. Katherine Tegen (Harper), APRIL 2019. $18.Language: G (0 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: G; Violence: PGBUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS - ESSENTIALAUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGHFinn, 8, Emma, 10, and Chess (Rochester), 12, live with their mother; their father dies several years earlier. Their life is quiet and loving – until the day they here about three children who were kidnapped – named Finn, Emma, and Rocky (Rochester) – the exact s The Strangers (Greystone Secrets #1) by Margaret Petersen Haddix, 416 pages. Katherine Tegen (Harper), APRIL 2019. $18.Language: G (0 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: G; Violence: PGBUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS - ESSENTIALAUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGHFinn, 8, Emma, 10, and Chess (Rochester), 12, live with their mother; their father dies several years earlier. Their life is quiet and loving – until the day they here about three children who were kidnapped – named Finn, Emma, and Rocky (Rochester) – the exact same names, the exact same birthdates, and even the exact same mother -- ? Now Mo has to go away for work and the children are staying with strangers – Ms. Morales and her angry daughter Natalie. The kids can feel that something is wrong with their mother. They are determined to unlock the secrets she left behind and Natalie insists she can help. When they do figure out the first secret, they could have never anticipated where it would lead them. Even without the #1 in the title, you knew this had to be a series! And you will be on tenterhooks until #2 is published. Haddix brings high energy and excellent mystery-solving to the table. Cindy, Middle School Librarian, MLShttps://kissthebookjr.blogspot.com/20...
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  • Jennelle
    January 1, 1970
    When this book arrived in my Owlcrate jr. Box, I was less than thrilled. I'm not sure why, but I had somehow convinced myself that I did not want to read it, and that I had no desire to read anything by this author. So I decided the only logical way to deal with an illogical bias was to simply read the book. I was not disappointed.It's best not to know much about this book, other than the fact that 3 siblings have their mother leave them temporarily after discovering the kidnapping of 3 siblings When this book arrived in my Owlcrate jr. Box, I was less than thrilled. I'm not sure why, but I had somehow convinced myself that I did not want to read it, and that I had no desire to read anything by this author. So I decided the only logical way to deal with an illogical bias was to simply read the book. I was not disappointed.It's best not to know much about this book, other than the fact that 3 siblings have their mother leave them temporarily after discovering the kidnapping of 3 siblings with the same name and birthdays as them. Lots of plot twists and mysteries and an engaging story, that made me keep coming back to see what happens next and waiting impatiently for the next book.The main reason this book did not get a 5 stars is that it can be slow at times. Also, I wish we had seen the puzzles the kids tried ri solve, aonqe maybe had a chance to solve it with/before the kids. Lastly, this book ends without really solving anything/it would not be able to stand alone at all; it does a good job of introducing you to the world and the mystery, but you obviously need the next book to finish the story. Thankfully the story was good, and rather than being annoyed that I have to wait for the next book, I look forward to it.
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