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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Twelve-year-old Clara Dooley has spent her whole life in the Glendoveer mansion, where her mother is a servant to the kind and elderly matron of the house. Clara has never known another home. In fact, she's confined to the grand estate due to a mysterious heart condition. But it's a comfortable life, and if it weren't for the creepy squawking birds in the aviary out back, a completely peaceful one…

The Aviary

by Kathleen O'Dell

Overall Book Review:

Clara has always been told that she has a weak heart, and as a result, can never leave her home. She does love her home—all except for the creepy birds in the aviary—but still, she longs for a little adventure in her life. When one of the aviary birds speaks to her one afternoon, Clara finds herself untangling a decades-old mystery and getting more adventure than she ever bargained for! The Aviary is exactly the kind of book that I would have loved as a young teenager: With just the right blend of history, mystery, and magic, it was a delight to read! Highly recommended to both preteens/young teens and adults who still love a well-woven tale.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Alfred A. Knopf

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language: 2 religious exclamations;1 mild obscenity.

Violence/Gore: There is a rumor of a group of children being murdered. A boy is beaten by his guardian. Children are kidnapped. A group of people are found drowned after a boating accident. Two girls lay “traps” for a villain (activating rat traps, positioning jars of lye, etc.). All of the violence is non-detailed and handled very gently.

Sex/Nudity: A married man and woman embrace.

Mature Subject Matter:

Kidnapping, accidental death, gossip, spiritualism/supernatural occurrences (a man attempts to do magic; a house is implied to be occasionally visited by a friendly spirit).

Alcohol / Drug Use:

A woman says that the secret to a delicious dish is wine used in the sauce, and admits to imbibing a little herself.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

As a kid, I used to tell people that I wanted to be a “professional book reviewer” when I grew up (along with writer/ballerina/figure skater/mom). I thought that any profession that involved the full-time reading of books was my idea of heaven. Getting the chance to review books is a little dream come true!