Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Book review - The Haunting of Falcon House

Title: The Haunting of Falcon House
Author: Eugene Yelchin
Genre: historical fiction
Similar books: The Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett
                     The Swallow by Charis Cotter
Nicely written but a tough sell

Summary(provided by publisher): A long undisturbed bedroom. A startling likeness. A mysterious friend.
When twelve-year-old Prince Lev Lvov goes to live with his aunt at Falcon House, he takes his rightful place as heir to the Lvov family estate. Prince Lev dreams of becoming a hero of Russia like his great ancestors. But he'll discover that dark secrets haunt this house. Prince Lev is the only one who can set them free-will he be the hero his family needs?

My opinion: It can be hard to sell kids on historical fiction, especially books like this one. Not only is the setting historical, it is foreign. Tsarist Russia can be difficult for adult readers to understand, much less middle graders. While the setting is well described, we don't get much in the way of explanation for the class system in Russia, the naming format, anything.  There are supernatural elements but they aren't spooky enough to make this a truly compelling read.

Advanced Reader Copy provided by publisher.

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