The House of Hidden Wonders by Sharon Gosling
Genre: Middle Grade | Historical | Mystery
Published by: Little Tiger
Release date: 02/04/2020
Summary: Zinnie and her sisters live in the murky tunnels beneath Edinburgh’s Old Town. They keep out of the way of the authorities and remain undetected. Until, that is, rumours of a ghost bring unwanted visitors into the caverns they call home. Among them, a young Arthur Conan Doyle, keen to investigate, and MacDuff, the shady owner of Edinburgh’s newest attraction, the House of Wonders.
Caught up in a world of intrigue and adventure, Zinnie seeks answers. But how can she discover what secrets lie in the House of Wonders while also protecting the sisters she holds so dear?
*I was sent a free copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was everything I never realised I wanted in a middle grade. It was full of adventure, mystery, amazing kick-ass women, feminism and found family. There is so much about this book to love, and I didn’t find a single thing I disliked about it.
First of all, I really loved all the main characters. The children were all amazing and I loved seeing how much they cared about each other. I also really loved Lady Sarah, I thought she was awesome, and I loved the way she would put the men in their place. It was something special to witness. There were also a couple of characters who are real historical figures, such as Arthur Conan Doyle, which I really enjoyed.
I loved the setting of this book. I actually went to Edinburgh last year and loved it, so it was really nice to now read a book set there. I don’t think I actually visited the exact street that Zinnie and the girls lived on, but I knew what to picture after visiting similar places in my trip, which for me really helped my reading experience. Also, I’m discovering that I really like books set in major UK cities in the 1800’s.
This book had representation for Down’s Syndrome, which I don’t think I’ve ever read in a book before, and especially not in a historical setting, and I thought it was amazing. (Just a note, I don’t really have any experience with Down’s Syndrome, so I can’t comment on the quality of the rep.)
Overall, as I said, I loved this book a lot. I think it would be a really great read for kids as it has so many good messages that I think kids should learn, but at the same time, I think older readers who enjoy middle grade would enjoy it too because it was full of adventure and fun.
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