Fran Orenstein: Mystery in Gram’s Attic
Creating a world for your children to live in seems simple yet in some cases complicated and difficult. Ellen and Troy Baron are two 12-year old twins who are kindhearted, understanding of others and realize that their mother is doing the best she can with limited resources. Bullied in school, mocked by snoot girls and insulted at times both Ellen and Troy need to have thick skins in order to deal with these rude and unfeeling classmates. Even the teachers do not seem to realize what is happening and each one defends the other and lunch becomes a nightmare for Ellen and at times she has little to eat. Lila Barron works in a restaurant and they live in squalor and poverty in a shack without any proper plumbing, cold showers, an outhouse and the inside of the house is in shambles and the landlord could care less.
Ellen is smart and resourceful and goes to a neighbor’s house asking to use the phone. Calling her grandmother would change it all as she is excited and overjoyed to hear from her granddaughter and wants them to come and live with her because she can no longer be alone and requires care. With a son named Jake who could care less about his mother, their father somewhere out of their lives it’s up to their mother to decide to accept the offer. Disabled and in dire need of assistance it would be the best of both worlds for all of them. Shadows seem to be following Ellen and someone that she does not know but will is there to help her and her family. Just who is our favorite character from the Shadow mysteries Huby is back and in full force as he and Ellen seem to have a love/hate relationship at first but wait until you get to know this great Huby. Living in squalor yet never losing faith in each other Troy and Ellen learn some valuable lessons within the pages of the mystery novel. The phone call Ellen made would change their lives as moving in with their Gram made all the difference in the world until something else would change too and a mystery stemming from their grandfather’s death and their father’s death or disappearance brings the children, their mother, Gram and Aunt June in danger. Uncovering land deeds in the attic of their grandmother’s house and then understanding that it’s linked to crooked land deals and finding a green ledger book that enlightens them all, the trunks and boxes they unload and find have valuable deeds but one stands out among the rest and that’s the one they cannot seem to find.
As things start to settle down June’s husband tries to break into the house when their mother and grandmother are at a medical appointment and what Huby does is priceless but did it teach him a lesson? Huby is a great character and someone everyone would like on their side to help settle problems, rid you of the bad guys and definitely teach children manners, humility and understanding when things come to a boil.
One person knows the value of the deed that’s hidden in an unusual place where June was staying. Huby is smart and the pranks he pulls with the children are fantastic and the lessons some criminals learn we hope they will remember but things get dangerous and a hidden secret comes out when their Uncle Jake, their father’s brother is the next unwanted visitor and the scene gets tense as Dana Baron his mother might be in wheelchair but she’s a strong force to be reckoned with as Jake threatens, goes to find the hidden missing deed but what Huby does well you have to read it and see it for yourself when he realizes what is behind the wall in the bathroom. Ouch!
Revelations are made, surprises and twists revealed as author Fran Orenstein strikes at the heart of love, friendship, hope, survival and family forgiveness as these issues come through loud and clear. Ellen and Troy are great young kids who are smart, wise and definitely innovative and when faced with danger rather than panicking they step up to the plate equal to that of the adults.
Learning the truth behind their grandfather’s death and the man he went into business with took a lot of courage for their uncle to reveal as the man was killed because sometimes you know too much and have to be silenced. Losing their father for five years and not knowing what happened to him and then realizing that there is much more that they need to learn as the value of this deed is priceless and just who does it belong to and how far will the crooks go to get it back?
Life takes on many different turns and hidden lies, betrayals and secrets come to light as they family that was once without anyone to protect and care for them learn the true meaning of hope, survival and change. Huby is amazing and he helps teach Ellen and Troy that sometimes things do not always appear to be what they seem and you might have to adjust to something unexpected. Mystery in Gram’s Attic: Filled with curve balls, delicious food prepared by Auntie June, a grandmother who is wise, smart and definitely would get my vote for best grandmother of the year and a mother named Lila that is truly extraordinary. Growing up is hard to do at times but teens and preteens can learn a lot from reading and meeting Ellen and Troy and how they learn to adapt to change and understand the true meaning of LOVE and HOPE! A great resource to teach children about bullying, survival, dealing with change and responsibility. So, find your way up to Gram’s Attic and join Ellen and Troy and the dust and cobwebs and help them search for the deeds and the missing documents and then climb down, meet Huby and hope that someday you too might have a shadow from a place called Vegan to protect and be your special guardian angel even if it’s just for a short time.
Let’s give this book: FIVE GOLDEN AUNTIE JUNE PANCAKES WITH TONS OF MAPLE SYRUP!