Little girl. Big House. Huge problem.


For Daisy Fitzhugh (11) there is only one place in the world: Brightwood. Daisy was born here and has never seen the outside world. And the outside world has never seen Daisy. When her mother doesn't come home from a shopping trip, Daisy is totally alone, or so she thought. While she is trying to figure out what to do, an unexpected guest arrives, James Gritting, her mother's cousin. Something is not right about this man, but Daisy can't quite figure out what. She's going to need help - but who can help a girl whom no one knows exists? 

Parent Perspective:
The story opens with a deadly accident (Daisy's grandparents), which set the stage for everything else but was a bit jarring. Just as I was thinking that this was going to be a complete downer, Daisy's spunk - and her 'imaginary' friends - take center stage and the story is off in a new, adventurous direction. The author does a magnificent job building the suspense, mixing in an adrenaline rush (no spoiler), and then bringing about a happy (but not predictable) ending. Gritting is everything you expect in a "bad guy," and his presence takes the mystery to a whole different level. This is not a book for readers who fear being abandoned and/or don't like intimidating characters.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Short chapters packed with suspense will keep you reading, and Daisy's spunk and resourcefulness will have you cheering! This is a middle-grade thriller with lots of suspense.

Content Awareness Factors:

There is violence, and Gritting is definitely a creepy dude.

Type of Book:
This is a middle-grade thriller with lots of suspense.
Educational Themes:

Read this for the thrill and suspense of the story. Have some fun with making a movie from the book: who would play Daisy? Gritting? her Mom?

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
11 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
12 and Up
Purchase Recommendation:

Title Brightwood
Author Tania Unsworth
Publisher Algonquin Young Readers © 2016
ISBN 9781616203306
Material Hard Cover
Cost $16.95
Genres Family, Growing Up, Horror
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