PG-10 (ghosts, smugglers, thieving, role playing games--not D & D)
This story has held my son's attention three different times! We listened to the audiobook version together. The narration was well done.
Milo is expecting to spend the Christmas season quietly with his parents in their old inn. Visitors are rare this time of year. But then first one and then another and another boarder show up in the middle of a snowstorm. Each seems to have a secret, and Milo and his new friend Meddy decide to make a game of trying to figure out who each boarder is and what they are looking for. Through a series of stories told by the visitors it becomes apparent that each has some kind of connection to the old house. But then things start disappearing--a thief is intent on finding something too, and Milo and Meddy must hurry to unravel the mystery of the visitors and the house before time runs out. Only, there's another secret that only Meddy knows. . .
This is a great book for 4/5-9 grades. The plot held our attention and kept us guessing. We didn't figure out that Meddy is really a ghost until right before she reveals herself. The characters were varied and well developed. I give a thumbs up to this one!
Family/Adoption (Milo is adopted)
Interracial families (Milo is of Chinese descent and his parents are caucasian)
Most of the visitors are smugglers of one shade or another, as Green Glasshouse caters to this crowd.
Meddy is actually the ghost of a girl who used to live at Green Glasshouse.
Meddy explains the role playing game Odd Trails to Milo and convinces him to adopt a persona with her and pretend they are playing in in real life. (Those who are uncomfortable with role playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons may not be comfortable with the similarities.)
One character says "Good God, Milo!" one time.