Monday, May 2, 2011

Hollowfields by Madeleine Rosca

Earlier this year I reviewed the first volume of Hollowfields, to my surprise we found a copy with all three volumes. This is defininetly the way to go. Hollowfields is such a cute story with so much action that it should please most readers. This is my 14 year old son's favorite story so far.
Nine year old Lucy Snow is going to boarding school for the first time in the middle of the year. She gets lost and finds herself at a school. It's been raining and she is so hungry that she signs the school's contract just to stay inside. It doesn't take long for her to discover she has just joined a school for future mad scientists.
Each Friday, a student with the lowest grades is sent to detention in the Windmill where they are never heard from again. Lucy wants to avoid the Windmill and sneaks out at night to find a dictionary in the library. What she finds is Dr Bleak, a speaking metal cube. Dr Bleak helps her with her assignments and help keeps her out of detention (but just barely because there are forces working against her).
Through the course of the story, Lucy matures (as much as a nine year old can) and finds herself plotting to save the children from the Windmill and free all the students from HollowFields.
There are some scenes that give you the history of the school and how it came to be. It's a rather predictable story but so engaging. Lucy is cute and animated but she's surrounded by all these gruesome experiments. She keeps a very Pollyanna attitude and becomes the hero at the end. There is some animated violence but it's done in such a way that it's not scary. There's a lot of humor and silly cartoon antics.

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