Author: Chad Morris
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Published: March 5th, 2013
Hardcover: 326 pages
FTC FYI: Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Mindy and Sheila
Imagine a school in the year 2074 where students don’t read history, but watch it happen around them; where running in gym class isn’t around a track, but up a virtual mountain; and where learning about animals means becoming one through an avatar.
Welcome to Cragbridge Hall, the most advanced and prestigious school in the world. Twin siblings Abby and Derick Cragbridge are excited as new students to use their famed grandfather’s inventions that make Cragbridge Hall so incredible. But when their grandfather and parents go missing, the twins begin following a trail of clues left by their grandfather. They must find out where their family is, learn who they can trust, and discover what secrets are hidden within Cragbridge Hall.
Abby and Derick soon realize they are caught in a race with a fierce adversary to discover their grandfather’s greatest secret–a dangerous discovery that could alter both history and reality.
5 out of 5 stars. Oh my goodness, where do I start? I loved everything about this book. Cragbridge Hall: The Inventor’s Secret is one of the biggest reasons I love reading and reviewing middle grade. It is one of my favorite reads of the year so far. Everything about this book is so exciting and fun. It is a non-stop thrill ride. You will not be able to stop reading until you are finished. My favorite thing about The Inventor’s Secret was The Bridge. To be able to see events from history unfold before your eyes, but be amazing. There is another great message in this book about facing your fears, and being brave. Abby is faced with many obstacles when she arrives at school. She already feels that she shouldn’t be there. She feels out of place for not being magnificent at something, like her super genius brother Derick. Her grandpa gives her some advice before school starts.
Grandpa slammed the bottom of his cane onto the floor. “Abigail Cragbridge, you are just as good as, if not better tan, every other student in that academy. When they said “no”, I had to prevent them from making a terrible mistake. you’ll be one of the best things that every happened to that place.”
“You don’t have to–”
“I’m completely serious,” Grandpa interrupted. He grabbed Abby’s face by the chin. “You have heart, Abby.” page 7
Abby learns right away that she is not “welcome” because she only got in to Cragbridge because her grandfather made it so. She finds a friend, Carol, who accepts her for who she is. By the way, Carol ends up being one of my favorite characters. This book has humor, heart, and is tons of fun. I recommend it anyone who loves a great adventure.
Even though this book is written for a middle grade audience, it doesn’t feel like it when you read it. Every age can read and love this book! Though there are great lessons for the reader in this book, they are not preachy or too blatant. I can’t wait to get back on track so I can read it out-loud to my 2nd grade class. I know that they will LOVE it! My own kids are vying to see who can grab it first when I’m done writing this review. This book will someday make a very awesome movie! I predict…yes I’m looking into the future…that this series will become very popular and will find it’s own place in literary history.