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The Second Spy: The Books of Elsewhere, Volume 3

Review

The Second Spy: The Books of Elsewhere, Volume 3

Olive can’t escape the strange occurrences in her house. Hanging from her walls are curious pictures that she can step into and explore whole new worlds. Created by the late Aldous McMartin, his paintings are like prisons because he traps people inside them. Olive’s friend, Morton, lives in one of these pictures, and if he stays in Elsewhere too long, he will permanently become a painting. Morton has two important quests: search for his parents and escape from Elsewhere.

"THE SECOND SPY captures all the magic, suspense and adventure that kids love.... Readers will get wrapped up in a story where the characters can step into pictures, and they'll have plenty of questions that are slowly revealed in this unpredictable mystery."

Olive strikes a deal with Morton that if he doesn’t run away and if they can’t find his parents, she’ll let him wear the spectacles. Her troubles keep mounting because the ghost Annabelle McMartin, the last McMartin descendant, seeks revenge. Annabelle is determined to take back her house. One would think that Annabelle wouldn’t be a threat (after all, she's dead), but Annabelle lurks in the shadows trying to outsmart Olive into inviting her in the house. 

Olive plunges into a deep hole in her backyard where mysterious jars filled with unidentifiable things are found. It appears that someone is trying to tunnel into the rooms to get to the jars and that Annabelle is attempting to get into the house by digging her way into it. Without even knowing it, Olive stumbles across two of Elsewhere’s hugest and most treacherous forces.

If only Olive could dedicate all of her time to keeping Annabelle out. Instead, she has to begin the dreaded middle school. Poor Olive! She can barely keep her mind on studying, especially after receiving a letter from Annabelle, who says that Olive’s friend is keeping a huge secret from her. Annabelle asks her if she can trust a friend keeping information from her. The letter puts seeds of doubt in Olive’s mind. When Olive realizes that her friend Rutherford has a life-altering secret that he hasn’t shared with her, she becomes furious. Ugh! Now she not only has to deal with ghosts, she also has to worry about friendship turmoil.

THE SECOND SPY captures all the magic, suspense and adventure that kids love. Cats can talk, spectacles have special powers, and pictures come to life. Readers will get wrapped up in a story where the characters can step into pictures, and they'll have plenty of questions that are slowly revealed in this unpredictable mystery.

Reviewed by Kathleen M. Purcell on August 25, 2012

The Second Spy: The Books of Elsewhere, Volume 3
by Jacqueline West