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Witherwood Reform School

Review

Witherwood Reform School

Written by Obert Skye with illustrations by Keith Thompson

When Tobias and Charlotte Eggers are dropped off at the gates of a creepy reform school, they're sure it's a mistake. After all, it was only a slight misunderstanding that made their dad so angry that he drove them all night to this spot. Surely he'll be right back. But when he doesn't come, Tobias and Charlotte are forced to enter Witherwood Reform School, where things start to get a little strange. There are strange beasts lurking outside, creepy teachers and students who seem to have forgotten where they came from or why they're there.

Charlotte and Tobias attempt to escape, only to discover even more mysteries about Witherwood, like a headmaster who can control minds. Meanwhile, their father has suffered a near fatal accident, and lost his memory. Can they escape for good, and will their father remember them even if they do?

The pace zips right along and the plot is so wildly inventive you'll want to keep reading to find out what could possibly happen next.

There's a lot to like about WITHERWOOD REFORM SCHOOL, from the horrible school built on a mesa and the bizarre teachers who seemed almost otherworldly to the snarly beasts that aren’t recognizable as any animal. It's also a great book to read in one sitting --- the pace zips right along and the plot is so wildly inventive you'll want to keep reading to find out what could possibly happen next.

It's also nice to see a book where the two main characters are a brother and sister who not only get along, but work together to try to get out of Witherwood. There's hardly any bickering, and the two act more like friends than siblings. Tobias is kind to his younger sister, and genuinely seems to like having her around. Charlotte is athletic, clever and a good match for her older brother.

The book ends on probably the biggest cliffhanger I've ever read. However, the cliffhanger is almost too big, as the book still hasn't answered most of the reader's questions about Witherwood. It was a little frustrating to make it to the end of such an exciting book only to find out all the answers are still to come. But it's a fun book, and perfect for fans of Lemony Snicket. I look forward to reading the sequel and seeing how it all works out. 

Reviewed by Rebecca Czochor on March 10, 2015

Witherwood Reform School
(Witherwood Reform School #1)
Written by Obert Skye with illustrations by Keith Thompson

  • Publication Date: March 3, 2015
  • Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • ISBN-10: 0805098798
  • ISBN-13: 9780805098792