The Sisters of Straygarden Place by Hayley Chewins. Candlewick, 2020. 9781536212273
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3.5
What did you like about the book? When Mayhap and Pavonine Ballastian’s older sister Winnow falls into an uneasy sleep from which she cannot awake, Mayhap knows she must do something to help. Their parents (Cygnet and Bellwether) are missing, so it falls to her as the middle sister to brave the deadly silver grasses outside the house where they are forbidden to go. When she barely escapes from the grasses’ clutches, Mayhap explores the house itself, a house which provides their every need just by asking, but which also holds many secrets. Her droomhund Seekatrix comes with her, and together they find an unearthly being named The Mysteriessa, a mysterious and sinister girl with silvery white eyes, the same color as the grasses outside Straygarden Place. With mystical dogs (the droomhunds), scary foliage, and magical beings, including a card catalog named Tutto, this middle grade ghost story definitely is a chiller, with completely original characters, names, and a surprising conclusion.
Anything you didn’t like about it? The names are mesmerizing in their uniqueness, but there are so many unusually named creatures that it is hard to follow who is who, and whose droomhund is whose.
To whom would you recommend this book? For fans of middle grade horror with female protagonists.
Who should buy this book? Elementary and middle school and public libraries
Where would you shelve it ? Fiction
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Date of review: January 4 2021