Escape Book: Madam Mortell’s Haunted House – by Arthur Ténor

Escape Book: Madam Mortell’s Haunted House – by Arthur Ténor, Andrews McMeel Publishing, 9781524855925, 2021, c2019

Format: Paperback

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

Genre: Adventure

What did you like about the book? This book feels like an escape room or a board game much more than a story. As you travel through each room of the haunted house, you must complete a challenge to find the code word to leave that room. You also need to collect different items to keep in your inventory which you will need to solve some of the challenges in other rooms. Challenges can be logic puzzles, patterns, mazes, or other types of puzzles. The book has a map to follow along with, and a number of other resources at the beginning and end of the book with more information to help make decisions. Once you have gone through each of the rooms, you will have seven different code words which you need to put in the correct order to actually escape from the house. Some illustrations in the books are to set the scene, but others include details and clues to help solve some of the puzzles. The book can be reread many times while making different choices. 

Anything you did not like about the book. I personally found the many choices somewhat overwhelming, but other readers may enjoy it. (For example, once you have 5 or 6 items collected in your inventory, each of the items could be used in different ways to solve some of the challenges.) 

To whom would you recommend this book? Readers who like Choose Your Own Adventure stories or the Escape This Book series. I would also give it to kids who don’t particularly like to read but love to play games. 

Who should buy this book? This would make a great gift for kids in 3rd or 4th grade. Elementary school librarians and public librarians could also add it to the collection.

Where would you shelve it? Chapter books (adventure if genrefied)

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Sarah Bickel, Greenlodge Elementary School, Dedham Massachusetts

Date of review: June 19, 2021

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