Book Review: The Cosmic Serpent
Dear future resident

Book Review: The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street

This is a fun middle schoolers book that focuses on a haunted house and how its mysteries are resolved by a group a seventh grade kids. The intended audience is young, but Lindsay Currie does an admirable job of creating a spooky haunting and mysterious circumstances that even adults can enjoy. (Additionally, as you can learn in this review, you really should be reading children’s books once in a while anyway.)

gordon meyer with book

Although I enjoyed the book and I recommend it, I was frustrated at times with the protagonist. She’s an unlikeable precocious girl who moves from a shit hole city in Florida to the wonderful Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Park, and she is adamant that the move is a downgrade. I also stumbled over the timeline of the story when, more than halfway through the book, it is mentioned that only one week has elapsed. This didn’t jive (for me) with how long it takes to settle into a new home, get started with a new school, and exchange letters with an out-of-state friend. And in the end, when she very predictably decides that Chicago maybe doesn’t suck, it’s not clear how soon this realization came, which made it unsatisfying.

But don’t let me dissuade you too much. I’m glad I read it, and I admire its overall pace, tone, and construction. Plus, annoyances aside, it was lots of fun! I got my copy (which was signed!) at Volumes in Wicker Park, but of course, you can find it at Amazon too.


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