Reminiscent of both Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time and Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events, bestselling children’s author Margaret Peterson Haddix’s Greystone Secrets: The Strangers is the first installment in the author’s latest intricately written and emotionally resonant sci-fi series.
When the three young Greystone siblings—Chess, Emma and Finn—hear the news that three siblings on the other side of the country who share their exact first and middle names, as well as their birthdays, were kidnapped, they can’t help but find it odd. Then, when their mom goes on a “work trip” out of town the very next day, they become even more suspicious and take the investigation into their own hands.
As they dig around the house for clues, they soon discover a coded message from their mom that leads them to a hidden room in their basement. But as they’re padding around for answers to the mysteries, the Greystone siblings accidentally find themselves in a whole different, parallel world—one that’s eerily similar to their own but strange enough to be dangerous if they don’t stay smart and stick together.
Adventures, mysteries and puzzles abound, and Haddix’s high-concept middle grade novel deftly uses her understanding of young readers’ innermost thoughts and emotions to bring her characters to life as they learn the importance of trusting themselves—and each other—in order to survive.
ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Read our Q&A with Margaret Peterson Haddix.