I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

The Crooked Sixpence is the first book in Jennifer Bell’s The Uncommoners series of middle grade books.

Ivy and her brother Seb are the only other ones in the house when their beloved Granma Sylvie is rushed to the hospital; their parents travel for work, and it is up to them to answer questions are ensure that she is taken care of. As if that were not daunting enough for two children, little do they realize that the hospitalization serves as the catalyst for a series of mysterious events.

To make a long story short (and to avoid giving away too much of the story), Ivy and Seb are thrust into a fantastic world where people use everyday objects like pens and toilet brushes in very unconventional ways. This world of Uncommoners baffles them, and they quickly learn that there is a lot about Granma Sylvie that they did not know. And unfortunately for them, there are people lurking in the shadows who are convinced that Ivy and Seb know family secrets that have been hidden for over forty years. These people are willing to do anything they can in order to discover these secrets and the unlimited power that comes with them.

My girls liked this book quite a bit. It took us awhile to get through this book because a hectic afterschool schedule made for a rushed evening routine, and that left very little time for reading together at night. However, when we did read, they sat riveted to the events of the story. They enjoy fantasy stories, so this book was right up their alley. I think it has just the right amount of scariness- enough to make things interesting, but not enough to trouble younger readers.

I would recommend The Crooked Sixpence to middle grade readers. There is a lot of ground to cover, and I like the way that things were wrapped up nicely by the end of the story. There are, of course, unresolved plot points that will be addressed in subsequent books, but it was nice to have a sense of closure. I definitely got a little misty-eyed at the end of the book. The girls and I are looking forward to reading the next book in The Uncommoners series.



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