Reviews - What do customers think about The Big House?
2006-07 TX Bluebonnet Award Nominee Dec 16, 2005
"With their parents in prison for embezzlement, Ivy and her younger brother, Ray, must live with the snobby heiress whose accusations sent them "up the river." Ivy and Ray discover secrets that prompt them to case the joint, get the skinny on what's really going on, and make plans to spring their parents." (summary by Texas Library Association)
Original New Novel for Middle Readers Nov 3, 2004
Ray and Ivy are absolutely outraged when their two beloved parents (Dan and Carol) are sent "up the river" (to jail) for embezzlement. Sure, it sounds like fun for Ray and Ivy to get to live in the lap of luxury, but when you're living under Marietta Noland, and her decrepit, ancient husband, Lionel's rules, things take on a different light. Outward appearances make The Big House look like a wonderful place to live, but inside are strange things, like the strange, violent-looking tool Marietta uses to remove the shell from her egg every morning, or the shrouded portrait upstairs that bears a strong resemblance to Dan. And what about that small spider living within the frosting of the decaying wedding cake that Marietta has kept for all these years? Everything is just plain wacky, but things go from wacky to worse when Ray begins wetting the bed, and soon Ivy is coming up with a crazy, hair-brained scheme to get Marietta out of her life, and her parents out of jail.
With THE BIG HOUSE, Carolyn Coman has created an amazing children's novel, much in the same format as E.L. Konigsburg's classic FROM THE MIXED-UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER. Ivy is a determined, hard-headed, wise-cracking leader, while Ray is more of a follower. Together they start more trouble than anyone could ever imagine, while sticking together, and showing readers that the bond between a brother and sister can never be broken. Each page is filled with crazy ideas, hilarious commentary, and brilliant illustrations by Rob Shepperson, and is extremely hard to put down. Fans of contemporary fiction with a touch of mystery will enjoy THE BIG HOUSE, but will be saddened to see it come to an end.
Erika Sorocco Book Review Columnist for The Community Bugle Newspaper