LONGLISTED FOR THE NORTH SOMERSET TEACHERS' BOOK AWARD READ ALOUD CATEGORY
Original, striking and utterly engrossing, ‘Warren the 13th‘ is jam packed with mystery, puzzles and sinister happenings. I devoured this book and took it straight to school to share with my class – they loved everything about it!
The Warren Hotel was once one of the grandest, most prized hotels across the land. Passed down through the generations from father to son, from Warren to Warren, the hotel flourished. When Warren XII passed, the hotel fell into the hands of his son, Warren XIII. Too young to run the hotel himself, his Uncle Rupert took the helm. Lazy and greedy, Rupert drove the hotel in to the ground: visitors stopped coming, the hotel fell into disrepair, the staff left. Warren, the only bellhop and handy man, watched as his family’s legacy fell into wrack and ruin. The situation worsened when his uncle became sick – love sick! He was head over heels for his new wife – Anaconda – who was cruel to Warren, exploiting him for his caring and hardworking nature and completely blind to her dastardly deeds. In fact, Anaconda was searching for something within the hotel and she would destroy anything to get her hands on it: The All Seeing Eye! Warren believed stories of the All Seeing Eye to be rumours, legends of the hotel. No one knew what it was or where it was, but it was secret that Anaconda would go to any length to unearth. When Warren discovers an old diary containing a clue about the All Seeing Eye, he vows to find it, and quickly, before his Aunt Anaconda picks up the trail.
Warren’s quest is filled with intrigue. There are clues around every corner and puzzles to be solved. What is the mysterious bandaged stranger up to? Who is the ghostly girl, creeping along the hotel’s dark corridors? What is lurking in the hotel’s boiler room? As Warren begins to solve the mysteries, he finds friends in the most unlikely of places, but can he find a way to save the hotel and restore his family’s legacy?
‘Warren the 13th‘ has brilliant stylised illustrations which are incredibly intricate. The unusual style, which has a gothic feel with its colour palette of black, red and white, is really different and perfectly complements the dark, spooky feel of the book, adding to the mystery. The language is also beautiful, with wonderfully detailed descriptions that really get the imagination whirling and create a sinister atmosphere.
This is a thrilling read. Broken into small chapters and laid out in columns, it is the perfect class read. If you are looking for a book that is a little bit different, a book that will grab your class by the ankles and drag them in, then look no further!
Warren the 13th by Tania Del Rio, illustrated by Will Staehle
Quirk Books ISBN: 978-1594748035