Friday, October 23, 2020

A Perfect Read for the Season

Embassy of the Dead
by Will Mabbitt; illus by Taryn Knight
272 pages; ages 8-12
Walker Books, US (Candlewick) 2020

If Jake had been paying attention to his surroundings, he might have avoided a whole lot of trouble. If he hadn’t been texting while walking, if he’d stuck to his regular route home from school instead of taking the shortcut through the alley … if he hadn’t taken the package from the stranger.

But then, if he’d been paying attention, we’d never have this delightfully creepy, semi-scary story of a kid who comes into possession of a severed finger and a series of really unfortunate events that include:
  • a grim reaper
  • a ghost at a girl’s school
  • the very unhappy (but not departed) dead
  • a car chase involving a camper van
  • underage driving
  • the Embassy of the Dead
  • and political intrigue and corruption
What I like about this book: I love the first page that contains this warning: By signing you hereby accept all responsibility for any death, dismemberment, or condemnation to the Eternal Void that results from reading. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Cordially, The Embassy.

Whatever you do, do not sign that agreement! Better to just skip those first pages and dive into the story without acknowledging the Embassy at—

Well, hello there. The previous reviewer has mysteriously disappeared. How unfortunate. And look, a delightful tale about a bad boy who steals a package not meant for him, steals his dad’s van, and rudely barges into the Embassy without an invitation or proper credentials. Live people are not allowed in the Embassy. Especially kids. And once we capture him we can finish with our scheme to defraud the living.

Thanks for dropping by today. On Monday we'll be hanging out at Marvelous Middle Grade Monday with other  bloggers. It's over at Greg Pattridge's blog, Always in the Middle, so hop over to see what other people are reading. Review copy provided by the publisher.


  1. This sounds like a terrific middle grade story for October! Your review makes it quite enticing!

  2. This sounds like a great read especially after what you shared on the first page.

  3. What a fun and atmospheric hook! Sounds like a great story for October.

  4. Clever review! Loved it. Perfect spooky read for the upcoming holiday! Sounds like a nail-biter. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I'm already scared! I'm sure many middle graders can't wait to get their hands on this one. Thanks for your spooky review on MMGM.

  6. I certainly hope we find out what happened to the first reviewer. ;) This sounds like a wonderful book, and perfect for Halloween! Thanks for the great review!

  7. What a fun review. This book sounds perfect for this time of year. Thanks for the post.