★ "A modern thriller flavored with classic adventure."—School Library Journal "[F]ast moving and surprise-filled, guaranteed to have readers racing on to the next deliciously gothic complication." —Kirkus "In her middle grade debut, Carter (Not If I Save You First) offers up mystery, intrigue, and swashbuckling action in a rollicking story of long-lost secrets and found family." —Publishers Weekly "The characters are likable and endearing, and the final paragraph, with its subtly shocking revelation, will leave readers demanding to know when the second book is coming. Hand this one to those who enjoy action, mystery, and kick-butt characters." Booklist "A fast-paced thrill ride of a book, filled with great characters, swashbuckling action sequences, secret passageways, mystery, and plenty of humor. It’s Batman meets Annie. My daughter devoured it in one sitting and immediately begged for more. I can’t come up with any better praise than that." —Stuart Gibbs, New York Times bestselling author of the Spy School series "This is the kind of read that makes your soul sit up straight. At once a heart-wrenching tale of found family and a thrilling, atmospheric mystery that keeps you guessing at every page, Ally Carter's middle grade debut is a triumph. I loved April's character down to the barb wire wrapped around her heart, and I cheered for her journey and the extraordinary bravery required to open up to other people." —Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of Aru Shah and the End of Time “An unputdownable blend of humor, unique characters, and a mystery that’ll keep readers turning pages way past their bedtimesand checking their basements... just in case.” —Alexandra Bracken, New York Times bestselling author of Prosper Redding Praise for Not if I Save You First: “Maddie's grit, humor, and cleverness make her an engaging action hero. Fans of survivalist fiction will be impressed by the well-researched, immersive Alaskan landscape and all its beauty and brutality. A tightly plotted thriller helmed by a firecracker that never loses her spark.” –Kirkus Reviews “In this tense romantic thriller from Carter…the characters are dynamic and engaging. The teens’ childhood friendship evolves into a sweet romance, and the fast-paced thrills will keep readers up late.”—Publishers Weekly “The chemistry and relationship buildup between these two friends is real and believable. The quick pace and witty dialogue will keep teens engaged. Recommended where survival and mystery stories are popular and where Carter has a following.”—School Library JournalPraise for All Fall Down (Embassy Row Book One):A New York Times Bestseller "Carter knows how to construct a gripping thriller." —Publishers Weekly "Action packed and meticulously plotted, All Fall Down keeps readers guessing." —Booklist "With its intrigue and clever plot twists, this series opener will leave readers hungering for more." —School Library Journal "Will appeal not only to psychological-thriller fans, but to those who want a little glamour, some A-list social politics, and a bit of high school nastiness mixed in with their suspense." —Kirkus Reviews "Grace is a fighter, and she will stop at nothing to find out what happened to her mother. Readers will love this first book in what promises to be an exciting, thrilling mystery series." —Voice of Youth Advocates "An amazing book." —The GuardianHonors and Awards
2011 Texas Lone Star Reasing List (Heist Society)
2010 YALSA Teens Top Ten Book (Heist Society)
North Carolina Book Award Booklist, 2010-2011 (Heist Society)
Teens Top 10 Finalist, 2010 (Heist Society)
Romance Writers’ of America Rita Award Finalist, 2010 (Don’t Judge a Girl By Her Cover)
Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award Winner (I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You)
Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award Winner (I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You)
Amelia Bloomer Book Award (I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You)
Kansas Notable book (I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You)
Texas Lone Star Reading List (I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You)
Georgia Peach Book Award Runner-Up (I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You)
Gr 4–6—Whenever one mystery is solved, it usually unearths countless more questions, like a ball of yarn slowly unraveling but filled with knots. April, an independent and scrappy orphan, is whisked away to gloomy and ostentatious Winterborne Home after her involvement with a fire. Questions abound as April is warmly welcomed into the colossal yet grim mansion whose family namesake, Gabriel Winterborne, has been missing for over a decade. April quickly realizes that the key her mother left her bears the Winterborne insignia and an unknown wanderer lurks in the shadows at night. Potential connections and even more surprises emerge as April must gather the courage to ask for help from her new acquaintances while diving headfirst into adventure and mystery. A modern thriller flavored with classic adventure, this novel is well suited for middle grade sleuths. Carter drops hints, yet her writing forces readers to create their own inferences about both the plot and the main characters. Highly descriptive writing intensifies the action, while an infusion of pop culture slang and sass keeps the text upbeat and modern. By the end, gumshoes may groan in anticipation as Carter skillfully answers some questions, yet unveils a plethora more, leaving the door wide open for further books in a potential series. VERDICT Readers will further enjoy the fast pace of this book filled with short chapters and cliff-hangers. Strongly recommended for school libraries.—Mary-Brook J. Townsend, The McGillis School, Salt Lake City
Ten years ago, Gabriel Winterborne, dramatically orphaned in childhood and heir to a vast fortune, mysteriously vanished; the five parentless children now living at Winterborne House may hold keys to his disappearance.
After accidentally setting a museum exhibit on fire, April, foundling, foster child, and group-home veteran, is rescued and hospitalized. She accepts an invitation from Isabella "Izzy" Nelson, Winterborne Foundation director, to live at Winterborne House—for now. (April's mother had left a note—plus an ornate key—with infant April, promising to return for her.) Fellow child recruits include Violet, a timid artist; Tim, Violet's foster brother and protector; and, already ensconced in the enormous mansion poised at cliff's edge above the ocean, Sadie, an imaginative inventor; and Colin, a former Londoner with street smarts. All are under the care of Smithers, the Winterborne butler, and Izzy. Living in a smaller mansion nearby is Evert Winterborne, Gabriel's uncle, who's offered a reward for news of Gabriel. On a dark and stormy night, the girls awaken to a knife-wielding presence who steals April's key. Mysteries mount rapidly: Who, or what, is the Phantom that so terrifies Violet? What caused Izzy's antipathy to Gabriel? Among this likable bunch (race varied but unspecified, though April presents white on the cover), deadpan April's a standout. If the corkscrew plot's occasionally far-fetched, it's fast moving and surprise-filled, guaranteed to have readers racing on to the next deliciously gothic complication.
An entertaining adventure with villains, heroes, and tantalizing mysteries galore. (Fiction. 8-12)