The Aviary by Kathleen O’Dell

Eleven year old Clara lives with her mother in the old Glendoveer mansion, where mom and another caretaker (Ruby) look after old Mrs. Glendoveer. Clara has never been to school, nor is she allowed to leave the house or have any friends because of her poor health. She has a weak heart, her mother tells her, so it isn’t good for her to get over-excited. Clara chooses to defy her mother’s wishes when she secretly befriends the new girl who has just moved in down the street – Daphne. When Mrs. Glendoveer passes away, she leaves them a legacy – her birds, and the mystery surrounding the disappearance of her youngest child, Elliot. When Daphne tells Clara the stories she’s heard about the Glendoveers (that they murdered their own children!), Clara vows to set the record straight. The two girls begin an investigation that puts them in danger, but which ultimately reveals the truth (exonerating Mr. & Mrs. Glendoveer) and frees the restless spirits of the Glendoveer children. Resourceful children, spooky talking birds, and murderers most wicked! Readers who enjoy a well-told mystery with just a hint of the supernatural will flock to this. * * * * Stars (Great!) Reviewed by Karin Thogersen, YA Librarian

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