Posted first to Blog Critics as Book Review: 'Curiosity House, The Shrunken Head,' A Young Adult Mystery by Lauren Oliver & H.C Chester.
Entertaining, intriguing, dangerous and full of action, Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head by Lauren Oliver & H.C. Chester takes you on a fun filled journey with a group of children who have grown up in Dumfrey’s Dime Museum of Freaks Oddities and Wonders. Each with different abilities, orphans Philippa, Sam and Thomas call the museum home. When they are joined by a new member, Max everything suddenly changes.
When the Shrunken Head exhibit is unveiled, resulting in the death of one customer, suddenly the museum is drawing a different kind of crowd. Everyone wants to see the acts of the children but more importantly the curiosity known as the Shrunken Head. When it disappears, Dumfrey knows that his world has changed. With that loss he knows the children will be in trouble as well. They are not willing to let things change for good though. They have decided to investigate the disappearance on their own first, but as they begin their own interference, they find that as they move forward, each person in contact with the shrunken head seems to be dying.
When their very own Dumfrey becomes a suspect in murder, they scatter to find every clue. They know that their lives will change if they are broken up, and there are those who just do not understand their abilities. Their own safety and well-being lie in being a family, and Dumfrey is their most ardent supporter. Can they find the answers before he is taken away for good?
Oliver and Chester have given us a remarkable group of children and set them in a fun, exciting setting, the New York of the 30’s. While gifted with strange abilities they have come under protection of a man who is more then he seems. Unable to care for them in the normal way he makes them a part of his shows, but for him, they are his children. The love and respect that is engendered into the story create warmth of relationship, and the antics of the group keep you both interested and just a bit appalled.
This is a great work of humor, danger, interest and historical settings that catch your attention from the beginning.
If you enjoy adventure, oddities, family and mystery this will be a great copy of work for your library. Written with the young adult in mind, the antics create a great interest in reading, but make no mistake this is also a work of mystery and novelty that will keep the curious and young at heart entertained as well.