Bestselling author of The Books of Elsewhere and Dreamers Often Lie
Old Ms. McMartin is definitely dead, and her crumbling Victorian mansion lies vacant. When eleven-year-old Olive and her dippy mathematician parents move in, Olive is right to think there's something odd about the place - not least the strange antique paintings hanging on its walls. But when she finds a pair of old glasses in a dusty drawer, Olive discovers the most peculiar thing yet: she can travel inside these paintings to Elsewhere, a place that's strangely quiet...and eerily familiar. Olive soon finds herself ensnared in a plan darker and more dangerous than she could have imagined, confronting a power that wants to be rid of her by any means necessary. It's up to her to save the house from the shadows, before the lights go out for good. Published by Dial Books in June 2010
"The house is as much a character as are Olive, Morton, and her family, and a wicked sense of humor tempers the book's creepiness. A suspenseful plot and insight into childhood loneliness - handily amplified by Bernatene's moody and dramtically lit b&w illustrations - will have readers anxiously awaiting the next book."
"Middle-grade writing as it should be."
"Beautifully written, deliciously scary..."
"Spooky and magical, this is a series debut that's not to be missed."
West creates a delightful concoction of quirky humor blended with a rumbling ominous undertone...
- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Starred Review
Ms. West's deliberate choice of words and lyrical phrasing reveal her background as a poet. Her understated storytelling style, fast pacing and realistic heroine Olive are sure to please reluctant and experienced readers alike.
THE SHADOWS is creative, exciting, hilarious, spooky, mysterious, adventurous, and heaps of fun, all wrapped between two covers.
The fast moving plot aided by talking cats and excellent black and white drawings will grab the attention of even the most reluctant middle school reader. Laced with just the right amount of spookies and mystery, watching Olive put all the pieces together and overcome her fears is a delight.
A fantastic story full of magic and mysteries that starts when a young girl climbs into an old painting.
"I found The Shadows mesmerizing, partly due to the story itself; partly due to Jacqueline West’s remarkable writing."
Jacqueline West builds an eerie and mysterious world. A steady stream of details ensures that readers will continue turning the pages as they try to solve the mystery of Olive's house along with her.
- Junior Library Guild, Summer Selection
[West] has a knack for description and excellent prose. There’s a sense of the weird and creepy throughout the book, like in roald dahl’s best stories... I couldn’t wait to see what it said next.
This is an absolutely lovely read for the connoisseur of fantasy for the young... West's writing carries things along just swimmingly, with enough description to make things come alive in vivid detail without hindering the build-up of tension. I enjoyed it tremendously, and recommend it highly, and eagerly anticipate the next book.
West's writing is something special...She has woven the tension of a good mystery with magical touches that make this book sparkle. This is a book to be raced through and then read again...
- Kids Lit
Golly, this is a good read even if you’re seven times as old as you’re supposed to be.
[Olive is] an intrepid adventurer, the more charming for her determination to overcome her fears. West brings this launch title to a roundly satisfying close but leaves room for plenty more excursions to Elsewhere.
- Jennifer M. Brown, Shelf Awareness
With illustrations from Poly Bernatene enhancing the strong haunted house mystery, Jacqueline West provides an exhilarating middle school age tale.