Walls Within Walls is the debut novel of Maureen Sherry. The story centers around the four Smithfork kids: 12-year-old CJ, 9-year-old Brid, 6-year-old Patrick and 2-year-old Carron. After their father, a video game inventor, strikes it rich, they get a whole new life. The only problem is, they all hate this new life. Instead of living in their cozy Brooklyn neighborhood, they now live in a swanky Manhattan apartment on Fifth Avenue. With no other kids to play with and a nanny that seems to have taken the place of their parents, the siblings (minus Carron who is too little to care at this point), are spending the last days of summer dreading going to their new school which they are sure they will hate too.
Things get interesting, though, when they find out that the historic apartment building they live in was once a large home originally owned by Mr. Post. He long ago turned the apartment into a giant puzzle containing a mysterious book and hidden puzzles. With luck, the clues will lead to the long lost Post family fortune. They race through New York unraveling the mystery and uncover some long hidden secrets of the past in the process.
Walls Within Walls is geared toward readers in 4th through 7th grade, depending on their reading level. It’s a fun read, and keeps you turning the pages trying to figure out the clues and what will come next. Both boys and girls will identify with the oldest of the four siblings – brother/sister duo. Patrick is also a character kids will identify with if they are have older siblings and tend to get left behind on adventures.
*** Mild Spoilers Ahead****
The Good Stuff
- Despite some squabbles, the siblings really care about each other.
- Even though the parents in this book are very distracted by their new good fortunes, they do love their children and come to see the error of their ways by the end.
- The children go through a lot of danger and trouble to help Eloise, the daughter of Mr. Post, who they discover still alive and living in one of the apartments in their building
- Eloise realizes that her father did not just play a cruel trick on her, but actually designed the puzzle thinking she would figure it out.
The Stuff To Be Aware Of
- Although mild, there are some dangerous situations the kids get into and people chase them.
- The kids do sneak around and lie to their parents so they can chase clues.
- The kids skip school, but are caught by their parents eventually.
Overall, this is a fun read for kids in upper elementary into middle school. The clues are interesting, and the mystery will keep kids turning the pages. The ending of the book gives the idea that there might be a sequel, too.