Josh and his family have no idea what kind of house they've moved into. All the floors are slanted by three degrees (it's not a construction problem; they were designed that way). There are rats in the house - rats that make demands from the new owners. There's a growing powder that can make anything many times its normal size. There's a switch that makes the house invisible. And there's a mystery to the house - one that Josh will have to solve in order to save their family.
I had no idea what I was getting into with this book, and after having read it, I'm still not sure! Some of it dealt in puns (the house is called Tilton House) and wordplay. Some of it read episodically, with nice stories that tied up in the chapter. Some of it was just strange, like the funeral directors who come looking for customers in advance. Some parts had a David Lynch-like creepy-quirkiness about it. I was a little taken aback by how matter-of-factly death was dealt with. When a friend's stepfather dies, it's no more than a plot point. Parents are often dead in kids books, but they don't usually die mid-book! All of these are reasons why this book was one I couldn't put down. It has a very fresh voice and style and I'm very curious to see more from Tom Llewellyn in the future.
Find it at IndieBound.
Read it with:
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson
Rat Trap by Michael J. Daly
Tilting by Robert Mellin
The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket