Greenglass House by Kate Milford

December 27th, 2014 by

Greenglass-House_Kate-MilfordIt’s wintertime at Greenglass House. The creaky smuggler’s inn is always quiet during this season, and twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing.

But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings. Then rings again. And again.

Soon Milo’s home is bursting with odd, secretive guests, each one bearing a strange story that is somehow connected to the rambling old house. As objects go missing and tempers flare, Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, must decipher clues and untangle the web of deepening mysteries to discover the truth about Greenglass House — and themselves.

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    Greenglass House and Bluecrowne Book Giveaway

    December 8th, 2014 by

    Greenglass-House_Kate-MilfordBack when we started Kidsmomo, our very first book giveaway was for The Boneshaker, the chilling tale of a girl who suspects there’s something amiss with a traveling medicine show that arrives in her town. (If you haven’t read it yet and you like a good creepy story, definitely check it out.)

    Well, now we’re partnering with the same author for another sweepstakes. This time, author Kate Milford is offering signed copies of her two latest books: Greenglass House and Bluecrowne!

    (Scroll down for the handy-dandy entry form!)

    Greenglass House is a perfect read for the holiday season because it takes place in the days leading up to Christmas. Lots of wonderful descriptions of hot chocolate and baked treats. But also, it’s a quiet but gripping mystery — think The Westing Game set in a snow-nestled inn. Usually the hotel is empty around Christmas, but this year a bunch of brand new guests all arrive on the same night. When people’s belongings start to go missing, it’s up to to Milo (whose parents own Greenglass House) and Meddy (the cook’s daughter) to get to the bottom of the peculiar connections that bring these strangers to the inn.

    Bluecrowne is set in a totally different time and place than Greenglass House, but it’s kind of related. But we’ll let Kate Milford herself explain! As part of our giveaway, she agreed to answer some of our questions:

    Some readers may be new to the stories that connect Greenglass House with Bluecrowne and your other books. What would you say to those new readers?

    Kate: That’s a great question. Let me first explain the connection between Greenglass House and Bluecrowne, because they have a special relationship. Greenglass House is set in an inn in the city of Nagspeake that’s described as looking as though it had been cobbled together from pieces of a dozen different houses in a dozen different cities. Later in the book, Milo is told that the original family for whom the house was built never lived in it. Bluecrowne is the story of that family, and why they didn’t stay. It’s also the big connector between Greenglass House and the rest of my books — primarily to The Broken Lands and The Left-Handed Fate, which comes out in 2016. But I think it’s entirely possible for someone to read The Boneshaker and The Broken Lands and not have a clue how Greenglass House is connected to them — but that wouldn’t disrupt their reading at all, because each book was written to stand alone. There’s no “right” order to read them in, either. I look at those little connections as Easter eggs — they’re there if you look for them, but you don’t have to. (For the nerds who love to find connections, though, there are lots to find!)

    Greenglass House is a delightful book to read at any time of year, but it’s a special joy to read it now, during the winter holiday season. But the Christmas timing doesn’t seem completely pivotal to the plot of the book. What made you decide to set the book around the holidays?

    Kate: Well, you’re right in that I didn’t set out to exactly write a “Christmas book,” but I definitely did want to write a winter book. I love winter, always have, and Christmas was and remains a big deal in my family — a lot of the traditions of Milo’s family are lifted from my own. When I made the decision to set this book in winter, it just made sense to me to set Greenglass House in the days leading up to Christmas, particularly since it goes a long way toward making things as completely inconvenient for Milo as possible.

    In Greenglass House, Milo and Meddy play a role-playing game called Odd Trails. If you were playing, what kind of character would you be?

    Kate: Oh, man. So I have limited RPG experience, but I like to play rogues, which in Odd Trails would translate to blackjacks. I like tricksters, which is maybe something you can tell if you’ve read The Boneshaker or The Broken Lands. Right now I’m in the middle of a D&D game with my husband and some friends, and I’m playing a rogue, but she’s a really bad rogue. Like, really ineffectual, I mean, and not because I decided to make her that way. I just have really bad luck with this character. In tabletop games, you decide what your’e going to do and then you roll dice to determine how successful you are. I just consistently roll so poorly. There was a memorable instance a couple weeks ago when my poor rogue walked into a rake, Wyle E. Coyote style. On the other hand, in real life I actually can pick locks, sort of, and while I am clumsy as all get-out, I have never actually walked into a rake.


    • A signed copy of Greenglass House by Kate Milford
    • A signed copy of Bluecrowne by Kate Milford
    • A set of Kidsmomo bookmarks


    This sweepstakes has ended.

    Enter before December 31st, 2014. See official rules.

    Greenglass House and Bluecrowne Sweepstakes for Kids: Official Rules

    December 8th, 2014 by’s Greenglass House and Bluecrowne Sweepstakes
    Kid Sweepstakes – Official Rules


    Sweepstakes is open to anyone under the age of 18 who is a legal resident of, and physically located within, the 50 United States or D.C. Sweepstakes is void in Puerto Rico and where otherwise prohibited or restricted by law.

    The sweepstakes begins on December 8, 2014 and ends on December 31, 2014. Entries must be received by December 31, 2014.

    How to Enter:
    No purchase necessary to enter. A purchase will not improve your chance of winning. To enter the Sweepstakes, fill out the online Sweepstakes entry form (the “Form”). Completion of the Form will automatically enter you in the Sweepstakes. Completion of the Form is the only means of entering the Sweepstakes. Partially completed Forms will not be accepted. Limit one entry per person. Subsequent entries will be disqualified. Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (United States) on December 31, 2014. YOU MAY ONLY ENTER THIS SWEEPSTAKES ONLINE, NO OTHER METHOD OF ENTRY WILL BE ACCEPTED. No copies, facsimiles or reproductions of online entry form will be accepted. All entries become the exclusive property of Kidsmomo and will not be acknowledged or returned. Kidsmomo shall not be liable for (a) telephone, electronic, program, network, Internet, or computer delays, deletions, interruptions or other failures of any kind; (b) late, lost, damaged, failed, misdirected, incomplete, garbled, unintelligible, or delayed computer messages; or (c) any human error that may occur in the processing of any entry, nor are they responsible for any theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries, whether caused by the sender or any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in this Sweepstakes. Proof of emailing does not constitute proof of delivery. In the event of a dispute regarding the identity of a person submitting an online entry, the entry will be deemed to be submitted by the Authorized Account Holder of the e-mail address at the time of entry. “Authorized Account Holder” is defined as the natural person who is assigned the email address by an Internet access provider, online service provider, or other organization (e.g., business, educational institution, etc.) that is responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address.

    Two (2) winners will each receive a prize pack containing a copy of Greenglass House and a copy of Bluecrowne, both signed by the author and a set of ten (10) Kidsmomo bookmarks. (Estimated retail value: $33.)

    No prize transfer, assignment, or substitution by winners permitted.

    Winner Selection and Notification:
    On or about January 5, 2015, two (2) winners will be selected at random from all eligible entries received.

    Winners must meet all eligibility requirements. In the event a winner is deemed ineligible, or is not available to claim the prize, then an alternate winner will be selected at random from all remaining eligible entries.

    Each winner’s parent/guardian will be notified by email on or about January 5, 2015 and will be required to respond and confirm eligibility and liability release. All legal responsibilities of a minor under the rules will be assumed by the parent/guardian. Response to email notification must be received by Kidsmomo within fourteen (14) days or the prize will be forfeited and will be awarded to an alternate winner.

    Odds of winning depend on the total number of eligible sweepstakes entries received. Many may enter; only one (1) will win.

    By participating in this sweepstakes, entrants agree (a) to be bound by these official rules; and (b) that the decisions of Kidsmomo are final on all matters relating to the sweepstakes.

    By participating and/or accepting any prize that they may win, entrants agree to release Kidsmomo from any liability, claims, losses, and damages arising in any manner, directly or indirectly, from participation in this sweepstakes and/or acceptance or use of the prize.

    Kidsmomo (

    A Squall of Snowy Stories

    December 19th, 2019 by

    snowman in snowglobeWhat’s a “snow squall”? It’s a relatively short but intense period of heavy snow and strong winds. And yesterday, many New York City residents (myself included) learned the term as a Snow Squall Warning was issued for NYC for the first time in history!

    Fortunately, I was inside the whole day and didn’t have to deal with the storm — and I expect I’ll be spending more and more time indoors as we get into the heart of chilly winter weather. But what a perfect time to curl up with a mug of hot cocoa, a fluffy blanket, and a good book, right?

    And if you’re looking for the perfect story for the season, then look no further than these two booklists published on Kidsmomo in winters past:

    Cool Books for Cold-Weather Reading

    A Wintry Mix of Books

    And if you’ve got a favorite wintry or holiday-themed book that we haven’t mentioned here, please share in the comments!

    — Karen

    Besides the titles mentioned in our booklists, Karen would also recommend the Greenglass House books by Kate Milford — which are perfect for this time of year. A snowy lodge? Check. Cheerful Christmas traditions with family? Check. A surprising mystery and possibly dangerous criminals infiltrating the main character’s home? Perhaps not a usual part of everyone’s holidays, but check and check!

    More about Karen »

    Cybils 2014 Nominees

    January 12th, 2015 by

    Cybils-Logo-2014-Round-Lg-300x300Every year, bloggers and readers all over the country gather to read, evaluate, and decide the winners of the Cybils Awards! What are the Cybils Awards?

    “The Cybils Awards aims to recognize the children’s and young adult authors and illustrators whose books combine the highest literary merit and popular appeal.”

    Translation: What were the best books of the year?

    Check out this year’s middle grade finalists for the Cybils:

    Category: Fiction

    Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood by Varsha Bajaj All Four Stars by Tara Dairman Death by Toilet Paper Donna Gephart

    Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson The Crossover_Kwame Alexander The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern Nickel Bay Nick by Dean Pitchford

    Category: Speculative Fiction

    Boys of Blur by N. D. Wilson Greenglass House by Kate Milford Nuts to You by Lynne Rae Perkins

    The Castle Behind Thorns by Merrie Haskell The Jupiter Pirates- Hunt for the Hydra by Jason Fry The Luck Uglies by Paul Durham The Swallow- A Ghost Story by Charis Cotter

    Category: Nonfiction

    Angel Island- Gateway to Gold Mountain  Handle With Care- An Unusual Butterfly Journey The Case of the Vanishing Little Brown Bats- A Scientific Mystery

    Separate Is Never Equal- Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation Feathers- Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart Chasing Cheetahs- The Race to Save Africa’s Fastest Cat When Lunch Fights Back- Wickedly Clever Animal Defenses

    Category: Graphic Novels

    The Dumbest Idea Ever by Jimmy Gownley El Deafo Cece Bell Ballad by Blexbolex Bird & Squirrel on Ice

    Hidden- A Child’s Story of the Holocaust Gaijin- American Prisoner of War Bad Machinery- The Case of the Good Boy

    Unfortunately, Karen and I haven’t read ALL of the nominees this year (if only we didn’t have those pesky things called jobs, we could read all day!), so we can’t fairly pick our favorites from this list. But how about you? Have you read any of the Cybils finalists, and which are your favorites? Leave a comment below!

    — Kidsmomo

    Kidlit for the Adults in Your Life

    December 15th, 2014 by

    As I mentioned recently, I love the winter holidays. Did I bake almost 100 ginger molasses cookies while watching a Christmas movie this weekend? Yes. So you know I’m serious.

    But even so, this time of year can be pretty stressful as you rush around trying to get presents for everyone and their mother — or at least your own mother. And father and aunt and uncle and grandparents…

    So I’ve come up with a brilliant idea: If you’re stuck on what to get the adults in your life, give them the gift of kidlit! They probably ask you questions like, “Do young people read so-and-so anymore?” And “When I was a kid, I loved this-and-that, but do kids still know it?” So introduce them to some newer kidlit books that rock!

    Greenglass-House_Kate-MilfordIf your adult likes The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin…

    Try Greenglass House by Kate Milford, a mystery about a group of strangers who all arrive as guests at a secluded hotel on the same night. (And you should also enter our sweeps for a chance to win an autographed copy for yourself!)

    file-under-13-suspicious-incidentsIf your adult likes the Encyclopedia Brown series by Donald Sobol…

    Try File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents by Lemony Snicket, a book of short mysteries with solutions in the back.

    clementine-sara-pennypacker-bookIf your adult likes the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary…

    Try the Clementine series by Sara Pennypacker, about a rambunctious girl who gets up to plenty of antics.

    liar-and-spyIf your adult likes Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh…

    Try Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead, about two kids investigating some funny characters in their apartment building.

    any-which-wall-book-reviewIf your adult likes Half Magic and Edward Eager’s other books…

    Try Any Which Wall by Laurel Snyder, about a family of kids who discover a wall that can transport them through space and time.

    penderwicks_jeanne_birdsallIf your adult likes the Melendy quartet by Elizabeth Enright…

    Try the Penderwicks books by Jeanne Birdsall, a sweet series about one family’s exploits.

    charlottes-web-coverIf your adult likes Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White…

    Well, that is truly a singular book. Just tell them to reread it. 🙂

    Hopefully these suggestions will earn you some points when your adults unwrap their presents this year. But as for you, are there any books you are requesting as gifts? Tell us in the comments!

    — Karen

    Karen would like an ebook copy of Rick Riordan’s The Blood of Olympus this Christmas. She’s dying to read it, but doesn’t want to lug around the hardcover!

    More about Karen »

    Mission and Founders

    August 8th, 2009 by


    Kidsmomo is dedicated to motivating kids to read for pleasure.

    When we’ve turned the last page in an amazing book, the first thing we do is go back to the beginning and start reading all over again. But the second thing we do is evangelize that book to as many people as possible. With books for adults, there are numerous sites that allow us to recommend a book to other adults. But we mostly read kids’ books and want to recommend the best ones to, well, kids. So we created Kidsmomo to share our individual book recommendations and musings directly with young readers (ages 8-13). And we’ve also included a way for kids to share their personal book recommendations and musings with each other.

    We’re not trying to sell books or market particular brands. Our goal is to curate an online experience that motivates kids to read for pleasure and connect with peers around a shared enthusiasm for books. After all, that’s how kids interact with the TV shows and music that they love — and it shouldn’t be any different with books.

    Research shows that children’s interest in pleasure reading starts to decline around the age of nine. At the heart of that research is that self-selection and variety are critical to engaging kids in reading and writing. So we’ve developed an editorial structure that conveys the breadth of good books ripe for the picking, with the aim of empowering children to feel excitement and ownership of their experience with books.

    But ultimately, we’re communicating directly with kids as fellow readers — two people who just can’t shut up about how much they loooooooooooooooooooooove children’s books. And our mission is to get kids to join us in that mania: we’re the cult of Kidsmomo, and we want to indoctrinate children with a fervor for books.


    Nancy Tsai and Karen Wang have over three decades combined experience in K-12 educational technology and children’s ebooks. Karen and Nancy worked together at Scholastic and Amplify Education, and Nancy additionally worked in Kids & Teen books at Barnes & Currently, Nancy is Associate Director of Product Management at Amplify (including supporting Amplify ELA’s digital library) and Karen is pursuing a Master of Library and Information Science at Pratt Institute in order to be a youth services librarian.

    Karen and Nancy also have related experience through a variety of internships and volunteer opportunities: Nancy formerly worked for Los Angeles Family Magazine and has volunteered with youth at a local community center through New York Cares. Karen previously interned at the Library of Congress Young Readers Center, Diverse BookFinder, Parenting Magazine, Family Life Magazine, and Tricycle Press (the children’s book imprint of Ten Speed Press), and she currently volunteers with Brooklyn Public Library and the nonprofit Housing Works Used Bookstore. In addition, Karen has served as a judge for the American Library in Paris Young Authors Fiction Festival, and both Karen and Nancy have served as judges for the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers’ annual student writing awards and the Do Something Awards, and they have volunteered their time at Do Something’s Social Action Boot Camp in New York.

    (Please note that all views expressed by Nancy Tsai and Karen Wang on Kidsmomo are solely those of Nancy and Karen as individuals and should not be taken to reflect or represent the views of our employers or institutions.)

    On a Personal Note…

    Karen and a Nurse Shark.  Slightly dangerous.I’ve always been inspired by children’s books. My parents report that I wrote my first story at the age of 2. I dictated it to my mom, who dutifully played the role of stenographer, and it had something to do with Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. A few years later, I devoured the Baby-Sitters Club books and penned my own version of the series about a group of girls who called themselves “the Wild Horses” (I can no longer recall what the Wild Horses actually did as a club; I have a feeling it was odd jobs, since I obviously couldn’t make them baby-sitters and apparently couldn’t figure out anything else for them to do). Now, decades later, I still can’t get enough of kids’ books!

    I compulsively re-read: Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, Secret Letters from 0 to 10 by Susie Morgenstern, Buffalo Brenda by Jill Pinkwater, Greenglass House by Kate Milford

    All-time obsessions: The West WingSYTYCD, sushi — actually, food of any kind

    One of my favorite memories growing up was listening to my 2nd grade student teacher read The Secret Garden out loud, complete with a variety of British accents. This was over the course of a school year, but of course, I read ahead. In my young age, I also founded the “Puppy Club”, which was essentially the Baby-Sitters Club. Minus the baby-sitting.

    I have compulsively re-shelving my books once a month with a new organizational system — sometimes by author, by series, by style of the spine design, by publisher… since I was 9 years old.

    I’d like to have in my reading circle: Frances Hodgson Burnett, Maurice Sendak, Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, Harper Lee, Gene Luen Yang, and Jane Austen.

    All-time obsessions: the Internet; science fiction movies; robots; and worrying about what would have happened to me if I didn’t live in the age of the Internet, science fiction movies, and especially robots.

    If you have questions for Karen and Nancy as Kidsmomo founders, please feel free to contact us.

    Best Books of 2014

    December 28th, 2014 by

    There are technically a few days left in 2014, but I think it’s safe to call it, right? I’ve scoured the Interwebs, polled a few fellow readers, studied the You(th) reviews, and dug deep into my heart… so without further ado, here is a list (in no particular order) of the Best Books of 2014!

    (Click on each cover for the official book description from the publisher, and in some cases a Kidsmomo review!)

    Rain Reign_Ann M Martin  Brown Girl Dreaming_ Jacqueline Woodson ophelia-and-the-marvelous-boy

    Mark of the Dragonfly_Jaleigh-Johnson The Crossover_Kwame Alexander Greenglass-House_Kate-Milford

    El Deafo Cece Bell  Absolutely Almost_Lisa Graff Glass Sentence_SE Grove

    Revolution_Deborah Wiles Fourteenth Goldfish_Jennifer L Holm sisters

    Honorable Mention:
    Blood of Olympus 260x420 Rick RiordanThe Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan — because it was an action-packed finale to a fantastic series!

    Do you agree or disagree with this list? Was your favorite new book of 2014 on this list, or is there a big, gaping book-shaped hole on this page where your pick should be? Either way, leave a review below and let us know!

      Please don't send us any personal information such as your last name, address, or phone number. Read our Terms of Submission below before you submit your article.

      Kids: Ask your parents or teachers for approval before you submit anything to us, and read our Privacy Policy Statement.

      * All fields are required

      Your First Name ONLY:

      Your Age:


      Your Book Review:

      Rate the Book!

      Terms of Submission

      Before being published, your submission will be reviewed. It will be checked to see that it does not contain any inappropriate language or personal information. By sending us your submission, you are giving Kidsmomo permission to edit, promote, and put it up on our site and/or read it in its entirety in our podcast. However, because lots of kids send us submissions, we won't be able to publish all of the submissions that we receive. Also, it's really important to send us only your own writing and not anything that you copied from somewhere else. Thank you.

      — Nancy

      icon_nancyNancy’s personal pick from this list is The Mark of the Dragonfly, but books are like adopted children or pets — how could she possibly pick her favorite?!

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