cover image The Tilting House

The Tilting House

Tom Llewellyn, illus. by Sarah Watts, Random/Tricycle, $15.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-58246-288-2

Sick of living in tiny apartments, the Peshiks are in for a surprise when they move into the mysterious Tilton House in Tacoma, Wash. Twelve-year-old Josh and his younger brother Aaron are intrigued by the house and its eccentric designer/previous owner, F.T. Tilton. The house possesses a seemingly infinite number of quirks: the floors tilt exactly three degrees, the walls are covered with indecipherable scrawls, the rats speak English, and a dimmer switch turns the structure invisible. "It deserved me, because I loved it. Because I wanted to know its secrets," says Josh. The brothers uncover several strange mysteries, confront unusual neighbors, and are pressed to solve the biggest mystery of all—Tilton's past. A cross between Goosebumps and Twin Peaks, Llewellyn's debut is inventive, gripping, and shot through with macabre details (in one of the brothers' episodic adventures they outwit a pair of sinister funeral directors; in another, their grandfather shares the story of how he lost his leg). The quick pace, as well as Watts's shadowy woodblock-style digital illustrations at the beginning of each chapter, will keep readers attentive. Ages 8–11. (June)