The Hole in the Wall Book Review

The Hole in the Wall
By Lisa Rowe Fraustino
Milkweed Editions, 2010
ISBN13: 9781571316967Grades 3-5
Reviewed from ARC provided by publisher through NetGalley

Sebby and his twin sister, Barbie, live with their parents on one of the few remaining properties that have not been claimed by Mr. Odum's mining company.  Sebby's father grew up with Mr. Odum and thinks well of him.  Sebby is not so sure.  When strange things start happening involving disappearing chickens, flashing colors, mysterious caves, and strange phone calls from his runaway brother, Jed, Sebby is sure that Mr. Odum is involved and it all seems to revolve around Sebby's secret place known only as the hole in the wall and a strange substance he and his sister discover.  Sebby and Barbie must work fast if they hope to save their family and their home.

The characters brought to life so vividly are the best part of this book.  The story is told from Sebby's point of view and his opinions on his life and the world around him are very clear.  The strained relationships within his family is shown through their interactions rather than told.  The writing is solid and doesn't interfere with the storytelling.  The idea of a mineral like substance that is drawn back to itself and can invade the human body and even petrify it is a bit strange, but acceptable.  The theme of family pulling together for the good of the whole is clear throughout the book.  Overall, an interesting read that raises lots of questions about the ethics of what we do to the earth when we access her resources.


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