Welcome back to the Great DMV BookClub!

Now that it's the winter holidays, we had grand plans of sharing lots of holiday-themed books written in and about the DMV. Unfortunately, there just aren’t many. It's not that there aren't any about Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa; it's just that most don't take place here in our area. Instead, I'm choosing to share one of my very favorite books with a winter theme, that just happens to be written by an author originally from Annapolis, Maryland.

December’s selection for the Great DMV BookClub is:

Greenglass House by Kate Milford

From the Publisher:

It’s wintertime at Greenglass House. The creaky smuggler’s inn is always quiet during this season, and 12-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.

While Greenglass House is geared toward middle graders, it is the perfect story for readers of all ages. It's a bit of a mix between Harry Potter and Agatha Christie novels. The action is set in a beautiful old inn called Greenglass House in the week heading into the Christmas holidays. From there, it's a classic mystery tale with some fantasy thrown in for good measure.

I’ve never read a book that describes the setting and the people in it with such detail. They come alive and off the page so beautifully that I could picture each room perfectly. And Milo is a fabulous leading man. Though he has his quirks, his special way of looking at the world is exactly what’s needed to solve this Christmas mystery. I love the way the lodgers, his family, and his friends interact with him. They don’t judge, and they don’t push. He uses his differences to his advantage. And while solving the mystery is the fun part, the story seems to be about family and friendship more than anything else. If you're in the market for something different this holiday season, dive into Greenglass House and read along with us as we discover the secrets of the old inn in Nagspeake. And if you really enjoy it, follow along into Milford’s next book, Ghosts of Greenglass House (which is also fabulous!)

Greenglass House can be purchased on Amazon or wherever great books are sold.

Food for Thought

  1. After hearing the lodgers’ tales of pirating, is Nagspeake on your fantasy travel list? Also, are we thinking the author based this river on the Chesapeake?
  2. In Milo and Meddy's game, what three qualities would you give your character?
  3. If you were given a whole week off work to celebrate the holidays in a beautiful old inn with the people you loved, what three things would you be sure to do?
  4. Were you shocked by the big twist or has Harry Potter taught you to expect surprises like this?

As always, we’d love to hear from you, so if you have a favorite DMV author or a great book that’s set in the area, comment away. We’re always looking to discover new and wonderful writers!

And make sure to check back on Tuesday, December 18, for our review and discussion of Greenglass House!

Looking for more books to read? Check out our November book selection -- "Float Plan"!