“While Andrew Leon's novel is aimed at younger folk, it's certainly no Winnie the Pooh. Nor is it any kind of nursery tale. Despite the fact that 'House' is a fantasy, it's as real as real gets. The three heroes - siblings Tom, Sam and Ruth - behave like real kids. Which means they fight (a lot). I loved this. I've read way way too many books where the kids are all perfect angels (gak) ...To me, this is where 'House' really shines - the children's characters are fleshed out with distinct personalities. This means a lot because the vast majority of the book is told in first-person, with each of the children taking a turn telling chapters. Leon doesn't say "this chapter is told by Ruth" because it's immediately clear from his no-nonsense, detailed writing who is speaking. Ruth eats all the time and, if she's not eating, she's running all around the neighborhood at top speed, making room for the next meal. Sam, he's a practical boy and, as it turns out, a bit of a star. Tom's a deep pool of water, full of doubts, who is a hero despite what he thinks.
The kids, with their parents, move into a decrepit old house - which really makes me wonder about the parents. I mean, who in their right mind moves their family into the creepiest house in town? Haven't they seen any horror movies? Don't they know this is going to turn out badly?
Things don't turn out badly, per se - exciting is more like it. The kids discover a secret about the house, something to do with the "imagination room," and soon the whole family is involved in the adventure of their lives.
There are so many bad YA books out on the market. This is one of the good ones.”