Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Things are strange even before Kiki and her older sister, Alison, leave home to go to the Mount Faylinn Dance Conservatory for the summer. Alison is a very talented dancer; Kiki prefers her drawing, but she’s excited about this mysterious dance camp that they’ve heard so much about. However, when the conservatory brochure starts to sparkle on the kitchen table, a music box ballerina smashes on the floor, and a creepy spider appears in the music box debris, Kiki knows something is a bit off. The train ride to Mount Faylinn, the interaction with strange people on their trip, and the welcoming messages from Madam Dupree, not to mention more sparkling lights and the warnings about the forest beyond the conservatory, just add to the intensity of the mystery and the unknown magical forces that either threaten or entice. And then Alison goes missing.
Colette Sewall’s young people’s novel, Kiki MacAdoo and the Graveyard Ballerinas, is a fantasy mystery adventure that you won’t want to miss. The plot has readers hooked from the mysterious happenings in the first chapter all the way to the end. With lots of fantastical tangents and dance-intensified events, young readers will be thrilled with this fast-paced thriller. The language is simple with lots of dialogue to help move the story along. Descriptive narrative is well used to set the scene and welcome the readers into the story. The invitation from the mysterious woods beyond, the “come dance with me,” will send shivers up and down your spine. This is a story about the art of dance, the passion for creativity, the power and bonds of family and friendship, and the love of a great mystery-infused fantasy.