Del Rio, Tania and Staehle, Will. Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye
November 24th 2015 by Quirk Books
Copy provided by Deb Shapiro and Company
Warren lives and works in his family's hotel, just as 12 generations of Warrens did before him. His father is gone, but his Uncle Rupert and Aunt Annaconda run the hotel... which never has guests. When a mysterious, silent figure wrapped in bandages books a room, the hotel is suddenly besieged with guests, all of whom are looking for "the all-seeing eye". Each person has a different concept of what this is, and Warren's family doesn't seem to know. Annaconda's sisters, Scalene and Isoceles, come to visit, and Warren suddenly finds himself on the recieving end of Annaconda's wrath-- she is a witch, and she wants the eye for herself! Luckily, Warren is aided by young guest Petula as well as Mr. Bunion, the cook and Mr. Friggs, his tutor. What family secrets can Warren uncover that will lead to the solution of the mystery?
Strengths: The formatting of this is unusual and attractive. Rendered in red and black, the wider-than-normal pages have the text in two columns. There are line-drawing page ornaments as well. There is a Lemony Snicket, macabre feel to this.
Weaknesses: Why does Warren look like a toad? Perhaps there will be more about that in the next book.
What I really think: Ten years ago, I wouldn't have been able to keep this on the shelves, because there was an insatiable demand for Lemony Snicket read-alikes. For the first time ever this year, the sixth graders did NOT storm my collection. All of my multiple copies lovingly glued and taped back together are just sitting there, so I don't know how well this book might do. The clever formatting might save it.