February 03, 2010

First Graphs: Children's book, The Secret of the Bradford House by Albert Bell Jr.

Welcome to Albert A. Bell, Jr., author of THE SECRET OF THE BRADFORD HOUSE (Ingalls Publishing Group, April 2010), the sequel to the award-winning SECRET OF THE LONELY GRAVE.

In The Secret of the Bradford House, friends Steve and Kendra find a new neighbor-and a new mystery.

What is that light in the attic window of the spooky old Bradford House? Could it be a ghost? Hidden stairways and secrets from World War I draw the friends into investigating the mysteries of this small town in Kentucky’s Land Between the Lakes... what they find is beyond any of their imaginings.

The spooky old Bradford House at the top of the hill has loomed over Steve Patterson and Kendra Jordan's neighborhood for years. But not until a new neighbor, 11-year-old Rachel Mendoza, notices an eerie light in an attic window does the question arise: Is there a ghost in the house?

While they try to answer that question, Steve and Kendra have to deal with the tension caused by the presence of a "new kid" in the neighborhood, one who seems to have a more than casual interest in Steve. Steve is also reconnecting with his divorced father and learning how difficult that process can be.


“Okay, ten more serves from each side and you’re done.”

When Kendra and I heard the tennis pro at Barkley Lodge say that, we knew the lesson before hers was almost over. That was always the last thing he made his students do. We stopped in the shade of a big maple tree beside the tennis courts, where her mother had dropped us off. Kendra put down the bag with her rackets and other equipment in it. I had brought along a book my dad sent me and a folding chair.

The pro held up one hand and waggled the fingers to us. “Hey, Kendra. Good morning, Steve. Five minutes.”

He spells his name Rolfe and, for the tourists, pronounces it like a dog barking, but everybody around here knows he’s actually just Ralph from over in Paducah. He must be a pretty good tennis instructor, though, considering how good a player Kendra is becoming.

Today Rolfe was working with a dark-haired girl. She was wearing white shorts and a green t-shirt with a school name on it. I guessed she was my age.

“Boy, she’s booming those serves like she’s mad at somebody.” Kendra put her arm up against the tall wire fence surrounding the court and leaned her forehead on it.

** Get information at the author's website. Sample chapter to come!

** A Buy link will be added when the book goes up on Amazon.com

** Review:

Even if I hadn't received an ARC of this book, I'd still have to say I loved it! Kendra and Steve are fun kids to get to know, with a natural curiosity that makes their investigating a perfect extension of their personalities. The book offers an interesting historical tie-in and information that makes the past real and more than just dry facts. I have to admit that I even learned something I didn't know! Boys and girls both will enjoy reading the book.

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