By Chad Morris
Imagine a school in the year 2074 where students don’t read history, but watch it happen around them; where running in gym class isn’t around a track, but up a virtual mountain; and where learning about animals means becoming one through an avatar. Wlecome to Cragbridge Hall, the most advanced and prestigious school in the world.
Twins Abby and Derick Cragbridge are excited as new students to use their famed grandfather’s inventions that make Cragbridge Hall so incredible. But when their grandfather and parents go missing, the twins must follow a mysterious trail of clues left by their grandfather. They must find out where their family is, learn who they can trust, and discover what secrets are hidden within Cragbridge Hall.
Abby and Derick soon realize they are caught in a race with a fierce adversary to discover their grandfather’s greatest secret—a dangerous discovery that could alter both history and reality.
The best part of these books is the sneaky way they get actual history lessons inside them as well as the lovely way that Chad is able to give his readers what I term “Jems”, or life lessons, in a generally unobtrusive way. Cragbridge Hall is a school I would’ve loved to go to as a kid. I basically just want the awesome chair that allows others to see what you see in your imagination as you read. That would be amazing. I really love how Chad gave us two heroes in the form of twins Abby and Derick, one of whom is average and had to have help to enter the prestigious school and the other who succeeds at everything and has the brains to back it up. You end up with two courageous kids who have the chance at exploring history through the Bridge, an invention of their grandfather’s that allows others to see history like watching a movie. Enter an insidious villain, a kidnapper, and a mystery, and you’ve got the plot for a fun adventure. I had the great fortune to meet Chad Morris at a book signing and he had me rolling with laughter. He was one of the most pleasant people I’ve ever met and it was his personality that made me want to read his books. They are great for middle readers and fun to read and discuss as families.
I give it a 3.5 out of 5