Book Review: The Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor

by Ally Carter

When April sees a box in the Winterborne Exhibit with a lock that matches the key her mom left with her as a baby, she knows that she has to open it. She doesn’t mean to burn down the museum exhibit in the process.

When April wakes up after the fire, she meets Ms. Nelson, the trustee of the Winterborne Foundation. And after a conversation and a quick car ride, April finds herself at the Winterborne home–her new home until her mom comes back.

But April might not get to stay very long. If Gabriel Winterborne–the heir who disappeared years ago–stays gone, the house will be lost once he’s declared dead. But Gabriel Winterborne may not be as dead as some people wish he was. And what does April’s key actually unlock?


I think Stuart Gibbs comparison of “Batman meets Annie” is a great comparison. Instantly, I got strong Annie vibes from April’s situation with her mom. And the Batman part… well I don’t want to spoil too much. But there is an entire legend about a vigilante. And they may not be legends, just like the Winterborne heir might not be dead.

It was fun to read The Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor after reading all of Carter’s other books since there were certain aspects of The Winterborne Home that reminded me of her other books. Colin would fit in just fine with the crew of Heist Society (even if he is a little young), and Violet reminded me a little of Liz from Carter’s Gallagher Girl series. There was a scene that felt a little too similar to something in one of her other books, but it didn’t really bother me.

Also, Smithers is such a great, classic butler. And I loved the feeling of the giant, mysterious mansion.

The Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor ends perfectly set up for a squeal, tying up some ends while leaving enough of them lose. I’m excited to see what Carter does with her first middlegrade series.

Cautions: Brief rude humor; mild, non-graphic violence

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