Winterborne Home for Mayhem and Mystery

Winterborne Home for Mayhem and Mystery

By:  Ally Carter

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Five orphans. Two sword-wielding vigilantes. One mansion. No rules.

April thought she had her happy ending. After all, she has her new house and new friends and new guardian. But she also has a very big new secret.

The kids of Winterborne House are the only ones who know that Gabriel Winterborne—famous billionaire and terrible cook—is really a sword-wielding vigilante.

What they don’t know is that he’s not the only one.

When a masked figure breaks in, looking for something—or someone—it’s clear that Gabriel has met his match, and now no one is safe. April and her friends will have to solve a decades-old mystery in order to hang on to the most important thing in the world: each other.

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  • Format: Hardcover

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780358004400

  • ISBN-10: 0358004403

  • Pages: 352

  • Price: $16.99

  • Publication Date: 03/02/2021

  • Carton Quantity: 24

  • Age(s): 8,9,10,11,12

  • Grade(s): 3-7

Ally Carter

Ally Carter

 Ally Carter writes books about sentinels, spies, thieves, and diplomats. She is a New York Times best-selling author whose novels have sold over three million copies and have been published in more than twenty countries. She's the acclaimed author of a middle grade series about a mischievous young orphan and her vigilante guardian (Winterborne Home), three YA series about the world's best teenage art thieves (Heist Society), the world's coolest spy school (Gallagher Girls, including I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You), and the granddaughter of a diplomat who has to find her mother's killer on Embassy Row, as well as the stand-alone novel, Not If I Save You First. She lives in Oklahoma, where her life is either very ordinary or the best deep-cover story ever. www.AllyCarter.comTwitter: @OfficiallyAlly Instagram, Facebook, and Tumblr: @theallycarter
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  • reviews

    "Carter’s novel continuously opens new doors, creating not just twists but a snarled maze of intrigue.... Tween sleuths’ minds will race as Carter masterfully elongates the rising plot with action and explosive new information....Highly recommended as a twisting tween thriller, filled with budding friendships and a journey to self-discovery."—School Library Journal 


    "Carter doesn’t skimp on the action, packing her plot with plenty of twists, propulsive chases, unsettling villains, secret passageways, and some very real danger.... kids enamored by espionage, secret identities, and superhero stories will get a kick out of this."—Booklist 


    "Fans of cliffhanger escapes, captures, recaptures, and surprise revelations are well served. "—Kirkus 



    Praise for Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor: 


    "[F]ast moving and surprise-filled, guaranteed to have readers racing on to the next deliciously gothic complication." —Kirkus 


    "In her middle grade debut, Carter (Not If I Save You First) offers up mystery, intrigue, and swashbuckling action in a rollicking story of long-lost secrets and found family." —Publishers Weekly 


    "A fast-paced thrill ride of a book, filled with great characters, swashbuckling action sequences, secret passageways, mystery, and plenty of humor. It’s Batman meets Annie. My daughter devoured it in one sitting and immediately begged for more. I can’t come up with any better praise than that." —Stuart Gibbs, New York Times bestselling author of the Spy School series 


    “An adventure-filled read with a twisty mystery and spunky friendships. I loved it!” –Melissa de la Cruz, New York times best-selling author of The Descendants series 


    "This is the kind of read that makes your soul sit up straight. At once a heart-wrenching tale of found family and a thrilling, atmospheric mystery that keeps you guessing at every page, Ally Carter's middle grade debut is a triumph. I loved April's character down to the barb wire wrapped around her heart, and I cheered for her journey and the extraordinary bravery required to open up to other people." 

    —Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of Aru Shah and the End of Time 


    “An unputdownable blend of humor, unique characters, and a mystery that’ll keep readers turning pages way past their bedtimes--and checking their basements... just in case.” —Alexandra Bracken, New York Times bestselling author of Prosper Redding  


    Praise for Not if I Save You First


    “Maddie's grit, humor, and cleverness make her an engaging action hero. Fans of survivalist fiction will be impressed by the well-researched, immersive Alaskan landscape and all its beauty and brutality. A tightly plotted thriller helmed by a firecracker that never loses her spark.” –Kirkus Reviews 


    “In this tense romantic thriller from Carter…the characters are dynamic and engaging. The teens’ childhood friendship evolves into a sweet romance, and the fast-paced thrills will keep readers up late.”—Publishers Weekly 


    “The chemistry and relationship buildup between these two friends is real and believable. The quick pace and witty dialogue will keep teens engaged. Recommended where survival and mystery stories are popular and where Carter has a following.”—School Library Journal 


    Praise for All Fall Down (Embassy Row Book One): 


    New York Times Bestseller 


    "Carter knows how to construct a gripping thriller." —Publishers Weekly 


    "Action packed and meticulously plotted, All Fall Down keeps readers guessing." —Booklist 


    "With its intrigue and clever plot twists, this series opener will leave readers hungering for more." —School Library Journal 


    "Will appeal not only to psychological-thriller fans, but to those who want a little glamour, some A-list social politics, and a bit of high school nastiness mixed in with their suspense." —Kirkus Reviews 


    "Grace is a fighter, and she will stop at nothing to find out what happened to her mother. Readers will love this first book in what promises to be an exciting, thrilling mystery series." —Voice of Youth Advocates 


    "An amazing book." —The Guardian 


    Honors and Awards

    2011 Texas Lone Star Reasing List (Heist Society)

    2010 YALSA Teens Top Ten Book (Heist Society)

    North Carolina Book Award Booklist, 2010-2011 (Heist Society)

    Teens Top 10 Finalist, 2010 (Heist Society)

    Romance Writers’ of America Rita Award Finalist, 2010 (Don’t Judge a Girl By Her Cover)

    Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award Winner (I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You)

    Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award Winner (I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You)

    Amelia Bloomer Book Award (I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You)

    Kansas Notable book (I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You)

    Texas Lone Star Reading List (I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You)

    Georgia Peach Book Award Runner-Up (I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You)

  • excerpts
    OneThe New Normal

    April had never been a normal girl. It wasn’t like that made her special. At all. Seriously. There wasn’t anything special about not having parents or a last name or a birthday—even a really anticlimactic birthday like Christmas or the Fourth of July. No. April wasn’t special, you see. She was simply not normal. 

          After all, you can’t possibly be normal when you don’t have any money, but you also live in a mansion. When you don’t have a family, but you’re part of the Winterbornes. And, most of all, it’s totally, absolutely, completely impossible to be normal when your roommate is Sadie Marie Simmons, inventor extraordinaire. 

          “Are you ready?” Sadie asked in a way that April had come to dread. Because Sadie had the Sadie gleam in her eyes and her hands were practically vibrating with glee and anticipation. 

          So April’s hands started vibrating too. Just for completely opposite reasons. Her voice even cracked a little when she said, “Maybe we should wait on . . . someone.” 

          But there was no one to wait on, and that was something even April didn’t dare to mention. 

          “Gabriel’s going to love this,” Sadie told her. “You’ll see. It’s going to be such a big help until Smithers comes back. Or Ms. Nelson.” 

          She looked sheepish at that last part, and April couldn’t blame her. After all, Smithers had been gone for four weeks. First, to the International Association of Butlers convention, where he’d won the annual—and hotly contested—Buttle-Off (which was a good thing). But the grand prize was a cruise around the world (which was a bad thing). When he called to tell them the news, he swore he’d be home as soon as possible. 

          But Gabriel . . . Gabriel just swore. 

          April strongly suspected that had less to do with Smithers’s extended absence and more to do with the fact that it had been three months since Isabella Nelson had fallen into the sea. Sure, Izzy had sent a note, telling them she was alive and well. But she hadn’t come home. And now she’d been gone for twelve weeks. Eighty-four days. Not that April had been counting. (But April had totally been counting.) 

          Every day, the residents of Winterborne House woke up and hoped she’d be there, telling the kids to stop running on the stairs and Gabriel to shave and tuck his shirt in. But it was starting to look like Isabella Nelson might be gone for good. 

          Which was almost as scary as the look in Sadie’s eye when she said, “Okay! Goggles ready?” 

          April didn’t answer. She just grabbed the plastic safety goggles that Smithers bought in bulk and were a standard part of the Sadie Marie Simmons Friendship Package. 

          No sooner were April’s goggles in place than Sadie was saying, “Now!” 

          Then she pulled a cord. A moment later, Smithers’s big, fancy stove sprang to life. Flames sparked underneath a heavy cast iron griddle, and a mixer turned on and started stirring batter in a giant bowl. It all seemed harmless enough until the bowl began to slide down a track. 

          And slowly. 




          No! April wanted to cry, but the bowl couldn’t have been more stable as it dripped batter onto the hot griddle in perfect little puddles of future pancakes. 

          “Wait for it . . .” Sadie said a few moments later, and April remembered to be scared. “Now!” Sadie exclaimed just as the piping-hot griddle popped up. The pancakes flipped. And every last one of them landed back on the griddle, perfect as you please. 

          “It worked,” April said, equal parts stunned and relieved. 

          “Of course it worked.” Sadie wasn’t mad, and she wasn’t defensive. It was just a data point in a long line of data points—every one of which said that the newest SadieMatic was ready for business. 

          April’s heart rate was just starting to return to normal when Sadie grabbed a knife and said, “Now it’s time to try bacon!” 

          But before April could even start to panic, someone said, “I’ll do that, Sade!” and Tim swept into the kitchen. He snatched the sharp knife out of Sadie’s hand before she could attach it to the SadieMatic Twenty, because it was the unwritten rule of Winterborne House that SadieMatics and knives should never, ever mix. 

          A moment later Tim had the bacon open and a second pan was sizzling on the stove and the whole room smelled like the best thing ever: breakfast. Seriously, April thought. I ought to make a perfume that smells like breakfast. She’d be richer than Gabriel if she did. 

          But that just made April think about Gabriel. Which made her glance at the clock: ten a.m. 

          Mornings were coming later and nights were lasting longer, and April had to wonder if it was the time of year or something else that was keeping Winterborne House more and more in the dark. 

          “Is he up?” April asked, but Tim just looked at her. 

          “I thought he was down here.” 

          “I haven’t seen him,” she said, and they both glanced at Sadie, who beamed. 

          “I’ll get him!” Then she ran to a small panel on the wall that had about a million buttons. They were old and brass, and had no doubt hung there, unused, for decades, but Sadie had recently made it her life’s mission to resurrect the old intercom, and when she pushed the button, there wasn’t even a hint of static as she said, “Gabriel! Kitchen to Gabriel’s room. Gabriel, are you there?” 

          “He’s not gonna answer if he’s in a mood, Sade,” Tim told her. 

          But that just made Sadie hold the button down a little more forcefully and yell a little louder, “Gabriel! Gabriel! Gabriel! Gab—” Then Sadie stopped abruptly and looked at Tim and April. “What if he’s not ignoring me? What if he’s gone?” 

          Tim glanced at April, then back at Sadie. “What do you mean, gone?” 

          “What if he’s not in his room because he’s . . . you know . . . out there.” Sadie jerked her head toward the windows. “What if he’s . . .” She dropped

Available Resources

Related Categories

  • Format: Hardcover

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780358004400

  • ISBN-10: 0358004403

  • Pages: 352

  • Price: $16.99

  • Publication Date: 03/02/2021

  • Carton Quantity: 24

  • Age(s): 8,9,10,11,12

  • Grade(s): 3-7

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