web site hit counter Dickensen Academy - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Dickensen Academy

Availability: Ready to download

Dickensen Academy isn’t a typical boarding school. The faculty is hiding an unbelievable secret within their fine arts program. When Autumn Mattison receives an invitation to attend the high school, she yearns to escape her overbearing father yet remains reluctant to leave her mother and brother. Her doubts fade away when a vivid dream convinces her she belongs there. Away Dickensen Academy isn’t a typical boarding school. The faculty is hiding an unbelievable secret within their fine arts program. When Autumn Mattison receives an invitation to attend the high school, she yearns to escape her overbearing father yet remains reluctant to leave her mother and brother. Her doubts fade away when a vivid dream convinces her she belongs there. Away from home, Autumn discovers a unique school environment that awakens her creative potential, and her new friends become like a second family. However, as she uncovers more about the dark side of the school and struggles with its curriculum, she questions whether Dickensen Academy is truly where she belongs. When tragedy strikes, Autumn must learn to believe in her own power and stand up to her greatest fear or risk having her memories destroyed to protect the school’s secrets. Caught between secrets and dreams, can she find her true self?


Compare

Dickensen Academy isn’t a typical boarding school. The faculty is hiding an unbelievable secret within their fine arts program. When Autumn Mattison receives an invitation to attend the high school, she yearns to escape her overbearing father yet remains reluctant to leave her mother and brother. Her doubts fade away when a vivid dream convinces her she belongs there. Away Dickensen Academy isn’t a typical boarding school. The faculty is hiding an unbelievable secret within their fine arts program. When Autumn Mattison receives an invitation to attend the high school, she yearns to escape her overbearing father yet remains reluctant to leave her mother and brother. Her doubts fade away when a vivid dream convinces her she belongs there. Away from home, Autumn discovers a unique school environment that awakens her creative potential, and her new friends become like a second family. However, as she uncovers more about the dark side of the school and struggles with its curriculum, she questions whether Dickensen Academy is truly where she belongs. When tragedy strikes, Autumn must learn to believe in her own power and stand up to her greatest fear or risk having her memories destroyed to protect the school’s secrets. Caught between secrets and dreams, can she find her true self?

30 review for Dickensen Academy

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paula Phillips

    This book grabbed me from the title as one of my favorite tropes to read boarding school novels. Autumn Mattison has a chance to get away from her family and start fresh at the boarding school Dickensen Academy, she is reluctant at first but she has a dream of the school, and this makes her believe it is a sign that she belongs here. As Autumn tries to balance the schoolwork load as her father is pressuring her for good grades otherwise, he will pull her out of the school. The thing is though th This book grabbed me from the title as one of my favorite tropes to read boarding school novels. Autumn Mattison has a chance to get away from her family and start fresh at the boarding school Dickensen Academy, she is reluctant at first but she has a dream of the school, and this makes her believe it is a sign that she belongs here. As Autumn tries to balance the schoolwork load as her father is pressuring her for good grades otherwise, he will pull her out of the school. The thing is though that this school isn't like any other; this school has power - the power of creating dreams or nightmares and projecting them onto others. This made me wonder about dreams and nightmares as I was reading the book. I had hoped to find out more about the character Caitlyn Black and her prestigious family, but maybe we might see her in a later book. This book mainly focused on Autumn as a coming of age novel and watching as she grows out of her shell with her friends and a potential boyfriend in Ben and I am so glad that Autumn decided to re-attend the school as there was a point in the book which made you think whether she would return and what might have happened to her if she had decided not to come back as we did read of dropout students having their memories wiped.

  2. 4 out of 5

    C.J. Zahner

    Dickensen Academy is a book I highly recommend to teachers, parents, and young adults. The main character, Autumn Mattison, grabbed my heart from the first chapter, and the author, Christine Grabowski, took me back to my own school days. The setting descriptions were vivid, the dialogues flowed naturally, and the story line was very different from most YA novels, which may be the reason I enjoyed this book so much. I was immediately drawn to Autumn because of her sweet innocence and yet feisty l Dickensen Academy is a book I highly recommend to teachers, parents, and young adults. The main character, Autumn Mattison, grabbed my heart from the first chapter, and the author, Christine Grabowski, took me back to my own school days. The setting descriptions were vivid, the dialogues flowed naturally, and the story line was very different from most YA novels, which may be the reason I enjoyed this book so much. I was immediately drawn to Autumn because of her sweet innocence and yet feisty loyalty to friends. Her story depicted the true emotions of a typical teenager trying to fit in at a new school, and Grabowski’s clean, crisp writing make this a perfect YA novel. The young characters are richly developed, the story is thought-provoking, and the author’s writing style is descriptive and persuasive. Grabowski has thrown a clever spin into the academic story line, and she makes that twist believable. The author’s relaxed narration of both the simple and complex teenage years makes this novel an easy read but, without revealing too much, what will keep your attention the entire time is the unusualness of the tale. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Captivating.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Dickensen Academy is the debut novel by author Christine Grabowski. Cover to end, this book was amazing. In just looking at the cover, the book pulled me in. You see what Autumn Mattison sees – a large daunting structure – but there is a hint of innocence with her braided hair and bright pink flowers. You wonder along with her, what is to come. This book follows the story of Autumn who gets accepted into a boarding school in a remote area of Washington State. She quickly learns that this may not Dickensen Academy is the debut novel by author Christine Grabowski. Cover to end, this book was amazing. In just looking at the cover, the book pulled me in. You see what Autumn Mattison sees – a large daunting structure – but there is a hint of innocence with her braided hair and bright pink flowers. You wonder along with her, what is to come. This book follows the story of Autumn who gets accepted into a boarding school in a remote area of Washington State. She quickly learns that this may not be the great opportunity she thought it would be. She becomes part of a magical world where she get immersed in typical teenage issues, but also into the dark and often obscure secrets of the school. She realizes that her acceptance here wasn’t about her grades or character, but because she has an unusual “gift”. The path she follows in her first year at the school is one of excitement, familiarity, intrigue, shock, and ultimately contentment. She meets other kids who apparently possess the same unusual "gift" as her as they all get enthralled in this new world. Each chapter is a new experience, and while you wonder if it’s reality, you also end up rooting for Autumn as each page turns. Christine creates a full cast of characters in an intriguing and mysterious setting. The characters are likable and believable, even when the unbelievable is happening. The writing is simple, detailed, and descriptive. You really feel like you are there experiencing it with Autumn. There is suspense, adventure, friendships, dreams, and romance. The characters grow both personally and together as a group. Christine uses creativity, imagination, and mystery in a brilliant way to develop and reveal her story. I really enjoyed this book and Autumn’s story. Definitely put this book on your reading list, if you enjoy YA.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Reader Views

    Reviewed by Autumn (age 13) for Reader Views Kids (8/18) “Dickensen Academy” by Christine Grabowski is a story that keeps you wondering if what you are reading is part of a dream or actually real? Autumn Mattison is your average 15-year-old who is about to start her first year in high school. But not just any high school, a private school called Dickensen Academy. This school is by invitation only and located in the middle of nowhere, tucked among large evergreens and mountains. Since the school c Reviewed by Autumn (age 13) for Reader Views Kids (8/18) “Dickensen Academy” by Christine Grabowski is a story that keeps you wondering if what you are reading is part of a dream or actually real? Autumn Mattison is your average 15-year-old who is about to start her first year in high school. But not just any high school, a private school called Dickensen Academy. This school is by invitation only and located in the middle of nowhere, tucked among large evergreens and mountains. Since the school can only be attended by those who meet certain criteria, tests were held over the summer to find just the right candidates. Autumn soon develops friendships with several of her classmates including her roommate Aditi and a boy by the name of Ben, who she remembers from summer testing. As everything she experiences at the academy starts to feel like she has somehow already done it, she starts to question why it all seems so familiar. Not until later in the school year do Autumn and her classmates find that her classes are about to take a strange twist. Struggling with her unusual class curriculum, Autumn starts to worry if she will be sent home because she doesn’t have the special abilities all her friends have already started to master. Getting kicked out of this type of school could involve all sorts of unnerving consequences for her. Only after a terrible accident will she discover she can live up to the school’s expectations and find that she too has the special gift of Dream-Making. I really liked, “Dickensen Academy.” My favorite part of the story was how I was always wondering if, when I turned the page, whether what the character was experiencing was real or a dream. I thought there would have been more to Caitlyn and her abilities, but maybe that will come in later books? I guess my favorite character would have to be Autumn because she overcame her shyness and made an effort to be part of any activity that she was offered. The setting of the story was described so well you felt like you were there with Autumn and her friends during their dream classes and around campus. I would have liked to have had more adventurous dream experiences in the storyline as it was the unusual part I liked so much about “Dickensen Academy.” I hope the author makes this into a series as I would like to find out what happens to Autumn and her friends in the next 3 years at school. I’d also like to see how her dream-making abilities become more advanced and why dream-making is such an important talent and how it is used outside of school. I would recommend “Dickensen Academy” by Christine Grabowski for middle school-aged kids, as I think they would really enjoy the unusual experience of this academy.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jillian

    I received this book as a part of Member Giveaway on Library Thing in exchange for my honest opinion. When the time for high school comes around, Autumn is given the option to attend Dickensen Academy, a boarding school that specializes in fostering creativity in their students. But, there is more to it, in that this creativity is put to a top-secret purpose. Upon arriving at Dickensen (and even a little bit before her arrival), Autumn becomes aware through her own experiences and in talking to ot I received this book as a part of Member Giveaway on Library Thing in exchange for my honest opinion. When the time for high school comes around, Autumn is given the option to attend Dickensen Academy, a boarding school that specializes in fostering creativity in their students. But, there is more to it, in that this creativity is put to a top-secret purpose. Upon arriving at Dickensen (and even a little bit before her arrival), Autumn becomes aware through her own experiences and in talking to others that something mysterious is going on. It has to do with telepathy, people disappearing or enduring frightening punishments, locked doors, upper-classmen sharing secrets, fences that cannot be crossed, a ban on technology for students (though the school itself uses technology to spy on students), and more. As Autumn overcomes homesickness and tries to put these puzzle pieces of Dickensen Academy together, she is working hard on her studies (which are challenging, exciting, and just plain mystifying). Eventually she learns that the school seeks out creative students because they will become dream conveyors, combining artistic skills of writing and art (to create scripts and design scenery, respectively) with telepathy, and she struggles with mastering the basics of this skill for quite a while. Throughout the school year, Autumn learns about personal freedom, friendships (and more-than-friendships), and what it means to be herself, both in listening to her own wants/needs and interacting with other people. To top it all off, although her relationships with her mom and brother seem pretty healthy, she must continue to navigate her tumultuous relationship with her father. He is demanding where academics are concerned and very vocal about being disappointed that Autumn's professional interests aren't falling more in line with his own. Autumn is conflicted because she is still under father's thumb, even while she is making her own choices and finding independence at her new school--sort of like the clashing of two worlds that just won't mesh. There is also the fact that, due to the school's secrets, she cannot reveal the true nature and difficulty of the dream class (her lowest grade) to her father, which means he only sees it as failing what should be an easy-A elective class. She may have to leave Dickensen, not just because she continues to be unsuccessful at the core skills of dream conveyance (so the school may ask her to leave, which could involve unusual measures taken to Autumn's memories to preserve their secret), but also because her father feels she cannot be trusted on her own to make the grades and does not understand how hard she is truly working. I was pretty sure the denouement would end up being something like Autumn learns to focus on the other person during her dream conveyance and not herself, and I was right. While Autumn is self-aware, her motivations in sending the dreams weren't aligned with the task and her thoughts were too muddled with the expectations of other people, and that was why she lacked success. Eventually, a family crisis brings everything to a head  (haha, accidental pun!) for Autumn, she gains a new perspective, and she figures out how to be successful at the dream conveyance skill, as well as to be honest with other people about her wants and needs. The character growth made sense, it was well-written, and the plot was unique and interesting. Autumn wasn't a Mary Sue, which I appreciated. And, although Autumn could be wishy-washy at times and waffled about a lot of things, I think the areas in which she did so made sense, considering she is 15 and everything she had going on. And, she is actually a good example of a strong woman to me, which is refreshing (so many young adults books these days try to create strong women, but fail miserably and end up only doing the opposite). The two best examples of this are when she sets boundaries with her father and her boyfriend. I also liked the subtle reminders of using social media appropriately. I couldn't really pinpoint any holes or large inconsistencies, which, if you've seen some of my other reviews, says a lot about what I think of the care with which this book was written. I guess the only "complaint" I would have in that area is that we don't really learn for what or whom Dickensen Academy is training these children in dream conveyance. Military work? Medical work? Psychology work? Government work? Some of how the school operates is a little sinister, so, for all we know, if we continue the series Autumn will find out her fears about how this skill used were founded and they put it to nefarious purposes (like espionage, mind control of important world figures, bank robberies, etc.). I think we are left out of this because we learn at Autumn's rate and she is not yet privy to that as a part of her studies and future, but I had wished we as the reader got some sort of glimpse into it. This is a very enjoyable piece of young adult fiction that will appeal to fans of the Harry Potter series and other similar books about magical or paranormal school chums, Shannon Hale's Princess Academy and Ever After High series, the Circle of Magic and Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce, and maybe even the Finishing School series by Gail Carriger or His Fair Assassin series by Robin LaFevers (though these last two are more adult). I'd say this is definitely geared toward preteen and mid-teen girls, but it was very readable as an adult. I think if I were 13 or 14 I'd be super-duper into this and probably read it over and over. I did go with 4 stars out of 5 because, basically, even though I did enjoy this immensely, it didn't make a huge impact on me (I think if I were a still teen, though, it'd be a 5-star book for me). Seems like it was left open as a series, and, if that is the case, I would certainly read the next one (or, really, anything else new from this author).

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany Ryan

    There are so many things that I enjoyed about Christine Grabowski's first book, Dickensen Academy. It is a wonderfully written book that takes place in the mountains of the northwest. You are taken on the journey of Autumn's first year at a mysterious boarding school. It shows the deep relationships she has with friends at school, family and how each of those change. Each time I put the book down I was left wanting to come back and read more! It is a refreshing, clean read that would be great fo There are so many things that I enjoyed about Christine Grabowski's first book, Dickensen Academy. It is a wonderfully written book that takes place in the mountains of the northwest. You are taken on the journey of Autumn's first year at a mysterious boarding school. It shows the deep relationships she has with friends at school, family and how each of those change. Each time I put the book down I was left wanting to come back and read more! It is a refreshing, clean read that would be great for tweens and teens. I enjoyed it as an adult as well! At the conclusion, I was left wanting to hear more and learn about what happens in the rest of Autumn's high school years. I'm looking forward to reading more of Christine Grabowski's books!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Landau

    Christine GrabowskiAs an avid reader, I have found that I thoroughly enjoy the YA books as it brings me back to my youth. I am a 40-year-old mother of younger children and I highly recommend Dickenson Academy and feel it targets more than just your typical Young Adult audience. I was immediately drawn into this story, as I could vividly feel all the anticipation, hope, fear and excitement for Autumn (the main character) as she is starting an incredible journey moving away from home and experienc Christine GrabowskiAs an avid reader, I have found that I thoroughly enjoy the YA books as it brings me back to my youth. I am a 40-year-old mother of younger children and I highly recommend Dickenson Academy and feel it targets more than just your typical Young Adult audience. I was immediately drawn into this story, as I could vividly feel all the anticipation, hope, fear and excitement for Autumn (the main character) as she is starting an incredible journey moving away from home and experiencing high school at a boarding school. It was evident from the beginning that there was a “secret” to be learned about Dickenson, but what would it be? Grabowski did a great job provoking many of my emotions throughout and I found myself picking up the book, instead of my phone, when I had a few extra minutes. As I read on, and even after completing the book, I have found myself envisioning what my life would be if the “secret” at Dickenson were a real possibility. Grabowski created wonderful characters, an incredible story and very unique and creative concept that has a lot of suspense and is very well written. I am excited to read the next one and secretly hoping to hear of a movie in the making!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Megan Stewart

    Christine Grabowski’s debut young adult novel, Dickensen Academy, is a great read, from start to finish. The novel’s protagonist, Autumn, has just gone off to boarding school for high school, and she quickly realizes that Dickensen Academy not only offers her a beautiful campus, a new group of friends, and challenging academics, but it also provides a very unique element: instruction in dream-making. Autumn faces the typical teenage struggles with balancing school, boys, new friendships, and adj Christine Grabowski’s debut young adult novel, Dickensen Academy, is a great read, from start to finish. The novel’s protagonist, Autumn, has just gone off to boarding school for high school, and she quickly realizes that Dickensen Academy not only offers her a beautiful campus, a new group of friends, and challenging academics, but it also provides a very unique element: instruction in dream-making. Autumn faces the typical teenage struggles with balancing school, boys, new friendships, and adjusting to a new environment, along with developing this supernatural skill. The underpinning story is rooted in navigating very real situations involving family members, friendships, and life choices, which results in a mix of realistic fiction with elements of fantasy. This balance is unique in the young adult marketplace, which I enjoyed. In addition, the fantasy elements are not dark, and instead, their functions are positive and uplifting, which is also refreshing. It was a pleasure to read, and the story had an excellent pace. I hope to be reading more about the characters of Dickensen Academy in future books!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Julianne Crutchfield

    What an incredible story. Christine Grabowski definitely knows how to impress a group of readers. Dickensen Academy follows a girl named Autumn and her experience at a new school. But the school isn’t any old school. It has a secret. And Autumn and all of her friends are ready to find out what’s going on. Together, they find out that the school isn’t what any of them expected, especially Autumn. This book had me hooked from start to finish. I would definitely be down to re-read it, it was that What an incredible story. Christine Grabowski definitely knows how to impress a group of readers. Dickensen Academy follows a girl named Autumn and her experience at a new school. But the school isn’t any old school. It has a secret. And Autumn and all of her friends are ready to find out what’s going on. Together, they find out that the school isn’t what any of them expected, especially Autumn. This book had me hooked from start to finish. I would definitely be down to re-read it, it was that good. If you are a Harry Potter fan, I would definitely recommend this story. Looking for a great fantasy book with some mystery and a hint of romance? Read this book! Even if fantasy isn’t your favorite genre, I would still read this book, because it could change your mind. As a young adult myself, the writing was perfect. Though I would recommend this book to any age, because anyone could enjoy this story. The cover gave a great hint about what the story would be about. Not revealing too much, but just enough to suck you in. In all, I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good story that will have you hooked from cover to cover.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Karla Olson

    Dickensen Academy is one of the most refreshing, inspiring and thought provoking books I’ve read in a long time. I read it with my teenage daughters, and it prompted the most inquisitive and deep conversations between us. We discussed new ways of thinking, paradigm shifts and possibilities. This book evokes the feeling of sitting in your favorite chair, sipping a cup of hot tea with your favorite blanket wrapped around you and falling in love with Life all over again. It allowed me to dream like Dickensen Academy is one of the most refreshing, inspiring and thought provoking books I’ve read in a long time. I read it with my teenage daughters, and it prompted the most inquisitive and deep conversations between us. We discussed new ways of thinking, paradigm shifts and possibilities. This book evokes the feeling of sitting in your favorite chair, sipping a cup of hot tea with your favorite blanket wrapped around you and falling in love with Life all over again. It allowed me to dream like a child again. I kept picturing myself in the book with the characters thinking, “Wow, what an Incredible concept the author came up with. Just incredible.” This should be made into a movie. Not since Harry Potter have I been swept away in a fantasy novel with such profound concepts, details and limitless possibilities. Truly a Gem.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    I received an advanced copy of Christine Grabowski's Dickensen Academy and really enjoyed the story. What most intrigued me was how magical the books were without the use of magic. The power of dreams and thoughts presents a wealth of options for insight and reflections, but Grabowski has taken them one step further and applies their usage to educational experiences. Often times, however, I was unclear as to whether the actions and events were real or part of a dream. It was this uncertainty tha I received an advanced copy of Christine Grabowski's Dickensen Academy and really enjoyed the story. What most intrigued me was how magical the books were without the use of magic. The power of dreams and thoughts presents a wealth of options for insight and reflections, but Grabowski has taken them one step further and applies their usage to educational experiences. Often times, however, I was unclear as to whether the actions and events were real or part of a dream. It was this uncertainty that fueled my imagination and created a captivating story. I really liked how the power of perception and memory conflicted and made the reader uncertain about what was real and if the characters could really be trusted. Although the book is not a thriller in the traditional sense, this element of uncertainty can play tricks on the reader and forces them to question their perception and understanding in their own lives. I think this would be a great book for students with a science interest; the cognitive power and ability to manipulate the human brain opens the door for discussion about brain research, the trustworthiness of memory, and the ethics of control.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    Dickensen Academy is a young adult paranormal story that holds the power to reach out and grab not only protagonist Autumn Mattison, but her readers, as it opens with her first impression of one of the big dreams of her life, and a looming puzzle. Autumn's first day at the exclusive Dicksensen Academy introduces a bizarre secret that none of the new students sees just yet. Besides her impression of the physical academy's setting, Autumn experiences a secondary certainty: somehow, she's been on th Dickensen Academy is a young adult paranormal story that holds the power to reach out and grab not only protagonist Autumn Mattison, but her readers, as it opens with her first impression of one of the big dreams of her life, and a looming puzzle. Autumn's first day at the exclusive Dicksensen Academy introduces a bizarre secret that none of the new students sees just yet. Besides her impression of the physical academy's setting, Autumn experiences a secondary certainty: somehow, she's been on this campus before. But, that's impossible. Or, is it? As she tries out for cross-country and seeks to expand her horizons, 15-year-old Autumn seems on the brink of achieving much, but she keeps feeling something is wrong; especially when one of her courses turns from a predictable study to incorporating Dream Management into its curriculum, leading students on a discussion that introduces Autumn to some uncomfortable realizations. As the 'why' behind the 'how' becomes more and more apparent, Autumn and her classmates face some of the biggest decisions of their lives. From her struggles with her parents over her grades and objectives at Dickensen to persistent nightmares and dreams that spill into daily reality, the events, people, and secrets at Dickensen are about to take over. Amidst all this, Autumn is finding herself and discovering the true strengths of attending Dickensen. Young adults who enjoy boarding school stories, paranormal encounters, and stories of growth of a teen who receives lessons on romance, mistakes, and special abilities will find much to like about Dickensen Academy, an institution which specializes in making dreams come true in more than one way. Autumn's first-person character is nicely done and inviting, and the world of Dickensen with all of its conundrums and confusion comes to life through her eyes, making for a story that is hard to put down.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    Title: Dickensen Academy Author: Christine Grabowski Publisher: The Wild Rose Press ISBN: 978-1-5092-2124-0 Buy Link: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/... Reviewer: Teresa Fallen Angel Blurb: Dickensen Academy isn’t a typical boarding school. The faculty is hiding an unbelievable secret within their fine arts program. When Autumn Mattison receives an invitation to attend the high school, she yearns to escape her overbearing father yet remains reluctant to leave her mother and brother. Her doubts f Title: Dickensen Academy Author: Christine Grabowski Publisher: The Wild Rose Press ISBN: 978-1-5092-2124-0 Buy Link: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/... Reviewer: Teresa Fallen Angel Blurb: Dickensen Academy isn’t a typical boarding school. The faculty is hiding an unbelievable secret within their fine arts program. When Autumn Mattison receives an invitation to attend the high school, she yearns to escape her overbearing father yet remains reluctant to leave her mother and brother. Her doubts fade away when a vivid dream convinces her she belongs there. Away from home, Autumn discovers a unique school environment that awakens her creative potential, and her new friends become like a second family. However, as she uncovers more about the dark side of the school and struggles with its curriculum, she questions whether Dickensen Academy is truly where she belongs.  When tragedy strikes, Autumn must learn to believe in her own power and stand up to her greatest fear or risk having her memories destroyed to protect the school’s secrets. Caught between secrets and dreams, can she find her true self? Total Score: 5/5 Summary: Autumn’s world changed when she was invited to attend the Dickensen Academy. This is a boarding school where Autumn would for the first time get some breathing distance form her father. Autumn is happy to be at school, but when she learned that outside contact was limited gave her pause, but she was quickly busy with school and her new friends. Autumn was happy to see Ben, a boy she met during testing for the academy, who she was immediately attracted to. Ben and Autumn quickly realize that there are things that are being kept secret from the new students initially, but what they were astonished Autumn and her friends. These secrets must be kept at all costs, but when Autumn is called home she has to choose, keep the secret, help her family, or face the consequences. This was a fast paced story with an incredible plot twist that this reader never expected. The growing relationship between Autumn and Ben was incredible to experience. The schools secret was incredible and riveting to see through the eyes of Autumn and her friends. I loved this story and hope that this is just the beginning of Autumn’s story.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Judith Sterling

    Autumn Mattison is a typical high school freshman, but the boarding school she attends is anything but. Dickensen Academy teaches the telepathic art of dream-conveying. As someone who's experienced lucid dreams my entire life, I would've loved to attend such a school. Autumn must navigate new friendships and her first romance, and learn to let go and trust herself. She also learns to appreciate her family. Perhaps most satisfying is when she puts another's needs in front of her own, using newfoun Autumn Mattison is a typical high school freshman, but the boarding school she attends is anything but. Dickensen Academy teaches the telepathic art of dream-conveying. As someone who's experienced lucid dreams my entire life, I would've loved to attend such a school. Autumn must navigate new friendships and her first romance, and learn to let go and trust herself. She also learns to appreciate her family. Perhaps most satisfying is when she puts another's needs in front of her own, using newfound skills to help someone who desperately needs her. This is a well-written, thought-provoking book. Teens and adults who are drawn to this genre will enjoy it. A good read!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lilly Charysma

    This was such a refreshing novel! I loved the setting, I loved our main character and her decision to succeed. There are so many interesting things happening here, but the most important of all, we see a young teenager develop. That’s what captured me. In a world where we now lose sight of how to create a moral support for our kids, we have a book about a girl who only wants to succeed and be great in school. Yes, she has a strict family and yes, this is a book in which things can happen as the a This was such a refreshing novel! I loved the setting, I loved our main character and her decision to succeed. There are so many interesting things happening here, but the most important of all, we see a young teenager develop. That’s what captured me. In a world where we now lose sight of how to create a moral support for our kids, we have a book about a girl who only wants to succeed and be great in school. Yes, she has a strict family and yes, this is a book in which things can happen as the author imagines them. But Christine Grabowski managed to create a character that should inspire our young generations. Autumn Mattison is starting Dickensen Academy, a boarding school that is out of the ordinary. The school has secrets and its students help nurture them. Autumn must be special in order to be fully accepted. She needs to have some special skills or abilities to be able to rise to the school standards. So she pushes herself harder and harder. The action is very interesting, easy to follow and with twists and unforeseen events. But what mostly captured my attention was Autumn and her relationship with her family, with her new friends and with herself. She experiences a deeper connection with Ben, a friendship that may turn into more. She becomes a more matured version of herself. The academy has shaped her well, as it should have. As sated a bit earlier in my review, we live in a world where technology dictates. Our kids (generally speaking, as mine are not born yet) spend more time with a video game than face to face interactions and we, as adults, need to guide them to the right direction and teach them how to never give up their dreams and always fight to achieve them. That’s the beauty in this book. I would have wanted to see more from the other characters but all in all, I’m giving it a 4.5 star rating. Beautiful writing, I’ve flown through it. I hope you’ll like it as well

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Anderson

    Great read: a familiar story but with an intriguing new idea! I decided to read Dickensen Academy, by new author Christine Grabowski, because I am always looking for interesting young adult fiction for my twelve-year-old.  Dickensen Academy was a very fun read which pulled me into the story and peaked my curiosity from the first sentence, “Clues to the secret existed from day one, yet they appeared to belong in separate puzzles.”  The novel reads a little bit like a mystery, giving the reader clu Great read: a familiar story but with an intriguing new idea! I decided to read Dickensen Academy, by new author Christine Grabowski, because I am always looking for interesting young adult fiction for my twelve-year-old.  Dickensen Academy was a very fun read which pulled me into the story and peaked my curiosity from the first sentence, “Clues to the secret existed from day one, yet they appeared to belong in separate puzzles.”  The novel reads a little bit like a mystery, giving the reader clues to the secret at Dickensen Academy slowly.  And, this secret is a very interesting one. The story is familiar in that it reminded me a little bit of both the Harry Potter and Percy Jackson series.  It features a protagonist, Autumn, who is accepted to a unique high school and quickly discovers that the students are being taught more than just the standard curriculum.  It is a very intriguing concept.  I only wish the author would have delved more into the ethical issues surrounding the secret teachings at Dickensen Academy. Anytime people tap into the mysteries of the mind, it seems there will be positive and negative consequences.  I think it would have enriched the story to explore this a little bit more.  The author does hint at the possibility of a darker side, explaining that there are moments where Autumn gets the “creeps” about the secret teachings but that is as far as it goes. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dickensen Academy.  The characters are well developed and quite likable.  The author did a great job of capturing teen angst from a female perspective.  I think this book would appeal to pre-teens and teens alike, probably girls more than boys, but boys might enjoy the story and it is not too heavy on the “girl stuff.” I truly hope this is the first in a series.  Dickensen Academy covers Autumn’s experiences during only her freshman year of high school. I would love to know what happens next and if the teachings (and their consequences) become more complex.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nadine

    I have to tell you Dickensen Academy was very surprising and unexpected. I have no clue what I expected when I started reading but I can tell you straight up that I was pleasantly surprised. As a YA novel, the age was slightly younger than I usually go with, here Autumn and the rest of the group were around 14/15 but it really did not affect the quality of the storyline. I mean honestly, you can make them all a few years older have them be Freshmen in College and it would have made little differe I have to tell you Dickensen Academy was very surprising and unexpected. I have no clue what I expected when I started reading but I can tell you straight up that I was pleasantly surprised. As a YA novel, the age was slightly younger than I usually go with, here Autumn and the rest of the group were around 14/15 but it really did not affect the quality of the storyline. I mean honestly, you can make them all a few years older have them be Freshmen in College and it would have made little difference. In this book, it is all about the mystery that surrounds the Dickensen Academy and we go through the motions with the group of friends. When we get to discover what happened, I was holy cow, I do not think I have seen this in a story off the top of my head in like ever… So for me, that was pretty amazing! If you want to know what it is, my lips are sealed (so to speak). I finished it over 2 days, as I had tons of work to do, and I truly enjoyed it. there were interesting changes of paces, I sorta wanted to kick Autumn’s dad ass… You read that book and you will agree with me.. and I truly enjoyed everything about it. However, at the moment my only gripe with it is that for me there were way too many questions left open at the end of the book, and there was no indication there is a second volume coming soon. I could list right here some of my question such as: Ok, all of this is great, what is it for? What happens when the kids graduate and leave the Academy? What do they learn next? I need closure, and right now the priority is for me to know if I am going to get a book 2 or not! I really think Christine wrote something deeply original and smart and well as you read above I would like to know more because I have tons of questions that need answering! I am going to very much recommend Dickensen Academy if you want to read something uniquely different and hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lisalvold

    I read this book as an adult and loved it, but I also will get it for my two nieces who are 11 and 14 and I think they will both love it. It is perfect for teen/tween because it has mystery but isn't graphically violent. I loved so many things about it, particularly the setting in the dark woods of the northwest and the school which is hiding some secrets. I really enjoyed the main character Autumn and her budding romance with her friend Ben. And my favorite part was the secret that eventually t I read this book as an adult and loved it, but I also will get it for my two nieces who are 11 and 14 and I think they will both love it. It is perfect for teen/tween because it has mystery but isn't graphically violent. I loved so many things about it, particularly the setting in the dark woods of the northwest and the school which is hiding some secrets. I really enjoyed the main character Autumn and her budding romance with her friend Ben. And my favorite part was the secret that eventually the freshmen students learn about that is going on at the new school they have been recruited to. Another thing I enjoyed about this book is how many directions future books could go, because I could even imagine Autumn as a teacher down the road at this school. For a book for teens, I loved the way each chapter ended with a pull to want you read the next chapter. I think this is a book many ages could read, and you could also feel very safe having your tweens/teens read it. I can't wait to purchase my nieces their copies and then have a little "book club review" with them! And I am looking forward to more books from this author.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tina Blondino

    Great story! Great writing! In a unique private high school in the Pacific Northwest, Autumn is an incoming freshman. Leaving home and away from her family (including her hovering dad), Autumn is nervous. Will she be able to make friends? And why does the school seem so familiar? Autumn is so genuine! She’s anxious and frustrated at times, but she is also strong and insightful. This book immediately pulled me in. The characters soon felt like old friends with whom I felt comfortable. The character Great story! Great writing! In a unique private high school in the Pacific Northwest, Autumn is an incoming freshman. Leaving home and away from her family (including her hovering dad), Autumn is nervous. Will she be able to make friends? And why does the school seem so familiar? Autumn is so genuine! She’s anxious and frustrated at times, but she is also strong and insightful. This book immediately pulled me in. The characters soon felt like old friends with whom I felt comfortable. The characters are well-developed, deep and filled with energy and life. This book is the perfect mix of self-discovery, romance and action. The writing is superb. The romance is tender, the plot original and the book fast-paced. Surprises in one chapter lead quickly to the next event which unfolds in ways that captured my interest and drew me on. A terrific book!

  20. 5 out of 5

    S Williamson

    My daughter couldn’t put it down! Once my 12-year-old daughter started reading this book she couldn’t put it down! We just received the book last week, and she is already re-reading it. Here is her review: Dickensen Academy is a delightfully imaginative book about a girl named Autumn attending a boarding school that is not what it seems. I love the character development in this book. At first Autumn is shy, and reluctant to talk to her classmates, but throughout the story she becomes more and mor My daughter couldn’t put it down! Once my 12-year-old daughter started reading this book she couldn’t put it down! We just received the book last week, and she is already re-reading it. Here is her review: Dickensen Academy is a delightfully imaginative book about a girl named Autumn attending a boarding school that is not what it seems. I love the character development in this book. At first Autumn is shy, and reluctant to talk to her classmates, but throughout the story she becomes more and more outgoing, making lots of new friends. I also love the creativity in this story. It made me wonder what it would be like to be able to send dreams to someone and communicate with them in their sleep! This book has quickly become one of my personal favorites, and I know many others will also enjoy this remarkable story. Review by M.W., age 12.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chrissy

    What a creative plot! Even after finishing the book I’m wondering at all the different things that are possible at Dickensen Academy, can’t wait for more. Teens and adults alike will love this book. The main character, Autumn, is very relatable and I could easily put myself in her shoes and remember back to the teen years (in all the best ways). Without spoiling the plot, I really loved how clever the main aspect of the school was. It reminded me in some ways of the Harry Potter series, in that What a creative plot! Even after finishing the book I’m wondering at all the different things that are possible at Dickensen Academy, can’t wait for more. Teens and adults alike will love this book. The main character, Autumn, is very relatable and I could easily put myself in her shoes and remember back to the teen years (in all the best ways). Without spoiling the plot, I really loved how clever the main aspect of the school was. It reminded me in some ways of the Harry Potter series, in that like Harry Potter, your mind has no frame of reference to compare the activities of Dickensen to so you are fully allowed to imagine and create the scenes and possibilities that could happen. Even when I wasn’t reading the book I would be thinking about what might happen next and couldn’t wait to get a chance to read again. I would definitely recommend this book for people who like imaginative and suspenseful fiction. Terrific read!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    This book gave me chills from the start. Autumn is selected to attend a unique, invitation-only boarding high school in a remote area of Washington State. When she arrives, she and the other freshmen have no idea that the school has a secret curriculum of dream-creating and conveying. Christine describes dream-making in a way that makes it seem like a real possibility. The book's protagonist, Autumn, deals with typical teenage issues such as boys, friends and homework and is a very likable and r This book gave me chills from the start. Autumn is selected to attend a unique, invitation-only boarding high school in a remote area of Washington State. When she arrives, she and the other freshmen have no idea that the school has a secret curriculum of dream-creating and conveying. Christine describes dream-making in a way that makes it seem like a real possibility. The book's protagonist, Autumn, deals with typical teenage issues such as boys, friends and homework and is a very likable and relatable character who has some misgivings about her abilities. I found myself rooting for her in her successes and empathizing with her struggles as Autumn unravels the mysteries of her school. I really hope there is a second book; it left me wanting more and I'd love to see this story continue.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marie Seibel

    As a teacher and school counsellor I would highly recommend “Dickensen Academy”, by Christine Grabowski, to any young adult/adult reader looking for a wholesome character coming of age with an interesting twist. Autumn and her friends experience friendship, family, and a little romance, while navigating the unique challenges of fantastic abilities that only those invited to the school are able to develop. An excellent read!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Laura Hernandez (TheVoluptuousBkDiva/YABkDivas)

    The best part of this book was that as you turned the pages you wondered if what was happening was real or just a dream. The worldbuilding was well done and quickly pulled you inside the story and the characters were well written and worked will together. I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to one and all. -YA/NA Book Divas {I requested a copy for reviewing purposes and made no guarantee of a favorable review. The opinions expressed herein are unbiased and my own.}

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gary Ziebarth

    I thoroughly enjoyed Christine Grabowski’s Dickensen Academy and recommend it to everyone who enjoys Young Adult novels that have a sci-fi, fantasy, or paranormal component. Being retired, I am obviously not part of the target group for this book. But I love young adult novels that have well developed characters that I can relate to, and a book which can take me back in time to the excitement and fears of my teenage years. This book did that for me. I think everyone will love the main character, I thoroughly enjoyed Christine Grabowski’s Dickensen Academy and recommend it to everyone who enjoys Young Adult novels that have a sci-fi, fantasy, or paranormal component. Being retired, I am obviously not part of the target group for this book. But I love young adult novels that have well developed characters that I can relate to, and a book which can take me back in time to the excitement and fears of my teenage years. This book did that for me. I think everyone will love the main character, Autumn—a seemingly typical teenage girl trying to find her own identity. As just an average student, Autumn was surprised at her selection to the Dickensen Academy--an elite high school in Washington State noted for its emphasis on academics. Dickensen boards its students at a remote campus located in the mountains of Washington State; while this was a bit concerning to Autumn’s parents, they thought the fewer distractions there would create a better learning environment. But, as Autumn was to soon learn, that was not the real reason for the seclusion. Shortly after settling in at Dickensen for her freshman year, Autumn and her classmates started getting clues there was a big secret about Dickenson that none of the freshmen knew about. Everyone was puzzled about what was really going on, and their anxiety was fueled by having no cell phone service and poor internet capability. Soon the school president confirmed their suspicion when he told the freshmen about the primary reason they were selected to attend Dickensen. He explained that the preadmission testing showed each selected student had the capability to learn a powerful skill that was thought to be impossible by the outside world, and each student would learn to develop this skill during their 4 years at Dickensen. He stressed the vital importance of keeping this skill a secret. Teaching the students how to perform this unique skill forms the basis of this book. Grabowski wove a wonderful, gripping, and suspenseful story around Autumn and her classmates learning to cope with the nature of the skill and to learn the basic techniques needed to perform it. But Autumn and her friends wondered how Dickensen could keep its mission a secret, and what would happen to persons using the skill for evil purposes. Autumn also had some major obstacles rear up that looked like they would force her to leave Dickensen. How she tries to overcome the setbacks leads to an emotional and very fitting conclusion. I want to make two other points that might interest potential readers. First, upon finishing this book I clearly thought sequels would be in order. Autumn was only in her first year at Dickensen and surely many other exciting events could unfold with her new skill as she finishes up her schooling there or somewhere else…and also after she graduates. I really hope Christine has sequels in her plan as I am anxious to read them! Second, the Dickensen story seems to be a great fit for the silver screen—the secret, how to keep it hidden, how to keep it from being abused, and the possibility of sequels could be of great interest to producers.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Celaine Charles

    I was given an advanced copy of Christine Grabowski’s debut book, Dickensen Academy, and highly recommend it to all middle school and high school readers. I found myself hooked right away and eagerly read on to discover the truth about this intriguing school. Main character, Autumn Mattison, is a freshman attending this invitation-only boarding school, where tuition was paid by the Dickensen Foundation. Fully academic, this school opens its doors to only a few creative sorts. Autumn was recognize I was given an advanced copy of Christine Grabowski’s debut book, Dickensen Academy, and highly recommend it to all middle school and high school readers. I found myself hooked right away and eagerly read on to discover the truth about this intriguing school. Main character, Autumn Mattison, is a freshman attending this invitation-only boarding school, where tuition was paid by the Dickensen Foundation. Fully academic, this school opens its doors to only a few creative sorts. Autumn was recognized for her writing abilities, though she still wasn’t sure about leaving her family in Seattle. It wasn’t until she had a dream about attending the school that solidified her decision to go. Once she arrives, realization there is something mysterious about the school overwhelms her and a few of her new friends, including a boy of interest, Ben. But they don’t have to worry for long, because the school announces the reason they’ve all been chosen to attend—having everything to do with the power of dreams. Grabowski develops her characters right from the start and gives them real-life issues to face. Autumn must deal with the stress of academic class-load, self-doubt, first love, and bullies. She struggles with advocating for herself even to her own family. Another important issue is addressed, but I won’t give that one away, as it’s a critical part at the end of the book (and very emotional). I feel many young people will relate to Autumn and the growth she experiences when situations intensify. She’s surely a positive role-model. If I had to say anything critical about the story, it would be only a few glitches in dialogue. For example, some of the characters “chit chat” or “bop” which I don’t think is necessarily reflective of the way teens talk today. But it was limited and did not distract. I also wondered more about the future goals for Dickensen graduates. My only hope now - is a second book! Dickensen Academy falls under the genre of fantasy, but without magic. The enchanting element was the use of dream-making revealed in a creative, yet believable way. I don’t want to reveal the secret, so you will just have to read it for yourself. I found myself smiling, laughing… and crying (in a Starbucks cafe). It’s a good read!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Laurie Rogers

    The beautiful jacket cover of Dickensen Academy both attracts and intrigues readers, and within the first few pages, like the students themselves, we are caught up in the mystery of wondering why these particular students were invited to attend this little-known, but academically strong, secluded high school. Through easy and natural conversations and emotions, the author’s beautifully simple writing style and descriptions flow so easily we are surprised at how much we are learning about her cha The beautiful jacket cover of Dickensen Academy both attracts and intrigues readers, and within the first few pages, like the students themselves, we are caught up in the mystery of wondering why these particular students were invited to attend this little-known, but academically strong, secluded high school. Through easy and natural conversations and emotions, the author’s beautifully simple writing style and descriptions flow so easily we are surprised at how much we are learning about her characters. I loved Autumn, through whose eyes and feelings the book is centered, and who herself admits she is too quiet, has a shaky ego, and is nothing special. I also loved the diversity of the characters who were invited to Dickensen, and how easy it was to visualize and enjoy each one’s unique personality through Autumn’s thoughts and observations. And lastly, I loved the atmosphere of the school itself and the friendships made. I would have loved to go there. I enjoyed Dickensen Academy and hopefully will be able to read more about Autumn and her friends.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Quirkybookworm

    I felt this book was written for preteens and early teen by the way it was written. That age group would really enjoy it. I on the other hand had a hard time with telepathy and sending dreams especially subjects you'd be studying. Just too unrealistic to me. There were some areas which were repetitive. I received this ARC from Net Galley for an exchange for my honest review. I felt this book was written for preteens and early teen by the way it was written. That age group would really enjoy it. I on the other hand had a hard time with telepathy and sending dreams especially subjects you'd be studying. Just too unrealistic to me. There were some areas which were repetitive. I received this ARC from Net Galley for an exchange for my honest review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    TB Roxie

    Dickensen Academy is the perfect book for the young reader- and anyone who enjoys "mysterious boarding school fantasy-type novels". Although I'm a (much) older reader for this genre, I'm also a big YA fan. Dickensen Academy checked all the boxes for a good YA read - a young girl (Autumn) starting off on a new adventure, meeting her core group of friends, the always present "mean girl", the "cute boy", family issues, and of course, the big Academy mystery and the challenges it presents. The basis Dickensen Academy is the perfect book for the young reader- and anyone who enjoys "mysterious boarding school fantasy-type novels". Although I'm a (much) older reader for this genre, I'm also a big YA fan. Dickensen Academy checked all the boxes for a good YA read - a young girl (Autumn) starting off on a new adventure, meeting her core group of friends, the always present "mean girl", the "cute boy", family issues, and of course, the big Academy mystery and the challenges it presents. The basis for the story – dream conveyance and reception, was intriguing and different than other YA books that I have read, and I found that refreshing. The story is fast paced and leaves you wanting to find out more about Autumn and her friends as they enter their Sophomore year at the Academy.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Samantha McNulty

    I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion. 3★ Dickensen Academy is the debut novel by author Christine Grabowski.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.