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Emma loses everything she has in a fearsome storm and washes ashore in the sandy Dunes. Winston, a Bell Captain ghost, befriends her. A motley crew staffs the newly risen Wenlocke Hotel, newly arisen after a century: one-eyed cook and peg-leg pirate, and the imperious boy heir to the Wenlocke fortune. Emma soon learns that things are not always as lost as they seem, especi Emma loses everything she has in a fearsome storm and washes ashore in the sandy Dunes. Winston, a Bell Captain ghost, befriends her. A motley crew staffs the newly risen Wenlocke Hotel, newly arisen after a century: one-eyed cook and peg-leg pirate, and the imperious boy heir to the Wenlocke fortune. Emma soon learns that things are not always as lost as they seem, especially if you have a brave heart and good friends.<


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Emma loses everything she has in a fearsome storm and washes ashore in the sandy Dunes. Winston, a Bell Captain ghost, befriends her. A motley crew staffs the newly risen Wenlocke Hotel, newly arisen after a century: one-eyed cook and peg-leg pirate, and the imperious boy heir to the Wenlocke fortune. Emma soon learns that things are not always as lost as they seem, especi Emma loses everything she has in a fearsome storm and washes ashore in the sandy Dunes. Winston, a Bell Captain ghost, befriends her. A motley crew staffs the newly risen Wenlocke Hotel, newly arisen after a century: one-eyed cook and peg-leg pirate, and the imperious boy heir to the Wenlocke fortune. Emma soon learns that things are not always as lost as they seem, especially if you have a brave heart and good friends.<

30 review for The Hotel Under the Sand

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kaethe Douglas

    Sometimes storms come up and they destroy the lives we've known. If we're lucky, they wash us up onto a good sandy beach on an island where we can find food, shelter, water, and some new people to befriend. If we're really lucky, they will reveal a magnificent hotel that has a library and a theater and a ballroom and a well-stocked larder overseen by a talented cook. Emma was really lucky.It is possible to enjoy this story on a straightforward literal level. It is an adventure story with pirate Sometimes storms come up and they destroy the lives we've known. If we're lucky, they wash us up onto a good sandy beach on an island where we can find food, shelter, water, and some new people to befriend. If we're really lucky, they will reveal a magnificent hotel that has a library and a theater and a ballroom and a well-stocked larder overseen by a talented cook. Emma was really lucky.It is possible to enjoy this story on a straightforward literal level. It is an adventure story with pirates and ghosts and a marvelous treasure hunt. It is also possible to enjoy this story on a metaphorical level, along side such recent favorites of mine as Nation andThe Lost Conspiracy. Unlike the Narnia books, all these children discover salvation within themselves, through what they do, rather than embodied in some external force. For older, perhaps more cynical or at least, more sarcastic readers, add Beauty Queens to the mix. Collectively these are the anti-Lord of the Flies.Marvelous. I can't recommend it enough. Go read it right now. And then read those others, if you haven't already. At any rate, keep them in mind for when you need some Utopian reading that isn't stupid.One last note: fans of The Invention of Hugo Cabret will appreciate the shout-out to the work of Méliès. personal copy

  2. 4 out of 5

    Hirondelle

    A problem I had, when I was a child, with a lot of children´s books is that they were not literal, not true, enough. I needed literalness, even if ( specially if) involved hidden treasure, caves beyond waterfalls and spaceships. And this Baker story ( so short, very nice) is one of those books, even at this advanced age, where I feel my inner 5 year old protesting it is unlikely. And it is. Charming, but also not quite my thing...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Subashini

    A young girl finds herself alone in the Dunes after a storm has taken away everything she ever knew. She finds a hotel buried under the sand and friends in new forms. It is, in essence, a book for children about learning how to live in a mysterious, difficult world, but the narrative voice is never didactic or twee. It is warm and generous and wise. A smart, imaginative book about the nature of ghosts, time, and loss and a delightful read for all ages.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    A book with pirates? Sign me up. The Hotel Under the Sand was a book that I read for a certain challenge. I would like to say that it was amazing but it was just an okay book. It did entertain me at times but I was a bit bored waiting for it to end. Not a lot happened in this book other than the group discovering stuff around the hotel. Whether it was a treasure or just having fun doing a quest, the gang seemed to be having some fun throughout the book. I just wish that I felt the same energy whi A book with pirates? Sign me up. The Hotel Under the Sand was a book that I read for a certain challenge. I would like to say that it was amazing but it was just an okay book. It did entertain me at times but I was a bit bored waiting for it to end. Not a lot happened in this book other than the group discovering stuff around the hotel. Whether it was a treasure or just having fun doing a quest, the gang seemed to be having some fun throughout the book. I just wish that I felt the same energy while reading it. Other than that, I do have some questions due to confusion on some things that were said. For example, the whole time stuff just left me constantly confused. I don't even want to dive into all my questions because my brain will turn into pudding. In the end, it was an interesting book but I have so many freaking questions.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Eva Mitnick

    The calm and even tone of the narration makes this story feel timeless - although the reader knows that Emma is a fairly modern girl and that Winston lived in the time of telegraphs and cinematographs and phonograph cylinders, the weird and magical isolation of the hotel really does manage to make one's era feel meaningless. This gives the book an old-fashioned feeling with a slightly quirky edge to it. There isn't much plot, most of the story centering around discovering the wonders of the hotel The calm and even tone of the narration makes this story feel timeless - although the reader knows that Emma is a fairly modern girl and that Winston lived in the time of telegraphs and cinematographs and phonograph cylinders, the weird and magical isolation of the hotel really does manage to make one's era feel meaningless. This gives the book an old-fashioned feeling with a slightly quirky edge to it. There isn't much plot, most of the story centering around discovering the wonders of the hotel, finding its treasure (a fun sort of quest in itself), and getting it up and running. Although we hear a bit about the prior lives of most characters, Emma remains an enigma. We know only that she is the sole survivor of a terrible storm that wiped away everyone and everything in her life forever, and while she isn't one to mope, this gives the girl a tinge of sadness that only shows up sometimes. It's also a bit distancing - we don't get to know Emma well, and the other characters are quaint and even appealing but not quite real. What I found most appealing was the idea of a place quite separate from the rest of the world. Like the Titanic, it is perfectly preserved in a grand moment of time, and everything connected with it is exotic and otherworldly. Who wouldn't want to escape and spend some time in an elegant hotel on a tropical beach, where the food is first-rate and all eccentricities are looked upon benignly? And of course you can stay as long as you want, because time stands still in the hotel. I can only imagine that this idea would be almost as enticing to a young reader as it is to me. More troubling, there is one of those time-related conundrums that I can't seem to wrap my head around. The big gimmick of the Grand Wenlocke is that you can stay as long as you want "but when you left, only a weekend would have passed in the outside world," as Winston explains to Emma. So then - how could the Grand Wenlocke, not to mention Mrs. Beet, be perfectly preserved after 100 years have gone by in the outside world? I would think that if time had slowed down in the hotel, thousands of years might have gone by in there. I suppose we're supposed to assume that time is actually non-existent in the Grand Wenlocke or exists on a whole different plane. Still, it doesn't feel logical. But maybe my brain is just too noodley to understand space/time continuum-type concepts. This fantasy will not appeal to kids who want lots of action or even lots of magic; give it to kids who enjoy the gently humorous fantasies of Eva Ibbotson. I think it would also make a rather unorthodox but strangely compelling read-aloud. Recommended for contemplative kids ages 8 to 11.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Sammis

    The Hotel Under the Sand by Kage Baker opens with Emma surviving a terrible storm in which she loses everything and everyone in her life. She washes up on the Dunes and spends the first night surviving a sand storm. On her second day she meets a ghost and discovers a long buried hotel. The narrative style brings to mind Roald Dahl. It begins with extraordinary but relatively unexplained circumstances and proceeds through a series of adventures. In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie, thoug The Hotel Under the Sand by Kage Baker opens with Emma surviving a terrible storm in which she loses everything and everyone in her life. She washes up on the Dunes and spends the first night surviving a sand storm. On her second day she meets a ghost and discovers a long buried hotel. The narrative style brings to mind Roald Dahl. It begins with extraordinary but relatively unexplained circumstances and proceeds through a series of adventures. In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie, though destitute, finds the last remaining Golden Ticket, and for the remainder of the book, takes the our of Willy Wonka's factory where each new room is more usual and dangerous than the last. Emma's adventures are contained within the walls of her hotel and are primarily focused on a treasure hunt left behind by the hotel's owner. Along the way Emma brings together an unlikely set of friends, comprised of a ghost, a runaway, a pirate and a cook. These sorts of ensemble casts with a single child and her collected friends, was de rigueur when I was a child but have fallen out of practice in lieu of a pair (or sometimes trio) of adventuring siblings. Emma's solo status was a refreshing change. The book would work well for a class read along. The relatively straightforward treasure hunting plot combined with a manageable vocabulary would make it fun book for teachers looking for something newer to read with students. The Hotel Under the Sand was nominated for a 2009 CYBILS.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gwyneth Stewart

    "Cleverness and bravery are absolutely necessary for good adventures. Emma was a little girl both clever and brave and destined--so you might think--to do well in any adventure that came her way." I love Kage Baker's Company novels, starting with In the Garden of Iden. My favorite straight-up science fiction novel is Kage Baker's the Empress of Mars. So it was a complete delight for me to come across this book, which I had never even heard of. It's described by some as a steam-punk fairy tale, but "Cleverness and bravery are absolutely necessary for good adventures. Emma was a little girl both clever and brave and destined--so you might think--to do well in any adventure that came her way." I love Kage Baker's Company novels, starting with In the Garden of Iden. My favorite straight-up science fiction novel is Kage Baker's the Empress of Mars. So it was a complete delight for me to come across this book, which I had never even heard of. It's described by some as a steam-punk fairy tale, but if you (like me) don't care much for the steam-punk genre, don't let that put you off. Emma is a young girl who is tossed about by fortunes, and loses everything is a storm. She finds herself on a desert island, and makes friends in short order with a ghost, a pirate, a cook and the cook's dachshund. Together they search for buried treasure and resurrect a legendary lost luxury hotel. This is one of those 'children's' books that I suspect is really written for adults. It will appeal equally to 10-12 year olds and adults who haven't left their wild imaginations behind.And if this book causes a few young readers to seek out and read some of Kage Baker's other science fiction novels, so much the better.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Thom

    Emma is a strong girl character, focused on the sorts of things that all children love to read about - adventure. Joining her are a cast of characters and caricatures, whose interactions are fun (if a bit predictable). The hotel that rises from the sand and it's time distorting history are pure fantasy, and the later guests layer that on even deeper. While the message was strong, the story wasn't as solid. The ending comes quickly, the resolution mostly in the background. Perhaps this was because Emma is a strong girl character, focused on the sorts of things that all children love to read about - adventure. Joining her are a cast of characters and caricatures, whose interactions are fun (if a bit predictable). The hotel that rises from the sand and it's time distorting history are pure fantasy, and the later guests layer that on even deeper. While the message was strong, the story wasn't as solid. The ending comes quickly, the resolution mostly in the background. Perhaps this was because she was considering a sequel, perhaps it was an artifact of how the book was written. This book was written for Kage Baker's niece and delivered to her, a chapter a week. In an interview, the author revealed that her niece had undergone some personal tragedies, and this book was written to help her get through that. This same interview said that the proceeds from the book would go to this girl's college fund. So great characters and setting, a decent story, and fast-paced fun. Well worth 4 stars!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Johnston

    Reading books aimed at younger readers (I think 9-12 year-olds would have been the target here), when not an exercise in nostalgia, can be a little frustrating. In 'The Hotel Under the Sand' I was interested by the implicit and explicit references to Thw Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland, but this slim story didn't have the sheer craziness of either, and in particular lacked the self-awareness of Alice as a character. It did make me think fondly of Alessandro Baricco's 'The Sea' and Bella Bath Reading books aimed at younger readers (I think 9-12 year-olds would have been the target here), when not an exercise in nostalgia, can be a little frustrating. In 'The Hotel Under the Sand' I was interested by the implicit and explicit references to Thw Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland, but this slim story didn't have the sheer craziness of either, and in particular lacked the self-awareness of Alice as a character. It did make me think fondly of Alessandro Baricco's 'The Sea' and Bella Bathurst's terrific book on shipwrecks - it's interesting that shipwrecks still have such a grasp on our imaginations, despite no longer being part of everyday life.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    I liked this book there was a charm about it that reminded me of 11 Birthdays almost. I wish there would have been a little more exploring of the hotel as it's the main thing in the title of the book. This book could have easily been 20 pages longer and it would have been GREAT! First book I actually wish was longer and not shorter. I recommend this book to adults and kids because it's just so much fun. Baker does a great job of writing so that you actually can see the place in your head and not I liked this book there was a charm about it that reminded me of 11 Birthdays almost. I wish there would have been a little more exploring of the hotel as it's the main thing in the title of the book. This book could have easily been 20 pages longer and it would have been GREAT! First book I actually wish was longer and not shorter. I recommend this book to adults and kids because it's just so much fun. Baker does a great job of writing so that you actually can see the place in your head and not have to fill in the gaps! It's a quick read for older readers.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tyrannosaurus regina

    I'm not in the habit of reading middle grade books, but between the author and the premise I just couldn't resist this one. And oh, it was delightful and imaginative and managed to stay that way even when exploring such things as loss and loneliness, which were handled deftly and openly. I have such a fondness for abandoned places and discovering lost things and ghosts and pirates and really, this gave me everything I wanted. I'm not in the habit of reading middle grade books, but between the author and the premise I just couldn't resist this one. And oh, it was delightful and imaginative and managed to stay that way even when exploring such things as loss and loneliness, which were handled deftly and openly. I have such a fondness for abandoned places and discovering lost things and ghosts and pirates and really, this gave me everything I wanted.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tanya

    I would never have said this is a book published in 2009. It has a lovely, old-fashioned feel to it, both in the story type and in the flow of the plot line. It is set roughly in the present, but also over 100 years ago - read it to understand. A sweet book. I especially like the allegory about weathering storms and not getting back what is lost to a storm, but appreciating it nonetheless.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lynnet

    If you have a 7 or 8 or 9 year old who likes to dream and read and play make believe, you should run, not walk, and buy this book for them. You should buy it because they will read it over and over again until the spine is broken and the pages dog-eared. It is, in a word, utterly delightful, and I wish it had been written when I was a child.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Webcowgirl

    A lovely and unusual children's book - actually a bit of a steampunk fairytale. Fun and quick to read. A lovely and unusual children's book - actually a bit of a steampunk fairytale. Fun and quick to read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Melanti

    Ultimately, just a little too lightweight for my tastes but nearly perfect for the targeted middle grade audience. The treasure hunting chapters were drawn out a bit too long, IMO.

  16. 4 out of 5

    †Reviews of a FearStreetZombie†

    Hotel Under the Sand was such a unique read that when I read the synopsis, I couldn't help but to be hooked instantly. While it was a interesting read, I feel like it fell a little flat? I didn't feel much of a connection to any of the characters even though all of them had been through some trying and emotional times, I didn't really feel for them. I feel terrible saying that but I'm not even sure why other than maybe it's because the narrative seemed a little patchy and rushed? The book feel l Hotel Under the Sand was such a unique read that when I read the synopsis, I couldn't help but to be hooked instantly. While it was a interesting read, I feel like it fell a little flat? I didn't feel much of a connection to any of the characters even though all of them had been through some trying and emotional times, I didn't really feel for them. I feel terrible saying that but I'm not even sure why other than maybe it's because the narrative seemed a little patchy and rushed? The book feel like it was missing a previous chapter from the start because instantly we are thrown into the story with the MC swimming for her life, but other than that- we aren't offered much. She is still a mystery in the end of the book because we have no idea what she even looks like (fully). Unless I missed that part? I think the most loveable character in the book was the kitchen cook and the bellhop(?) mostly him though because he reminded me of P.O.'s character from Hotel Del Luna. Lol (Don't come for me. I can't help how my mind works) I loved that this book was a quick read also, I didn't expect it to speed by as quickly as it did. I remember starting it and then not long after reaching the end and being like "Wow, that was fast!" The storyline, though had problems, really was interesting. I just wish there was more explaining between everything and gave us more with the characters so we can develop a connection with them. It sucks when you reach the end of a story and haven't developed a connection. Lol I want to feel like I'm losing my best friend at the end and this one didn't really deliver that feeling.

  17. 4 out of 5

    An Odd1

    Delicate grey lines and shades depict castle-like Grand Hotel Wenlocke and fairy-like Emma, who loses everything before the story starts. All is mild, gentle, happy, always improving, hard work brushed away, worst is some cannonballs from a nasty lawyer. How can the children age in a time bubble to maybe marry? How are the guests moved out when their initial jewels or magic potion deposits are used up?

  18. 4 out of 5

    Booknerd Fraser

    It's a charming, light children's book (NOT "young adult"), suitable for children with very good reading skills, and a good vocabulary, or to be read TO them. Lost girl finds a magical grand hotel buried in the sand, adventure ensues. It's a charming, light children's book (NOT "young adult"), suitable for children with very good reading skills, and a good vocabulary, or to be read TO them. Lost girl finds a magical grand hotel buried in the sand, adventure ensues.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kerrie

    Cute little story, enjoyed the relaxed but adventurous book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    Loved this sweet story! This was a splendid tale of loss yet finding all again. I highly recommend it! A great read for all ages

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Stenzel

    one of my favorite childhood novels. reread it recently and it’s still the beautiful and wistful story i remember.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ward Bond

    From Publishers Weekly Baker's (the Company series) first book for children introduces a young heroine named Emma, who finds herself on the Dunes after an unspecified disaster. Her apparent solitude is an illusion: the Dunes are home to the lost Grand Wenlocke, the most luxurious hotel in the world, as well as the ghost of dutiful Bell Captain Winston Oliver Courtland. The hotel is uncovered by conveniently timed winds and in short order the orphan and ghost are joined by cook Mrs. Beet, From Publishers Weekly Baker's (the Company series) first book for children introduces a young heroine named Emma, who finds herself on the Dunes after an unspecified disaster. Her apparent solitude is an illusion: the Dunes are home to the lost Grand Wenlocke, the most luxurious hotel in the world, as well as the ghost of dutiful Bell Captain Winston Oliver Courtland. The hotel is uncovered by conveniently timed winds and in short order the orphan and ghost are joined by cook Mrs. Beet, tugboat pirate Captain Doubloon and fellow orphan Masterman Wenlocke. The five form an ad-hoc family and begin operating the hotel once more. At the outset, the omniscient narrator assures readers that Emma has the required "cleverness and bravery" to tackle an adventure, but the book offers scant opportunities for Emma to demonstrate this. The tragedy that maroons Emma is deliberately vague, Doubloon is amiable, Masterman proves reasonable and the servants are properly submissive. The element of danger introduced by the arrival of Masterman's conniving guardian seems perfunctory. Although skillfully written, the book is undermined by a lack of tension. Ages 9-12. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Review "Skillfully written."  —_Publishers Weekly_ "There are few books that I immediately want to press into the hands of other readers the instant I turn the last page. My copy of Hotel will be one that I hand to my daughter in a few years. First, however, I'm going to force it on everybody I know."  —_Locus_ "Although Baker is an established author of science fiction and fantasy for adults, this novel is written so naturally that it is difficult to believe it is her debut for younger readers."  —VOYA "I read it all in one sitting, enjoying the characters and the well-crafted plot very much, and want to read it soon to my granddaughters . . . reassuring but exciting, and the Wenlocke itself is a wonderful creation."  —Cecilia Holland, author, Until the Sun Falls "Ms. Baker has written something like an Edwardian storybook by E. Nesbit but still suitable for modern tastes and attention-spans. There are also some beautiful and ethereal illustrations by fantasy artist Stephanie Pui-Mun Law. The Hotel Under the Sand is smart and funny, filled with old-fashioned wonder."  —i09 "It's exciting to come upon a book that serves not only as a great story to share with your kids, but one that has some undeniably unusual—and geeky—features. So, here are five particularly good reasons to read The Hotel Under the Sand with your kids this summer."  —Geek Dad, Wired.com "Wow! I read The Hotel Under the Sand with delight and  joy. It’s wonderful, wacky and spooky and serious and FUN . . . it wouldn’t surprise me if it turned out to be a classic and went on down the ages along with Alice and Oz and the very few others that have become immortal."  —Diana Wynne Jones, author, Howl’s Moving Castle "Charming . . . Baker's first book for younger readers is a delight."  —_Denver Post_

  23. 5 out of 5

    Phoenixfalls

    YA -- and middle grade, which is technically where this book falls -- is not a genre I actively avoid, but not one I seek out either. I tend to find well-written YA/MG books charming but slight, ultimately forgettable. But I have been working my way through everything Kage Baker wrote, so I picked up this book on a hot afternoon, when I was in the mood to be delighted rather than challenged. I was, indeed, delighted. If there is one common thread through Baker's work, through her fantasy in parti YA -- and middle grade, which is technically where this book falls -- is not a genre I actively avoid, but not one I seek out either. I tend to find well-written YA/MG books charming but slight, ultimately forgettable. But I have been working my way through everything Kage Baker wrote, so I picked up this book on a hot afternoon, when I was in the mood to be delighted rather than challenged. I was, indeed, delighted. If there is one common thread through Baker's work, through her fantasy in particular, it is a sense of warmth. She did not write epic plots, though sometimes the world was at stake; nor did she write secondary worlds detailed to the point of obsession, though her worlds were certainly unique and memorable. She wrote people, lovely, flawed, human people, struggling to find -- no, to make -- happiness for themselves in a world neither benign nor malevolent but simply indifferent. That warmth is present in spades in The Hotel Under the Sand, and it is exactly right for the age group this book is aimed at. Unfortunately, I was still left feeling that the book was too lightweight for my tastes. I kept comparing it to Catherynne Valente's The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making -- another middle grade book by one of my favorite authors, writing in the tradition of children's books from the 19th century -- and it kept coming up just a little short. For a story to be great, it needs the right balance of light and dark, both triumphs and tragedies, whether they are large or small. The Hotel Under the Sand doesn't have quite enough of the dark. It has a villain, but where Valente made her villain ultimately heartbreaking, Baker's villain is nothing but a caricature. I can forgive the caricature in part because the book isn't really about its plot at all -- the plot is simply the scaffolding that the characters and the world hang on. But what the book is about is grief: it opens with Emma alone and bereaved and choosing to fight for her survival anyway, and it closes with Emma finally able to stop fighting for a moment and cry for what she has lost. Baker handled Emma's grief delicately, captures it in all the times Emma (and the narration) looks away, but she chose to keep what Emma was grieving for a mystery to the reader, and because of that I never quite connected as, for example, I did when reading the same sort of treatment in Patricia McKillip's The Changeling Sea. I grieved for Emma but never with Emma, and so the book remained insubstantial. Charming, but slight.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cindywho

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Spent a few cozy hours reading about a young girl shipwrecked on a sandy beach. In between storms she discovers a magical hotel and builds a new family.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alison C

    Kage Baker is one of my favourite authors, whether she's writing sf (as in her Company stories) or fantasy (House of the Stag). In The Hotel Under the Sand, she tries her hand at children's fantasy, and proves equally adept at that format too. The book begins with young Emma being battered by a storm that takes her away from everything and everybody that she knows, casting her up on a landscape covered in sand dunes. Being brave, clever and resourceful, she manages to create a little home for he Kage Baker is one of my favourite authors, whether she's writing sf (as in her Company stories) or fantasy (House of the Stag). In The Hotel Under the Sand, she tries her hand at children's fantasy, and proves equally adept at that format too. The book begins with young Emma being battered by a storm that takes her away from everything and everybody that she knows, casting her up on a landscape covered in sand dunes. Being brave, clever and resourceful, she manages to create a little home for herself, and she's not even phased when a ghostly Bell Captain named Winston shows up. Together, they weather another storm, but this storm is different: it uncovers the long-buried Grand Wenlocke, a luxorious hotel that was built a century ago but never occupied because the Storm of the Equinox intervened before guests could arrive. Emma and Winston resolve to bring the hotel back to its former glory, with the aid of the Cook (who remained with the hotel when it was buried in sand) and the piratical seadog, Captain Doubloon....Did I mention that the hotel had been built by a magician who created a means to suspend Time throughout the hotel, so that however short the vacation was, the guests all stayed as long as they liked? A lively and rollicking tale, particularly suited to 9 to 12 year olds, but recommended at any age!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Fantasy Literature

    Kage Baker left us on January 31, 2010, at the much-too-young age of 57. Those of us who read and loved her Company novels and short stories, beginning with In the Garden of Iden, will miss her more than we can collectively say — though many of us tried, in those last few weeks, to tell her what her work had meant to us. Nominated for the 2009 Andre Norton Award for Young Science Fiction and Fantasy, The Hotel Under the Sand is the kind of book that you resolve to send to your nieces and nephews Kage Baker left us on January 31, 2010, at the much-too-young age of 57. Those of us who read and loved her Company novels and short stories, beginning with In the Garden of Iden, will miss her more than we can collectively say — though many of us tried, in those last few weeks, to tell her what her work had meant to us. Nominated for the 2009 Andre Norton Award for Young Science Fiction and Fantasy, The Hotel Under the Sand is the kind of book that you resolve to send to your nieces and nephews even before you have finished the first page. Any book that starts, “Cleverness and bravery are absolutely necessary for good adventures,” is a book you know those budding book lovers in your family are going to enjoy, and maybe even the non-readers who are usually busy playing sports ... Read More: http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi...

  27. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    Emma suffers a tragic accident and ends up washing up on a sandy beach in a mysterious place. Surrounded by sand dunes she works hard to build herself a shelter out of other debris strewn on the beach. She meets a strange young man in a hotel uniform wandering around. He tells her the story of a grand hotel that is buried under the sand. The next day a miracle occurs and the hotel is uncovered during a vicious windstorm. If I were to tell you what happens next, it would completely ruin the story Emma suffers a tragic accident and ends up washing up on a sandy beach in a mysterious place. Surrounded by sand dunes she works hard to build herself a shelter out of other debris strewn on the beach. She meets a strange young man in a hotel uniform wandering around. He tells her the story of a grand hotel that is buried under the sand. The next day a miracle occurs and the hotel is uncovered during a vicious windstorm. If I were to tell you what happens next, it would completely ruin the story. All I can say is that there are ghosts, pirates, evil lawyers, an assortment of bizarre creatures and a rude little rich boy. An extremely strange and unrealistic story, yet magical enough to grab my interest.

  28. 4 out of 5

    K. Wolf

    It's not very often that I pick up a MG book, but I saw that this was one of the last books that Diana Wynne Jones had recommended and I could resist. And I'm thrilled I picked this up. The writing is simple, but in a very good way. Baker really uses it to her advantage to bring home her simple point: life is rough, but you can always make the best of it. She doesn't push on you that it's not okay to feel bad or guilty because of circumstances; but she writes about how it's alright to feel these t It's not very often that I pick up a MG book, but I saw that this was one of the last books that Diana Wynne Jones had recommended and I could resist. And I'm thrilled I picked this up. The writing is simple, but in a very good way. Baker really uses it to her advantage to bring home her simple point: life is rough, but you can always make the best of it. She doesn't push on you that it's not okay to feel bad or guilty because of circumstances; but she writes about how it's alright to feel these things, but it's not okay to revel in them. Every character introduced has a "dark" past, and every character has their own journey of overcoming it. It's always a part of them, but they fight to make the most of it. It's a very powerful story and a very easy read. Definitely recommended.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    This book is full of Kage's amazing imagination. Just when I think, "oh, this is the way the plot is going, cool!" then another character, another plot twist, or both shows up! Keeps going wonderfully right to the end. Excellent story for fourth-grade reading level and up, including adults. Fine read-to or book for bright kids for second grade and up. Great summer read for girls and boys alike (yeah, the main character is a girl, but promise the boys adventure and cool male characters. And a dog This book is full of Kage's amazing imagination. Just when I think, "oh, this is the way the plot is going, cool!" then another character, another plot twist, or both shows up! Keeps going wonderfully right to the end. Excellent story for fourth-grade reading level and up, including adults. Fine read-to or book for bright kids for second grade and up. Great summer read for girls and boys alike (yeah, the main character is a girl, but promise the boys adventure and cool male characters. And a dog and a parrot. And some creepy stuff. What a pity Kage Baker died this past spring and won't write another children's book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    MB (What she read)

    A fun fantasy for children featuring a strong heroine, a crazy cast of characters, and a forgotten but fully intact Victorian Hotel complete with ghost. A treasure story with a twist. The 'feel' of the book reminded me a little of Carol Ryrie Brink's [book:The Pink Motel|6378144| with Kage's distinctive voice and a very different plot. The illustrations added a special 'icing' on top. A fun fantasy for children featuring a strong heroine, a crazy cast of characters, and a forgotten but fully intact Victorian Hotel complete with ghost. A treasure story with a twist. The 'feel' of the book reminded me a little of Carol Ryrie Brink's [book:The Pink Motel|6378144| with Kage's distinctive voice and a very different plot. The illustrations added a special 'icing' on top.

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