Tessa McMillan


Outstanding, Intermediate, Young Adult, Obert Skye, Keith Thompson, Siblings, Reform School, Adventure, Brainwashing, Fantasy, Magic

Document Type

Book Review


While lost in their Marvin-mindset, Tobias and Charlotte are attacked in their room by a creature who supposedly protects the Witherwood grounds. Soon after Charlotte is whisked off to the girls’ dormitory leaving Tobias imprisoned in his confining cot accommodations. However, Tobias stumbles upon his secret notations and injuries himself out of Marvin’s mental hold. With a clear head, Tobias searches for his sister and a way out. During his explorations, he meets three sane students who also want to escape: Keith, Meghan, and Patrick. Meghan shocks Charlotte out of her hypnotic state and Charlotte joins their group in planning a getaway. While searching the grounds, Tobias and Keith uncover the frightening truth that Marvin is turning young students into sickly senior citizens. The purpose behind this transformation isn’t known, but the kids realize they may be next. Gaining Fiddle’s aid, Tobias sets a campus barn ablaze to bring outside help inside Witherwood. However, the oppressive hand of Witherwood’s staff keep the kids from revealing their true desperation. Their only hope lies in a note Charlotte flipped into a firefighter’s boot.