Author: Tom Llewellyn. Release date: 2010. Publisher: Tricycle Press. ISBN: 9781582462882.
Review: Told in a series of interconnected vignettes, The Tilting House is a fun and original tale where the setting, a mysterious old mansion, is a prominent character in its own right. Immediately after beginning the novel, readers will be intrigued by the oddness of Tilton House. The sloping floors, the crazy scientific scribbling all over the wall, and the magical discoveries of talking rats, powder that makes things grow, and a dimmer switch that makes the mansion disappear. Hidden within all the mansion’s eccentricities is a decades old love story that explains the truth behind Tilton House. Tweens will enjoy this quirky novel. The way Llewellyn has organized the chapters makes for an interesting read. There is somewhat of a plot string that continues throughout the novel, but each chapter chronicles a different event that Josh and Aaron experience. The conclusion of the novel is very satisfying but also leaves the story open for sequels.
Reading level: Grades 4-8
Similar titles: The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone.
Personal thoughts: I found this book to be delightful. The idea of a house that slopes leaves many opportunities for fun storylines, and Llewellyn took advantage of them very well. I really liked the romance that Josh and Aaron discovered that was responsible for a lot of the eccentricities of Tilton House. I wouldn’t be surprised if Llewellyn wrote some sequels to this story and I look forward to seeing them.
Themes: Science, mystery, mansions, secrets.
Awards/Reviews: Positive reviews from School Library Journal, Booklist, Publishers weekly, and Kirkus Reviews.
Series Information: N/A
Josh Peshik – A tween boy who moves with his family into the mysterious Tilton House. Josh is determined to uncover the secrets behind the house and is very adventuresome.
Aaron Peshik – Josh’s little brother. He is also interested in learning more about the mansion, but is far more apprehensive than Josh.
Lola – A tween girl who lives on the same block as the Tilton House. She befriends Josh and Aaron and helps them investigate the mysteries behind the mansion.
Grandpa Peshik – Josh and Aaron’s quirky grandfather who is also interested in their investigations of the house. He has a wooden leg, his actual leg was lost due to a fishing accident.
Mr. Daga – A large talking rat that lives in the attic of the Tilton House. He is gruff, but eventually provides a lot of assistance to the Peshiks in investigating the house.
Annotation: Josh and Aaron Peshik aren’t sure what to make of the new house their parents have just moved them into: all the floors slope three degrees inward and there are crazy, scientific scribbling all over the walls. They soon find that when you live in a tilting house, adventure is definitely in store!