The Girl From The Attic by Marie Prins

 

Maddy Rose lives in two worlds. A hundred years apart. In the same strange house built as an octagon. When a mysterious black cat leads her into its unknown attic, she meets Clare and his very sick sister Eva. Together Maddy and Clare jump into a money-making scheme in his uncle's dangerous soap factory to buy a cure for Eva. But an unexpected tragedy befalls them. And then Maddy is pulled back into her own time to confront the premature birth of her own sister. Will Maddy be able to deal with hardships of two lives? Will the skills she learned in the past help her solve the problems of the present? Can the strange shape of the house make a difference? As the Girl from the Attic, Maddy must rise to the challenges of both worlds in order to find her own place in the life of the octagon.
The 411:
I loved this book that was nothing like Coraline but reminded me of it because our main character Maddy travels between two worlds through an attic door thanks to the help of a black cat.  After moving into a new home with her very pregnant mother and stepdad Dan. Maddy is feeling all kinds of emotions about her parents not being together, her father left her and her own feelings about her stepfather.  She is an angry tween and when she finds a door that leads her to the very house she is living on except 100 years ago, she learns a thing or two about how difficult life could really be. 
While Dan is working he leaves Maddy in charge of taking care of her mom but she forgoes all chores or any assistance to her mom to venture into the past and meet a boy named Clare who spends his life helping his family because that is what you do! It is what he knows and he cannot understand why Maddy wouldn't want to help and she doesn't understand why he spends all his time helping out. Clare has a sick sister who is dying of consumption (Tuberculosis). Maddy has an idea to help him make money to help his sister.  
I found it very interesting that she was so helpful in the past but in her own life where she is needed ran off constantly instead of helping her mom but she would never have come received the lessons necessary to grow as a person and come to terms with why she feels as she does when it comes to her stepfather. 
Good story and I think this would be a great read for a middle school English class to dissect and learn from. Who are we really? Who do we want the world to see us as?  What lessons or experiences will help us better understand the world around us and why things may be a certain way.  Sometimes it is not about us, there are reasons for everything and communication helps us understand. If Maddy had spoke to her mother or even her stepdad about how she was feeling maybe she would have had a better understanding of things but I think sometimes we need to go through a difficult time for us to open our eyes.  
Well written and very interesting. I loved the ending and found it very sweet!  Would definitely recommend.
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Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. NO monetary compensation was offered.

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