Cragbridge Hall, Book 1: The Inventor's Secret
by Chad Morris
Imagine a school in the year 2074 where students don't read history, but watch it happen around them; where running in gym class isn't around a track, but up a virtual mountain; and where learning about animals means becoming one through an avatar. Welcome to Cragbridge Hall, the most advanced and prestigious school in the world.
Twins Abby and Derick Cragbridge are excited as new students to use their famed grandfather's inventions that make Cragbridge Hall so incredible. But when their grandfather and parents go missing, the twins must follow a mysterious trail of clues left by their grandfather. They must find out where their family is, learn who they can trust, and discover what secrets are hidden within Cragbridge Hall.
Abby and Derick soon realize they are caught in a race with a fierce adversary to discover their grandfather's greatest secret — a dangerous discovery that could alter both history and reality.
“A fantastical futuristic read that should engage kids and families.” — Brandon Mull
- SKU: 5097497
- SKU: 5105202
- SKU: 5119720
- SKU: 5105911
By Shauna, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I REALLY REALLY LOVED this book!
Fun, creative storyline told so well you will stay up way past your bedtime reading it!
I LOVED all the inventions:
History class: you "watch" what really happened.
English: a student sits in a 'chair' and while reading the other students 'see' the story.
Gym: you get to literally run up a virtual mountain.
Zoology: you become an avatar of the animal you are studying.
And the challenges Abby and Derrick have to go through to save their parents and grandfather...just wait until you read all about that...SO GOOD!
I REALLY HOPE they make a movie out of this book :)
By Matt, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I found this book and found it quite unique. First of all this book did not try and create instant sympathy for the young main characters, Abby and Derick, through formulaic abuse, abandonment, or the parent’s tragic death. Instead you really cheer for these characters because of their personalities and snappy dialogue. But the best dialogue belongs to Carol, a friend soon scooped up in Abby’s and Derick’s adventure. I found myself laughing out loud various times because of something Carol did or said. In this book the writing is tight and narrative crisp.
The book centers on Cragbridge Hall—a futuristic school which allows the students to experience events from the past and control/become animal avatars. When the bad guy (I won’t spoil it by giving a name) secretly uses the technology of the school for evil purposes, Abby, Derick, and their friends really show ingenuity. However, again, like the sympathy, the ingenuity is not fashioned in a the same old, same old way. Instead the author uses real life historical events to help the characters solve the problems in the book. This idea of referring to historical events is the genius and uniqueness of this book. Every time one of the characters went into the past, I always wished that I could be there too!
During the book the characters, and us as readers, are reminded about fairly familiar people or events like Blackbeard the pirate, Annie Oakley, and the Titanic. Also, we are informed about lesser known events and people like Ernest Shackleton and his expedition to the Antarctica. However, these events are not presented in a dry, stale, “history-is-boring” sort of way, but instead the characters, thanks to the futuristic tools of the school, live through the most exciting moments of history. In other words, this books bridges a gap between a historical fiction book and a fantasy book. I would call it a “Historia” book (historical fiction + a fantasy story).
So if you are a parent (I am in my 30s) or a kid looking for a book that can last past the final page until the second book in this series comes out, buy this book. You will find yourself looking into the real-life amazing stories of the past described in this work as you wait for the next installment. After I finished this book I sought out a reputable non-fiction book about Shackleton’s experience and found it fascinating.
By Courtney, Submitted on 2015-02-25
In his inaugural book, Cragbridge Hall: The Inventor's Secret, Chad Morris tells the story of Derek and Abby Cragbridge; twin grandchildren of Oscar Cragbridge (who can best be described as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney and Steve Jobs all rolled into one). In a world where paper books (and even tablets) are rendered obsolete, the students at Cragbridge Hall watch history exactly as it happened; not with actors on a movie screen, but with a holographic echo of the actual historical characters. By the year 2074 Oscar has developed countless inventions that have changed the way the world works... and he has been kidnapped. With their grandfather and parents missing, Derek and Abby follow the clues left by Oscar--clues that can only be found by those who remember the lessons of history.
There are so many reasons why I loved this book. In fact, I loved it so much that I had my husband read it to the family immediately after I finished it. Chad Morris breathes life back into history by telling the stories. With Derek and Abby we get to relive Blackbeard's final battle, the sinking of the Titanic, the escape of Frederick Douglass, and Shackleton's trek across Antarctica. We relive well known and beloved historical figures and are introduced to those who have been forgotten.
In The Inventor's Secret, Chad's brilliance in bringing history alive is matched only by his ability to show us that the vast benefits of technology invariably include a few pitfalls. That the same tool that can be used to free millions of people can also be used to enslave others, and that sometimes freedom is more important than convenience or a life of ease. You will learn all of these lessons while reading an exciting and captivating tale about an insecure and "ordinary" little girl living in the shadow of her brilliant twin brother.