Middle Grade Review: Seven Stories Up by Laurel Snyder


Seven Stories Up by Laurel Snyder

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (January 28, 2014)

Series: None

Genre: Historical fiction/time travel

Source: Publisher via NetGalley

My Rating: 4 of 5 stars

About the Book:

In this companion to Bigger than a Bread Box, a leap back in time and an unlikely friendship changes the future of one family forever.

has never even met her grandmother before.  In fact, she’s never had
much family to speak of.  So when she and her mother pull into the drive
of her grandmother’s home in Baltimore, Annie can hardly contain her

But when she actually meets her grandma, the
bitter old woman doesn’t seem like someone Annie could ever love, or
miss.  Until one magical, stormy night changes everything.  

impossible that Annie could have jumped back in time. . . right? But
here she is in 1937— the year her grandmother was just her age!  

is an invalid. She lives by herself, on the top floor of a hotel.  She
seems a little lonely, but friendly and fun, nothing like the horrible
old woman Annie just met. 

Annie entices Molly down from her
room, and together the two girls roam. They sneak around the grand
hotel, and explore the brick streets of old Baltimore. Carnivals and
taxis, midnight raids on the kitchen.  The two grow closer.

as Molly becomes bolder, and ventures further from the safety of her
room, Annie begins to wonder how she’ll ever get back home. Maybe she’s
changed the past a little too much. . .

About the Author:

LAUREL SNYDER is the author of many books for kids, including Penny Dreadful, Any Which Wall, and Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains.
A native of Baltimore, she now resides happily in Atlanta with her
husband, Chris; their two small sons; and a cat and dog who get along
admirably because they are exactly the same size. Laurel has recently
begun a collection of vintage bread boxes. Visit her online at

My Thoughts:

This book is for fans of The Secret Garden, time travel, and
friendship. Annie and her mom go to visit her grandmother before she
dies. Molly is an old, cantankerous woman that is bitter about anything
and everything. Annie goes to sleep that night and wakes up in 1937,
next to a much younger version of her grandmother.  Molly is a sickly
little girl, locked in a room on the seventh floor of the hotel she
calls home. Annie and Molly quickly become fast friends and start having
grand adventures together. Soon Annie realizes that she isn’t only
changing the events of the past, but the entire future as well, and she
isn’t sure that’s a good thing.

Middle grade readers will love this charming book about two girls from
different times and the impact they have on each other. Kids that
believe in magic and second chances will particularly enjoy this story.

The only negative was the idea that whenever the universe makes a
mistake (like allowing a little girl to grow up isolated and bitter),
magic will step in and make things right. However, that same theme gives
kids something to hope for and appeals to their imaginative side.

Content: Clean
Source: I received a digital galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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  • Reply
    Angela's Anxious Life
    June 13, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    The cover of this book is really cute. I loved Secret Garden sooo much! I would probably love this one too. I enjoy books about children that bring me back to a simpler time.

  • Reply
    Michael Dobishinsky
    June 14, 2014 at 3:53 am

    The suggestion that this book would be a good read for people that like The Secret Garden appeals to me. I'm looking for some good books to add to my reading group curriculum. Thanks.

    The Color of Sound

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