Frighteningly Good Reads: The Secret of White Stone Gate by Julia Nobel

The second in this mystery middle grade series has left me with more questions than answers. Now I just need to get my hands on the third one…quickly!


In this exciting sequel to The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane, Emmy’s adventures continue as she deals with a sinister organization, a missing father, and secrets she’s not sure who to trust with.

After spending the summer at home, Emmy cannot wait to return to Wellsworth for the new school year and reunite with her best friends, Lola and Jack. Before she leaves Emmy receives a note from her father telling her to hide the remaining relics The Order of Black Hollow Lane are after—and to trust no one.

When Lola is framed for a serious crime she didn’t commit, Emmy knows that she and her friends are not safe. The Order wants Emmy to give up her father’s location… if she doesn’t, those she loves will pay the price.

Emmy and Jack need to figure out a way to clear Lola’s name without bending to the Order’s sinister demands. And Emmy needs to figure out who she can trust with her secrets before it’s too late. from Goodreads.

A dark cover shows only a small building with a young girl and boy on either side. The cover is framed with small hands and a chests.


I just hate bullies. The worst are the ones that hold so much more power than those they prey upon. Like adults who pick on children. In this second story in the Black Hallow Lane Series author Julia Nobel has created the most despicable of this type of bully. This second book may bring Emmy back to her adopted home of Wellsworth Academy but this time she has more uncommunicative adults to contend with and a handful of new students – is there anyone that Emmy can trust?

The second book really did leave me feeling like I had more questions than answers. Being at boarding school isn’t enough, Emmy also has a missing Father. Her Mother is both too busy to listen to Emmy and too preoccupied with her own life to tell Emmy anything about her Father that might help Emmy’s sense of family. Honestly, Emmy doesn’t have a single adult in her life who will give her any information about anything. Instead, Emmy is given over to a friend of her mother to “care for her” who is only concerned with how Emmy’s actions and connections at school will affect her own social standing. Emmy is her own whole Middle Grade Bingo Board.

The evil Order is just as busy in this second book. But, what they really are and what they actually do is still not explained! They are just bad, powerful, and omnipotent? Maybe? Now that they suspect that Emmy either has what they want or knows where her father is, they will stop at nothing to force her to tell her secrets.

This was a quick and easy middle grade mystery. It has a decent self contained problem to be solved but failed to further the larger mystery of the series. I find myself attached to Emmy though as she is honorable, kind, and a good friend. I just hope that the author provides some well deserved answers to these questions in the third book!

Tell me, please! When a series falls victim to a sophomore slump, do you continue reading?


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