I received Loretta Mason Potts for Christmas. It is written by Mary Chase who wrote my all time favorite children's chapter book, The Wicked Pigeon Ladies in the Garden.
She wrote Loretta Mason Potts in 1958 - several years earlier than The Wicked Pigeon Ladies in the Garden.
Blurb from Amazon: Imagine how shocked you would be if, like ten-year-old Colin Mason, you were the oldest (smartest, best) kid in a family of four, and then you found out that all these years, without knowing it, you’ve had an older sister, an “awful, awful, bad, bad, girl—Loretta Mason Potts.” Who? What? Wait! ... But this is only the first of many surprises that lie in store for Colin, as things get curiouser and curiouser very fast. Loretta (a glum gangly girl and so very very rude) comes home and before you know it, Colin is secretly following her down a hidden tunnel that leads from a bedroom closet to an astonishing castle, where a charming and beautiful countess keeps court attended by a dapper and ever-obliging general, and in this world everybody loves Loretta (especially when she’s rude), so much so that they’re begging her to stay with them forever. What is the secret behind this mysterious other world and how does it connect to the many secrets in the Mason family? It’ll take a spellbinding, hair-raising adventure, involving not just Colin and Loretta but their mother and the rest of the family, to work that out.
I found this story fun, but it left me with many unanswered questions. What was up with the father in the story and why did he just disappear? Why would a small child be holding a cigarette? Why would Loretta's mother allow her to live somewhere else? There is an older lady that helps them. What is her back story?
I liked Colin and found him a realistic child. I also like how the family begins to work together.
This book is worth reading, but The Wicked Pigeon Ladies is still my favorite, and I wish that it would be reprinted with the original illustrations, so that I could buy one for each of my grandchildren.