Weaving together such differing elements as quirky, hard-working, and enchanting aunts, environmental concerns, Secret Services, World War 1 and 2, and insects, Gordon managed to draw me in and hold me there, even if, at times, my suspension of disbelief was not there. The main hook? The characters. I grew to love Cully, Isabel, his aunts, and even his friend Sam. Each character was drawn in such a way that I could see them so clearly in my mind, and felt like I knew them myself. Not every writer has such a knack, but Gordon does, and it worked so well in this fantastical story. It is a great read and perfect for middle-graders, introducing them to new words and concepts, and even opening their eyes to look into all sorts of new subjects.