Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

This is a fantasy adventure story about 3 children who are sent away by their parents because their lives became too dangerous. These 3 grow up in orphanages, with Kate, the oldest, looking after the other 2. After about 10 years where no one will adopt them and they have been shuffled from bad orphanage to bad orphanage, the book begins. The last orphanage sends them off to the mysterious house of Dr. Pym located in a remote area in a town no one knows. Turns out it’s a magical town and the children are a bit puzzled by the things they see. In exploring their new giant but cold house, they discover a book which takes them back in time to a place where an evil Countess has taken over the town because she is looking for something she knows must be there. Turns out she is looking for the book the children used to get them back in time and the children are pursued throughout this town, time and the mountains that surround it by awful magical creatures but helped by various people and dwarves. They see death, greed, treachery and this journey tests each of the children, revealing their strengths and weaknesses, as well as their familial bond. A well woven tale ultimately about family and believing in yourself...was fun to read and total fantasy! Grades 5-7