by Matthew J. Kirby
Suggested Ages: 8 - 14 (And up)
Description: When Giuseppe finds a green violin washed up in New York docks, somehow he knows it will change his life. But how? The very same day, Hannah, a maid at a local hotel, gets a strange new mistress. Why are Madame X and her mysterious Russian minder living in a hotel? What are they hiding from? Across the square, Frederick, a clockmaker's apprentice, hides his dark terrors, and an amazing gift. There is nothing to link these three children, except the green violin and a chance encounter on the street. But soon they are swept away in an epic adventure. This is a mesmerizing story of chance, friendship, and courage.
The Good Stuff
- Absolutely, positively delightful historical fantasy fiction for the 8-14 range
- Both girls and boys will adore
- Absorbing and addictive, I got lost in the story many a time
- Wonderfully descriptive - you can almost smell and touch your surroundings
- Intriguing characters introduced one by one so you really get a sense of their personality and their place in the story
- Heartrendingly sad at times, but also very hopeful
- Has a bit of Steampunk, fantasy and history all wrapped up into one, even at times a little reminiscent of Oliver Twist
- Really enjoyed the characters of Madame Pomeroy and Yakov
- Could have taken out maybe 50 pages, but that is only the opinion of an scattered brain 40 year old mom
- Also the part with the clockwork man should have been left out or developed more - it just didn't fit in, in my opinion
"Stacks and stacks of books lined the walls and stood ready as if they hoped to be on shelves one day."
"But I've learned that in most cases it's best to just keep my opinions to myself." The women laughed, a tinkling, trembling laugh. "Would that everyone were as wise as you."
"But the old fiddle sang so true, so tender, he gave it more life, and more still, until it did not feel like he was playing it at all. And in that moment, it did not matter which instrument he held in his hands."
What I Learned
- That I am lucky to have been born in this era, to the parents I was born to.
- YA's who prefer a more substantial story
- Not for those YA's who prefer a lighter story, this is a heavy one
- A good starter steampunk for the younger set
I received this book from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review