by Stefan Bachmann
Greenwillow Books (HarperCollins)
Suggested Ages: 9+
Buy from Indigo
Description: Don't get yourself noticed and you won't get yourself hanged. In the faery slums of Bath, Bartholomew Kettle and his sister Hettie live by these words. Bartholomew and Hettie are changelings--Peculiars--and neither faeries nor humans want anything to do with them.
One day a mysterious lady in a plum-colored dress comes gliding down Old Crow Alley. Bartholomew watches her through his window. Who is she? What does she want? And when Bartholomew witnesses the lady whisking away, in a whirling ring of feathers, the boy who lives across the alley--Bartholomew forgets the rules and gets himself noticed.
First he's noticed by the lady in plum herself, then by something darkly magical and mysterious, by Jack Box and the Raggedy Man, by the powerful Mr. Lickerish . . . and by Arthur Jelliby, a young man trying to slip through the world unnoticed, too, and who, against all odds, offers Bartholomew friendship and a way to belong.
Mini Book Review: Delightfully twisted & morbid fairy tale mixed with an almost steampunk vibe. Was flabbergasted that this was written when the author was only 16. Seriously, I could barely get my homework done at that age, let alone write such a brilliant tale. I was hooked in from the opening paragraph of this story with its vivid imagery and eccentric characters. The story does drag a wee bit about a third of the way through the story but it does pick up quickly. Lots of fascinating characters and an intriguing storyline that will keep you hooked to the end of the tale. Love to see characters (Mr Jelliby) who are ordinary and relatively wimpy, do extraordinary and brave things. The ending almost killed me though with its cliffhanger especially since I have no idea how long it will be till the next story comes out. Hope this makes sense, I am home sick, and even less articulate than normal. Highly recommend this for the middle grade reader who is a little more sophisticated in his reading tastes.
``A murmur passed through the gathering. Mr. Jelliby squirmed. Oh, not murder, Why couldn`t people simply be nice to each other.``
``You are so alike really, you English and the faeries. So desperately far on either side that you can`t see anything in between. Ah, well. I`ll not talk. This part of London, nobody talks but the face on the coin, and as I said, it`s none of my business.``
``Bartholomew almost belonged here in this strange place. He could do the same things everyone else did, and no one would drag him off for it. No one would even notice him. For once in his life it wasn`t he who was peculiar.``
Who Should or Shouldn`t Read
- Definitely for fans of the Leviathan series
- Would recommend for the more mature middle grade reader - Librarians make sure you pick just the right reader for this - this isn`t for everyone
Simrit lent me a copy of this as she thought I would enjoy it