Publication date: August 2012
For: Fun (and because of the Newbery awards)
Clara Wintermute is the only child of a wealthy family and she is determined to have the amazing life-like puppets that Master Grisini uses perform at her birthday party. She's especially anxious to have Grisini's two young apprentices at her celebration as well, Lizzie Rose and Parsefall. But, when Clara disappears that same night, all of them fall under suspicion and Lizzie Rose and Parsefall are determined to find out what happened to her.
Things I Liked:
This book had a lovely combination of the creepy and the elegant. The writing was delicious and just perfect at setting the tone. It was dark but not too dark - with plenty of light-hearted moments to make the sadness bearable. I simply adored the gothic, creepy, beautiful writing, setting, and characters. It almost didn't even matter what actually happened in the story, because I was enthralled in how it happened and when and where. Very lovely, very atmospheric, very worthy of its award.
Things I Didn't Like:
I did find the plot to be a little bit slow in unraveling. I didn't mind, as I mentioned, but it seemed to wander around some before it found itself. Also, the writing style and complexity might be a real deterrent for kids. It's definitely not the most accessible of MG fantasy reads. Still, I think it is fabulous, especially for us adults who love MG reads and for kids who love a good, complex, and slightly creepy fantasy story.
Goblin Secrets by William Alexander
The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann
BOOK CONTENT RATINGS:
a little bit of disturbing detail
Overall rating: ****
This one was a Newbery honor book - did you love it or think it was just ok?
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