Saturday, February 20, 2016

A Review of 'Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms: Magic, Mystery & A Very Strange Adventure' by Lissa Evans

"Enter a wonderful world filled with real magic, mystery... and danger.

As if being small for his age and also having S. Horten as his name isn't bad enough, now 10-year-old Stuart is forced to move far away from all his friends.  But on his very first day in his new home, Stuart's swept up in an extraordinary adventure: the quest to find his great-uncle Tony-- a famous magician who literally disappeared off the face of the earth-- and Tony's marvelous, long-lost workshop.  Along the way, Stuart reluctantly accepts help from the annoying triplets next door... and encounters trouble from another magician who's also desperate to get hold of Tony's treasures.

A quirky, smart, charming page-turner, Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms will enchant young readers-- as well as teachers, librarians, and parents."

I am back with my fifth graders!  This was the first book that we finished reading.  I was attracted to this book by the cover art and the art that appears at almost every chapter.  What kept me reading was, even though I had an idea what was going to happen next a lot of the time, I always wondered how the characters would handle the next situation thrown at them.

I didn't particularly care for the characters... they felt rather flat to me.  Stuart could go from zero to sixty in a flash if the situation were right, the triplets fell into the stereotype that all triplets are the same person times three, Stuart's father was annoying and had unnecessarily complicated syntax when he spoke, and his mother was just distant the whole time... overall, I'm not terribly impressed.  But the plot was interesting because it challenged me to always think a step ahead.  I know my fifth graders appreciated this challenge too.  They really liked the book and when I told them that there was a sequel, they demanded to read it next (which we're not, but perhaps before the semester ends).

This book is very much for younger readers, but as the person reading the book with them and talking about it book-club style, it was still a nice read.  Just maybe not something that I would feel compelled to read again or put on my own shelf at home.

I give 'Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms':
Thanks for Reading!


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