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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Enter a wonderful world filled with real magic, mystery, and danger. As if being small and 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.…

Overall Book Review:

Author Lissa Evans had me hooked on page one of the wonderfully titled Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms.  This book is an adventure and a mystery with fresh characters and an eclectic cast of supporting characters.  Penned with the perfect amount of peril and difficulty, the mystery unfolds in a non-linear fashion; this prevents the story from being predictable and allows the adventures and solutions to be solved roundabout by the reader.  The mystery feels a bit like a scavenger hunt or a treasure hunt. 

Also, the multi-generation connection between the protagonist and his great-uncle was endearing; this book just might ignite the curiosity of a few young people, inspiring them to look into their family history to learn more about their personal past.  Ending perfectly with all the loose ends tied up, this book would be a fabulous read aloud and should become a permanent addition to children’s classics.  (Think The Westing Game and Roald Dahl.)  I adored it!

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Sterling Publishing

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  None

Violence/Gore:  A character sufferes a few scrapes and bruises; implied threat.

Sex/Nudity:  None

Mature Subject Matter:


Alcohol / Drug Use:

A photograph shows a woman holding a cigarette.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

An accountant and CPA by profession, I found myself a book reviewer for Squeaky Clean Reads by happenstance. When the opportunity came to transform that website into Compass Book Ratings, I was excited to seize it and meld my business background with my love of books. As the mother of three teenage sons, I have read a large number of children and young adult books and I believe that there is great value in a content review service. As much as we would love to read everything our children read, there just isn’t enough time. I also appreciate being able to select books for myself that are really worth my precious and limited reading time. I believe there is a book out there for everyone–they just have to find it!