Publisher's Note:  

An enchanted green violin, an automaton that comes to life, and a hidden treasure . . . THE CLOCKWORK THREE is a richly woven adventure story that is sure to become a classic!

Giuseppe is an orphaned street musician from Italy, who was sold by his uncle to work as a slave for an evil padrone in the U.S. But when a mysterious green violin enters his life he begins to imagine a life of freedom.

Hannah is a soft-hearted, strong-willed girl from the tenements, who supports her family as a hotel maid when tragedy strikes and her father can no longer work. She learns about a hidden treasure, which she knows will save her family -- if she can find it.

And Frederick, the talented and intense clockmaker's apprentice, seeks to learn the truth about his mother while trying to forget the nightmares of the orphanage where she left him. He is determined to build an automaton and enter the clockmakers' guild -- if only he can create a working head.

Together, the three discover they have phenomenal power when they team up as friends, and that they can overcome even the darkest of fears.

The Clockwork Three

by Matthew J. Kirby

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Overall Review:  

I have had this book on my "to-read" list for a long time. It always takes me a while to finally reach for titles on my list that are children's books, although I don't know why, because I often find that a novel for kids is a nice reprieve from some of the content and themes that are thrown about in adult books. Ah! Like a breath of fresh air. The Clockwork Three was an especially fun read. I couldn't believe how interesting and adventurous it was. Following the lives of three kids through the narrow alleys and streets of Italy has never been such a treat.


First we are introduced to Giuseppe, a poor orphan boy who reminded me a lot of Oliver Twist. He reports to his "master" every night with the money he made from playing his instrument on the street corner. He finds a unique treasure one day and although his outlook is often bleak, he sees a sudden light on the near horizon. Enter Hannah, a young girl who works as hard (or harder) than an adult to help her family get enough money to buy the food they need to survive. When she catches wind of a buried treasure, she knows that she has the skills she needs to find whatever is hidden underground or behind lock and key. Since her family's well-being depends on her, she must find the courage to be bold and adventurous. Frederick is a boy who has been working for a clockmaker taking extra work and learning the ropes. He is an orphan, but his luck has changed greatly in the past year. When he is given an opportunity he can't pass up, he hopes he can move forward in his career and make a name for himself.


Each of these children has a gift, even if it might not be visible to the naked eye. They all have a journey to complete, and I absolutely loved traveling along with them. If you are a young boy or girl, or know of a young kid who is looking for a book to read to help them bridge the gap between middle school books and teen books, this one is perfect. Not only would it appeal to both genders, I also see that Matthew Kirby has several other books that look similar to this one. I know I will be reading them, and I bet any boy or girl that reads The Clockwork Three will be begging to get their hands on another of Mr. Kirby's books too.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  None


Violence/Gore:  Bullying occurs between minors; verbal threats are made by a male adult to minors; a man is mentioned to beat boys in his care, some description is given; a creepy scene involving a dark cellar occurs; a man is mentioned to be dying from an illness; a fight involving knives occurs, a man perishes in the fight; a man is threatened with a knife; several violent scenes occur involving physical and verbal abuse.


Sex/Nudity:  None

Mature Subject Matter:  

Death of a parent, ghosts and the supernatural, child abandonment, orphans, personal crises, physical and verbal abuse.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  


Reviewed By Lydia
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