Monday, December 5, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway: The Clockwork Three by Matthew Kirby

The lives of three poor children intersect in a bond of friendship which promises to help each one in an unusual way. Told in third person narrative from each child's point of view, the harsh realities of late eighteenth/early nineteenth century America, are woven together with a hint of fantasy.

Giuseppe is an orphaned street busker from Italy who is forced to work for a harsh padrone who mercilessly takes the boys earnings, giving him little in return. When green violin washes up on shore, Giuseppe finds the violin offers more than charming music.

Frederick is rescued from an orphanage by a clockmaker and becomes his apprentice. With his ingenuity and determination, he builds an automaton of a fascinating clockwork man.

When Hannah's father suffers a stroke, she is forced to work as a maid in grand hotel to help her family make ends meet. She becomes the personal assistant of an elusive and fascinating guest. In the course of her work, she learns of a mysterious treasure and dreams of what it could do for her and her family.

As the children's lives come together, they discover they each hold a key that can help another. In his debut novel, Matthew Kirby delivers a strong steampunk story in beautifully written prose in which he skilfully builds the world and characters. The author also builds some interesting minor characters who, much to my disappointment, nearly disappear without warning near the end of the novel. The action of the story comes late in the novel and I would have loved to have the fantasy elements last a little longer.  The recommended age is 8-14. I recommend THE CLOCKWORK THREE for the older end of the age limit as my twelve-year-old son thought it was slow, but my seventeen-year-old son loved it.

Publishing information
  • Publisher: Scholastic
  • Date published: Oct. 1, 2010
  • Hardcover 392 pages
  • ISBN 978-0-545-20337-1

To purchase this book, click the retailers links.

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Contest Details: 

Winner will receive an author signed hard copy.

Use the Rafflecopter form to enter and follow instructions on the form. Click HERE if the form prize does not say The Clockwork Three and the right form will load. Please be patient while the Rafflecopter form loads. This contest is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by Twitter or Facebook and entrants agree to release Facebook, Twitter and blog owner from liability. Contest ends December 16, 2011 at 12:01 a.m. EST

**Disclosure:  I did NOT receive  a copy of this book from the publisher or author. The book for the contest was provided by me and purchased at The King's English Bookshop, my local independent bookstore.


TZollars said...

my students would love this as a read aloud during reading time! :) :)

Linda Trinklein said...

How the three bond a friendship :)

lzamudio02 @ hotmail .com

Anonymous said...

Stacey L
staceylowe at comcast dot net
I like how they help eachother out.

Unknown said...

I like the working together aspect, I also like it is very "boyish" My son will LOVE this book.

frugalmommieof2 said...

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Okie said...

I've heard great things about this book. I think both of my boys will enjoy it...and I probably will too.

Fingers crossed for the contest. :)

Unknown said...

My child would love how it has a bit of fantasy in it.

Name: Sarah Walker
Twitter: @lover2387

Diana said...

The period setting is appealing as well as the fact that there are three young characters and that their lives intersect.

April Yedinak said...

My kids would like the book because they always love stories where a kid has to overcome the oppression of some 'evil' adult.

Emily Dorigo said...

I think my son would love the mysteriousness of this novel. I would have to read it to him as he is 7, but I still think it would be fun before bedtime.

Tanya said...

I have 2 kids that love reading anything...which is a good thing! =) I think this would be a great cuddle up on the sofa together kind of book to read together!


katherine said...

My child would like the "fantasy" bit of it

corey1971 said...

My son is very into "fantasy-type books which are centered on young boys (Corey Olomon)(

Diana Hatch said...

I think my daughter (who teaches 5th grade) would like this for her classroom. They love fantasy books

Brittany Boardley said...

I would read to it my daughter because she had a huge imagination and this book seems great for that!

AvroraD said...

It sounds a bit like the plot from Hugo, in a good way. Plucky boy and his friends make good!

Laurie said...

sounds like a great 'boy' book that my nephew would love..loves all genres of books

Robin Blankenship said...

The setting would interest my son

robinblankenship at gmail dot com

JaneSToney said...

My son would love the time period the book is written about the characters.

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