Kids Book Review: Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms

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Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms: Magic, Mystery, and a Very Strange Adventure
Sterling Children’s Publishing
age 8-12
by Lissa Evans
272 pages

Synopsis from Sterling Children’s Publishing:

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.

My kids love the whole idea of secret messages and hidden mechanisms so Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms was right up their alley. It doesn’t take long before we’re introduced, along with young Stuart, to the magical world of Great Uncle Tony and his lost legacy. Great Uncle Tony leaves hidden clues around town for Stuart to find and solve, with the help of his neighbour April, a girl his same age. My kids loved the idea of being left hidden clues to solve and taking treks through underground tunnels, abaondoned homes, and closed museums. They loved following along with Stuart. The inclusion of some unexplained magic also added to the fun (and mystery) of the whole adventure.

Although we do meet adult characters within the book, most of the sluething is done by Stuart with some help from April. I think the lack of adult involvement (except in the role of the bad guy — or girl as is the case in this book) adds to the whole adventure aspect of the story for kids. We read a few chapters each night and the kids didn’t want to stop. The pace of the adventure, getting closer to finding Great Uncle Tony’s legacy before it fell into greedy hands, stirs you to keep reading. Well, it did for us anyway.

We’re eagerly awaiting Stuart’s next adventure in the future book Horten’s Incredible Illusions.

You can find a copy of Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms: Magic, Mystery, and a Very Strange Adventure by visiting your local book store or visiting Sterling Publishing. Visit our Kid’s Books section for other great book recommendations. What are you reading with your kids?

I have to thank Sterling Publishing for my review copy.


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