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Grade 4-7–In 1452, a young printers devil toils for his master, Herr Gutenberg, who is in the process of printing a Bible. On a suitably dark and cold night, sinister Johann Fust arrives at Gutenbergs shop with a mysterious wooden chest decorated with dragons and serpents heads. In a parallel story set at Saint James College in Oxford in the present day, Blake, a professors son, discovers a wordless book with the title Endymion Spring, which was the printers devils name. The present-day narrative and the story of Endymion Spring cleverly intertwine as Blake discovers that the book is the key to all of the worlds knowledge. As Endymion lies hidden in Gutenbergs shop one night, Fust opens the wooden chest and, because of what Endymion learns, he is forced to flee. In an incredibly effective action scene, he eludes capture. Back in the present, Blake and his sister, Duck, find themselves pursued by a mysterious Person in Shadow and discover, as it leads them into the depths of the Bodleian Library, that Endymion Springs book has a mind of its own. Even if the promise of the clearly intriguing premise is not quite fulfilled, this book is certain to reach an audience looking for a page-turner, and it just might motivate readers to explore the true facts behind the fiction.–Tim Wadham, Maricopa County Library District, Phoenix, AZ
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Gr. 6-9. This debut novel, when offered to publishers at the manuscript stage, spurred an impressive bidding war. Why the fuss? For one thing, it's partly set at Oxford University, the same backdrop Philip Pullman used in The Golden Compass (1996). For another, its focus on a coveted artifact evokes Dan Brown's adult blockbuster The Da Vinci Code (2003). Blake, an American adolescent visiting modern-day Oxford, stumbles upon Endymion Spring-- one portion of "the most legendary, sought-after book in the world." As Blake attempts to complete the fragment while evading cutthroat members of an antiquarian book society, flashbacks reveal the book's fifteenth-century connections to the original printing press, recounted by an apprentice of Gutenberg himself. Though the pulse-racing descent into Oxford's subterranean library stacks is thrilling, not every reader will respond to the novel's scholarly atmosphere, and subplots intended to flesh out Blake's character (mainly his angst over his parents' separation) seem stiff and forced. Once the buzz surrounding this heavily promoted fantasy subsides, look for it primarily in the hands of bibliophiles who enjoyed Cornelia Funke's Inkheart (2003) and Inkspell (2005). Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Endymion Spring was not like any other middle grade novel I've read. The mystery elements were complex but not confusing with enough detail and intrigue that I think it would have... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Rachel Lightwood
Great yarn. Brings books alive for kids and for this adult! A middle school must read. Hoping for a sequel.Published 15 months ago by jimmy James
What is Endymion Spring? A very special, antique book. Who is Endymion Spring? A mute orphan boy who, in 15th century Germany, was taken under the wing of Johannes Gutenberg,... Read morePublished on April 10, 2012 by Linda Pagliuco
I don't always buy into the editorials that open these book pages, because they are often either unfairly dismissive or groundlessly hyper-enthusiastic. Read morePublished on March 25, 2012 by Pop Bop
I love this book, it might not drag you in the first few charpers, but after that this isa great read. Loved it :)Published on February 20, 2012 by Sky Edwards
I picked this book up in a second hand bookshop. I don't remember seeing it on a display anywhere before, which is odd considering how good it is. Read morePublished on September 22, 2011 by Sir Furboy
I picked this book up, because, as a librarian, it is rather a prerequisite to enjoy metafiction, books about books. This has at times betrayed me (ex. Read morePublished on November 28, 2010 by Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
I think that Endymion Spring was an amazing book, with a very very good plot summary. I also think that it was beautifully pieced toghether. Read morePublished on October 11, 2009
I believed the hype about this being the middle school answer to the DaVinci code. Wrong! The DaVinci code is a fast paced adventure. Read morePublished on July 29, 2009 by medfordmom