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The Glass Puzzle Hardcover – July 9, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

With its unexplored tunnels, secret societies, ties to pirates, and folklore about Wythernsea, an island that disappeared off the coast of Wales in 1349, the mystical coastal town of Tenby is just where 11-year-old Zoé and her cousin Ian love to spend the summer with Granddad. When Zoé finds an odd piece of glass and looks through it, she notices some of the town’s citizens now possess a third eye and appear to be monsters. With the help of Ian’s methodical scrutiny, the cousins discover the glass is part of a puzzle, which serves as a portal to parallel worlds, including Wythernsea. While they can visit the lost island, the portal also allows Scravens, monsters that inhabit humans, to enter Tenby and take over its residents. If Zoé and Ian can find an ancient rune stone and the Scraven leader before Midsummer’s Day, they may be able to defeat the monsters and close the portal for good. Although some plot points are obvious, the nonstop adventures and fantastical setting should keep readers entertained. Grades 4-7. --Angela Leeper

About the Author

CHRISTINE BRODIEN-JONES studied writing at Emerson College in Boston, and has been a journalist, an editor, and a teacher. She now splits her time between Gloucester, Massachusetts, and Deer Isle, Maine. Look for her other book for young readers, The Owl Keeper, available from Delacorte Press.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 880L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (July 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385742975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385742979
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,963,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Christine Brodien-Jones spent much of her childhood in upstate New York reading books and inventing fantastic stories. After graduating from Emerson College, Boston, she traveled and lived in Europe, where she met her husband Peter. A former teacher and editor, Christine lives in a tumble-down house near the sea on the Massachusetts coast. Now that their sons Ian and Derek are grown, she and Peter spend part of every year in Buenos Aires and Deer Isle, Maine.

Random House/Delacorte Press published Christine's post-apocalyptic novel THE OWL KEEPER in April 2010. THE OWL KEEPER is now in paperback and has been licensed to Scholastic for their School Book Club.

THE SCORPIONS OF ZAHIR, a middle grade adventure/fantasy set in Morocco, was published in July 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers. "Brodien-Jones mixes fantasy and adventure in a way that would make Indiana Jones feel right at home," says Booklist; Kirkus calls SCORPIONS "a wild ride indeed" with a "fast-paced suspenseful plot." VOYA describes the book as "a ripping yarn, filled with adventure...and there are indeed times when it recalls classic adventure tales with youth appeal, such as Robert Louis Stevenson's 'Treasure Island'." It comes out in paperback on July 9, 2013.

Christine's middle grade fantasy THE GLASS PUZZLE will be published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on July 9, 2013. She is represented by Stephen Fraser of The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kristen M. Harvey on July 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Zoe and her cousin Ian travel to Tenby every summer to spend time with their Grandfather. Zoe is an author at heart, constantly writing ideas down as they pop into her head. Ian loves history and is a wealth of knowledge. When the two come to Tenby for the summer, they don't realize that they will be finding a new world and trying to save the town of Tenby in return.

I loved getting to know Zoe and Ian, who are two peas in a pod and make a great team when it comes to finding out the truth. Zoe is the first to realize something is not right, as she sees the local townspeople through a piece of blue glass turn into some winged creature with three eyes. Ian puts together that this pile of blue glass sold to their grandfather is actually a puzzle. Unfortunately, they do not find the message warning them again putting the puzzle together until it is too late.

More of the creatures escape the puzzle and frighten them. What they find out is that the puzzle is a key to another world, one that is battling against these creatures as well, and it is up to Zoe, Ian and Pippin to save both worlds. I felt really drawn into the town of Tenby, a quaint town by the sea side that seems isolated from the rest of the world. Zoe often expressed her love for the town and wished she could live there permanently with her mother and grandfather. I loved that the author mixed in many of the phrases used in Wales and what they meant, making it easy for readers to pick up the meanings.

Final Verdict: I fell in love with the Glass Puzzle, the beautiful locations and the fun characters. Definitely a book I will be recommending to students this year.
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Format: Hardcover
Every summer Zoé travels from the U.S. to Tenby, Wales, to live with her grandfather and cousin Ian. Tenby is a small place where everyone is friendly and nothing much of interest seems to happen, and Zoé loves it. She especially loves the tales of long-ago pirates, the island of Wythernsea that sunk below the waves hundreds of years before, and the maze of dark tunnels that run beneath the city.

When she and Ian are 11, they stumble upon an adventure that has them fighting for the very life of Tenby. Along the way they'll travel to another world, learn about the history of their city, make new friends and fend off strange creatures.

The Glass Puzzle by Christine Brodien-Jones is a rollicking good adventure tale that's also full of fantasy. Tenby is a medieval town, and author Brodien-Jones brings its twisty streets and stone walls to life. It seems as though anything could happen in a town so richly steeped in Celtic history, even travel to other dimensions, secret identities, and magic.

While the narrative can be a little dark at times, it gives young readers aged 9 to 12 an action story full of imagination without being too frightening. The Glass Puzzle should be on the list of any young reader who likes a bit of history, a touch of mystery, and a lot of adventure.

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Grambo on August 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Cousins Zoe and Ian visit their grandfather in Wales every year, and love the Welsh countryside and traditions. On this trip, however, their vacation turned into a dangerous and scary adventure. Ugly Scrivens with 3 eyes and wings like bats take over the bodies of some of the townspeople. A magical glass puzzle is unearthed, both both good and evil purposes, and the cousins discover a way to be transported through time and space.

With very complicated twists and turns, the author keeps the story going, but loses the reader now and then. The most annoying parts of the book were the frequent occasions when the children would determine that something was not good to do, then would do it anyway. Or they would promise their grandfather something quite sincerely, then almost immediately break that promise.

*spoiler alert* And how in the world could the two kids be so clever in so many ways and not notice that all the people possessed by Scrivens wore blue-tinted glasses? I kept wanting to shake them every time one of them remarked on the proliferation of blue-tinted glasses without recognizing their significance.

An adventure book for kids who like magic, monsters, enchantments, and time travel. Ages 10-12.
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