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The Undrowned Child Hardcover – August 9, 2011


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (August 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385739990
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385739993
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 5.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,229,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Starred Review, School Library Journal, August 2011:
"Fantasy and historical fiction blend meticulously in this richly imaginative novel...The combination of imagination, thorough research, and evocative prose renders this an exceptional read that will not relinquish readers from its grasp. Happily, a sequel is already planned. This is Lovric’s first contribution to literature for the young, and it is a gem."

About the Author

MICHELLE LOVRIC has written three novels for adults and is active in the literary world, running writing workshops and writing reviews and travel features. The author divides her time between Venice and London. This is her first book for young people.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Readers who enjoy historical fantasy should find this book especially engaging.
K. Eckert
This author blends adventure, humor, suspense, action and unforgettable characters into a whopping good and fun story for kids and some adults.
Professor Emeritus P. Bagnolo
Descriptions of characters and glimpses by the author into their inner motivations make them more human.
turtleXings

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gary K. McCormick VINE VOICE on July 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Flipping through the pages of "The Undrowned Child" before settling in to begin reading, I came across the following passage:
------------------
It was then, as if sensing that Teo had reached her lowest point,
that "The Key to the Secret City" began to introduce her to its
own circle of acquaintances.
Those acquaintances were ghosts.
------------------
I knew then and there that I was in good hands.

"The Undrowned Child" is a wondrous tale of mermaids & magic, courage & cowardice, terrible evil & unselfish good, and deeds both dastardly & courageous. In the year 1899, an orphaned girl returns to the city she was born in (all unknowing), and takes up a destiny she was unaware of, battling an ancient evil which threatens to destroy that Adriatic jewel, Venice. If elements of that theme sound familiar, on the eve of the opening of the final installment of the cinematic version of the Harry Potter saga, know this: Within a seemingly similar general framework, author Michelle Lovric has woven a highly original tale which will captivate readers of all ages (and which may well boost Venetian tourism considerably!).

Though somewhat macabre in parts, to the extent that parents of children of 10 or 11 -- the same age as the heroine of the tale, Teodora -- may wish to read the book themselves and decide if they are comfortable with this tale in their child's hands, but ages 12 or 13 and up will thrill at the courage of the story's brave young heroine, and her allies, and shiver at the dangers she faces as she battles to save Venice from the ancient foe which threatens to -- literally -- swallow the city.

Interwoven throughout the story are tidbits -- nuggets and chunks, in fact -- of real Venetian history, places, and people.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By turtleXings VINE VOICE on August 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I titled my review "A fulfilling read for imaginative kids" but I believe teens & adults would find this book equally enjoyable.

The story is well crafted with enough unexpected & mysterious twists and turns to keep a reader on their toes. Descriptions of characters and glimpses by the author into their inner motivations make them more human. These insights are definitely that of a worldly adult but, I believe, are part of what make reading so beneficial for children. The snobbish Maria's character, for example, is given a depth of understanding rather than left as just the stereotypical 'pretty, snobby girl.' "For all her dressing like a miniature adult, Maria was young for her age, and, Theo suspected, also rather unhappy. If that boy was up to no good, then Maria would be vulnerable to flattery" (p45).

The book allows its characters to take on a life, to break their molds and grow in a realistic fashion even if it's a fantasy setting. This book will certainly appeal to fans of Harry Potter and is just as well crafted by the author. The typical fantasy plot of "an old, powerful evil is rising" is still made enjoyable by all the fresh ideas Ms. Lovric brings to light. Theo herself possesses all the makings of a great heroine: she is intelligent, courageous, and prone to human foibles that she must learn to overcome as a part of her growth.

I will definitely be recommending this book to others.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Heidi Anne Heiner VINE VOICE on July 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As I read this book, I realized just how little I really knew about Venice. I am a voracious reader but somehow my experiences have inadvertently kept me away from books set in this fascinating city. I admit I was first drawn to the book by the cover, then by the setting and finally by the mention of fantastical creatures, especially mermaids which are of high interest of late. The book didn't disappoint. The story is summarized elsewhere so I won't do that here. I started reading it without caring because the above mentioned features were enough of a draw for me. I enjoyed the main characters, Teo and Renzo, even more than I expected. I loved the setting. I enjoyed the history. I was entertained and I learned much during my reading.

One of the loveliest aspects of the book was an appendix with sections of "Places and Things in The Undrowned Child that you can still see in Venice" and "What is true, and what's made up?" It kept me from having to interrupt my reading to go look up so much for I always want to know more when I read books like this. Recommended for fantasy fans, especially if they like their fantasy mixed with historical fiction. Yes, it's aimed at younger readers, but adults with interests in the genre just may enjoy it more...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Eckert on July 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I got an advanced reading copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program. I love historical fantasies, especially ones set in Europe, so this sounded like an excellent read to me. In general I really enjoyed the story, all of the history, the fantastical creatures, and the Venice setting.

Teodora has always longed to visit Venice. Finally her scientific parents are called to help with the problem of Venice sinking and Teo is allowed to accompany them. There Teo is hit on the head by a mysterious book and drawn into the world between the layers of Venice; it is a world where mermaids print propoganda fliers, cats talk, and the very fate of Venice is at stake. Can Teo, with the help of the studious Renzo, save Venice before the whole city is destroyed and succumbs to absolute evil?

There were a lot of things I really liked about this book. I loved how much history is entwined with this story, I love even more that the author tells the reader which parts were real history and which were fabricated in the Afterward. I love the shear scope of fantastical creatures that enter this story: there are mermaids, werewolves, vampire eels, giant talking cats, winged lions, and more. Teo herself is an admirable heroine and Renzo also grows on you as the story continues. I also enjoyed the epic struggle between good and evil that takes place in this story.

The plot is complex and takes a while to set up. I think it took a little too long to set up. As a reader you get the basics of the plot pretty quick; Teo has to save Venice from ultimate destruction. The plot stalled a bit in the middle for me. It always seemed like there was one more thing Teo and Renzo had to do before the epic end battle, and it was drawn out a bit too long.
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