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Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms: Magic, Mystery, & a Very Strange Adventure Hardcover – April 3, 2012
Frequently Bought Together
Stuart Horten, 10, is sure he is in for the dullest summer ever when he moves with his working-all-the-time mom and dork-supreme dad, who is excited to return to the town he grew up in. Stuart’s lack of enthusiasm is compounded by a set of nosy triplet girls next door, but things start looking up when he learns about how his great-uncle Tony—who was a magician of some renown and an inventor of fabulous contraptions—disappeared years ago. And then things get downright exciting when he discovers a handful of old coins that unlock a series of clues scattered about town that promise to reveal the location of Tony’s long-hidden workshop. Stuart is a likable, plucky little guy, the Charlie Bucket to great-uncle Tony’s Willy Wonka. While the mystery is tempered by the fact that solutions to the clues often come about more by happenstance than any cunning on Stuart’s part, the elements of magical realism that waft through the narrative keep things humming along nicely. This British import, longlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, leaves the door ajar for more adventures. Grades 4-7. --Ian Chipman
“Stuart is a likable, plucky little guy, the Charlie Bucket to great-uncle Tony's Willy Wonka…The elements of magical realism that waft through the narrative keep things humming along nicely. This British import, long listed for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, leaves the door ajar for more adventures.” --Booklist
“An adventure that will enthrall smaller people and the adults reading to them in equal measure.” --The Independent
“The action cracks along at a good pace and is a brilliant pre-teen magical mystery story.” --The Bookbag
“This story has time travel, dastardly villains, lots of machinery and some seriously good adventures!” --Fun Kids
Top Customer Reviews
I felt myself as if glued to the main character, Stuart. Everything he saw and did, I saw and did. When he hit his head, I swear my head began to hurt. Just a little.
This book is a gem. It's a story of magic wrapped up in a piece of magic unto itself. It would make a fantastic movie - though there is already one in my head now and I am in no hurry to mess with it.
If you choose to read in order to take your leave of the harsh, loud, chaos of reality, and if you would rather spend your valuable time locked in mystery and magic than in the contemporary problems of modern day in and day out existence, then this is your book. I can't wait to read the sequel.
able to get back. If I don't return, then my
workshop and all it contains is yours if you
can find it--and if you can find it, then
you're the right sort of boy to have it.
Your uncle Tony
P.S. Start in the telephone booth on
Back cover: When ten-year-old Stuart stumbles upon a note daring him to find his great uncle's hidden workshop, full of wonderful mechanisms, trickery, and magic, he sets out on a Willy Wonka-like adventure of a lifetime. In order to find the place, Stuart must believe the unbelievable--while dodging the annoyingly prying eyes of his triplet neighbors, April, May, and June. With clues to follow, puzzles to solve, and the quirkiest characters, this uniquely charming fiction debut by comedienne Lissa Evans is sure to enchant middle-grade readers--and believers--everywhere.
Stuart Horten is tens-years-old and short for his age. This is unusual since both his parents are "very tall." They are also clever people, hence Stuart's name: S. Horten. Mom is a researcher in the medical field and Dad is a cruciverbalist--writer of crosswords puzzles--and he loves to
speak words any kid would consider odd and embarrassing.
I was just thinking of going for a brief perambulation.
This whole area was sylvan.
An epistle for you, said his father, placing the envelope on the table.
This clever insertion of difficult and unusual words, with the definition placed in the dialogue, all without stopping a beat in the flow of the story, reminded me of the Lemony Snicket series A Series of Unfortunate Events.
The Horten's move away from the home Stuart treasures.Read more ›
I found the characters adorable and charismatic with the drive you hope your children demonstrate. I love the way the parents are described and how if you truly believe then the right person will find the clues. I loved the mystery a little bit of danger, breaking of the rules, but for the right reasons and understanding the politics involved. The Villain, well placed in the town and the understanding of what drives her. It all comes together very well.
I highly suggest this book for your children if they are interested in mystery, magic, puzzles, being strong and trusting themselves type books.
It's a cute little book, and I'm looking forward to reading it with my son. Horten's father is my favorite character.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fun story, fun characters. Really loved the end and the way it all came together for the main character.Published 4 hours ago by PT Evans
bought as an easter basket present. my daughter loved it, read it in one day.Published 18 months ago by Courtney Sullivan
I love this dang book! My students seem to get bored during class read aloud but seriously what do they know!!?? This book rocks and they need to deal with it!Published 19 months ago by Dr. Thor I. Bishsauce
My son is quirky and has a short attention span. I got him this book because he loves physics and building things, but still it's always a gamble. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Jenny Mathews
I read this to my 5th graders and they LOVED it! We are now reading Horten's Incredible Illusions. Great characters and storyline that leaves you wanting more!!!Published 22 months ago by Lindsey
We read this for a children's book club, and it was loved by readers aged 5-12 (as well as parents). Funny, exciting, with a hint of magic. Read morePublished 23 months ago by pecans mom