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The Inventors at No. 8 Hardcover – May 8, 2018
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From School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—Due to a series of extraordinarily unfortunate events (his mother died giving birth to him and his father died roller skating out an upstairs window), 12-year-old George, the third Lord Devonshire, is alone in the world, save for his trusty manservant Frobisher. The pair is scraping by, selling everything left in the family home. Young George has resigned himself to selling his prized possession: his grandfather's map to the Star of Victory, when it is stolen by a mechanical bird. Leaving his house for the first time in two years to pursue the bird, he meets young Ada Byron, intrepid scientist, inventor, and explorer. Ada informs George of a mysterious group, called the Organization, seeking to locate the Star of Victory. She convinces timid George that they need to decipher the map and locate the Star, and the pair, accompanied by Oscar, the son of a pirate, and Ruthie the orangutan, take off in Ada's flying machine. The disparate team moves from London to France, Geneva, and Venice (where they drop in on Charles Darwin) on the trail of the nefarious Organization. But George begins to suspect that Ada may have her own agenda. This raucous adventure keeps a frenetic pace as young George, whose father called him spineless, attempts to justify Ada's faith in him, while Ada secretively battles her own demons. Eventually, both Ada and George find strength through their friendship. VERDICT This lively adventure imagines Ada Byron Lovelace, the notable scientist, as a dauntless young girl. A great inclusion in STEM-focused fiction collections.—Nancy Nadig, Penn Manor School District, Lancaster, PA
"Electrifying, whimsical, and wry, The Inventors at No. 8 is an unmissable adventure for all the future inventresses in your life!"―Sam Maggs, author of Wonder Women and The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy
"This raucous adventure keeps a frenetic pace...A great inclusion in STEM-focused fiction collections."―School Library Journal
"Morgen pulls off some handy misdirection in her fast-paced debut, and the combination of comical antics, miraculous machines, and a historical setting adds to the appeal."―Booklist
"This adventure story is full of inventions, suspense, and mayhem. Ada Byron is a great role model for girls...The novel focuses on the theme of family and friendship while emphasizing that family is not always related by blood. This is a great debut novel by Morgen."―School Library Connection
"Plenty of hijinks...to please middle-grade adventure readers and lure them back for a second volume."―BCCB
Top customer reviews
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Despite all the bad things that keep happening, underneath it all, George is hopeful and struggles to keep trying. George has to overcome his fears and not inconsiderable bad luck as he, Ada, Oscar, and an orangutan adventure across Europe meeting both inspiring and threatening characters along the way. Ada uses her inventions, which include a flying machine, to help them on their journey. Her character, and that of Oscar, are integral to George’s success . The Inventors at No. 8 is an exciting story that celebrates intelligence, independence, science, and perseverance. Incredibly, some of the most interesting aspects are borrowed from real life. I think it’d be a plus if that info was in the front material, rather than an author’s note after the book. I think it’d be fun to guess which inventions and events were real versus those the author imagined.
A fun enjoyable read, The Inventors at No. 8 is a tale about being brave, taking chances, friendship, family, and much more. Lots of pondering material and good conversation starters here in addition to just being quirky and fun! Highly recommended.
I received this book as an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) from the publisher through NetGalley. My opinions are my own.
Having dealt with disaster after disaster affecting his family, twelve-year old George, the 3rd Lord of Devonshire, becomes a recluse. Frobisher, his elderly manservant, remains loyal, taking on all the duties of running the deteriorating house and caring for George. George faces the reality that he must sell the one remaining family treasure – the map to the mysterious Star of Victory. The intrusion of a strange mechanical bird, the sudden confrontation with a thief, and Frobisher’s disappearance combine to propel George to risk knocking on the door of No. 5 Dorset Square. There he meets Ada Byron, inventor of the mechanical bird and other contraptions, and her companions Oscar - abandoned by his pirate father and now studying to become a painter – and Ruthie – an orangutan who suffers from geophagia. When Ada offers George assistance in recovering the map and finding Frobisher, he reluctantly accepts. The four companions set out across Europe, seeking the map that will lead them to the Star of Victory and to rescuing Frobisher from his kidnappers. As the novel progresses, red herrings and unexpected events maintain the pace of the narrative and lead to an exciting conclusion.
A. M. Morgen has created a fascinating, very exciting novel for readers. The book is not difficult, but she does not limit the vocabulary or the action as that might make the outcome predictable. Chapters are short. Characters are interesting and exhibit personal growth; George is not the same individual at the book’s conclusion as he was at its beginning. Humor, both overt and subtle, lighten the story and will have most readers smiling as they read. Language and situations are appropriate for any age reader. The Inventors at No. 8” would be a very good bedtime read-aloud for children not yet ready to read it themselves.
“The Inventors at No. 8” is a marvelous debut novel and one that both my grandson and I hope is the first of many books A. M. Morgen will write. This is a book any age reader will enjoy and want to share.
Most recent customer reviews
I think this was one of those cases of “It’s not you, it’s me.” Because, here’s the thing: there was nothing wrong with this book.Read more
--- "George, the 3rd Lord of Devonshire, is cursed with bad luck Almost everyone he comes in contact with...Read more