The Resource The emerald atlas, John Stephens

The emerald atlas, John Stephens

Label
The emerald atlas
Title
The emerald atlas
Statement of responsibility
John Stephens
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Kate, Michael, and Emma have passed from one orphanage to another in the ten years since their parents disappeared to protect them, but now they learn that they have special powers, a prophesied quest to find a magical book, and a fearsome enemy
Member of
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • Grades 4-7 Following their parents’ disappearance, 14-year old Kate and her younger siblings, Emma and Michael, have grown up in a series of orphanages. After moving to the dismal town of Cambridge Falls, the trio discovers a mysterious book. When studious Michael tucks a historic photo into the book, the children are transported back to an earlier time in which the town is held captive by an evil witch. Prophecies, wizards, hidden treasures, an ancient evil, and tantrum-throwing dwarves all make an appearance as Stephens works in a multitude of fantasy tropes. The quest to save the town and its children is fast-paced and engaging, with plenty of action, humor, and secrets propelling the plot. The dialogue occasionally has a choppy flow, but the humor and sibling bickering are right on target. Themes of family and responsibility, while emphasized somewhat purposefully, will easily resonate with young readers. The start of a new series, this satisfying tale wraps up in an intriguing conclusion that dangles unresolved threads for future adventures. Prepare for heavy demand. -- Rutan, Lynn (Reviewed 03-15-2011) (Booklist, vol 107, number 14, p60)
  • /* Starred Review */ Gr 4 – 8 — Kate, 14, 12-year-old Michael, and 11-year-old Emma have lived in 12 different orphanages during the decade since their parents' mysterious disappearance. Kate tries to care for her brother and sister as she promised her mother, but this gets harder when they are sent to a new orphanage directed by Dr. Stanislaus Pym and find that they are the only children in his remote mansion. When they explore the home, they discover a magical door that reveals a hidden study, where they find a magic book that allows them to travel through time. The action escalates as the girls try to rescue Michael, who is stranded in the past, and develops after the children learn the history of the Atlas and its connection to their lives. As they try to find the book in the past, they meet brash and humorous dwarves, a powerful warrior, and a younger Dr. Pym, as well as an evil witch who is also seeking the Atlas . Unfolding magic and secrets deepen the story and build excitement as it reaches its complex and time-bending climax. The siblings have a realistic and appealing relationship, including rivalry and bickering that hides their underlying deep loyalty to one another. Echoes of other popular fantasy series, from "Harry Potter" to the "Narnia" books, are easily found, but debut author Stephens has created a new and appealing read that will leave readers looking forward to the next volumes in this projected trilogy.—Beth L. Meister, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, WI --Beth L. Meister (Reviewed June 1, 2011) (School Library Journal, vol 57, issue 6, p137)
  • This promising first volume in debut author Stephens's Books of Beginning trilogy concerns siblings Kate, Michael, and Emma, who, when very young, were taken from their parents to protect them from unspecified forces of darkness. They have since spent 10 years in a series of unpleasant orphanages; the last of these—which, oddly enough, houses no children but themselves—is run by the eccentric Dr. Pym. While exploring their palatial yet decrepit new home tucked away in the Adirondacks, the children discover a magical green book, which transports them into the recent past. There they do battle with a beautiful witch who has terrorized and enslaved the local people in her unsuccessful search for the very book the children possess. Adventures follow, featuring murderous zombielike Screechers, time travel paradoxes, and multiple revelations about Dr. Pym. If Stephens's characterizations sometimes dip into cliché (grumpy, Scottish-ish dwarves; noble/heroic natives; an effete evil assistant), few will mind. This fast-paced, fully imagined fantasy is by turns frightening and funny, and the siblings are well-crafted and empathetic heroes. Highly enjoyable, it should find many readers. Ages 8–12. (Apr.) --Staff (Reviewed January 17, 2011) (Publishers Weekly, vol 258, issue 03, p)
  • Since being inexplicably plucked from their parents' home, three children—Kate, Michael and Emma, who all ferociously resist the label "orphan"—have trickled through a long line of decent to atrocious orphanages. Their adventures truly begin when they're shipped to a crumbling mansion in a childless town somewhere near Lake Champlain. A mysterious book hidden in the home's dilapidated bowels whisks them to the same spot 15 years earlier, where a glamorous witch rules. The reason for the absence of children gruesomely reveals itself, and the trio determines to help with no initial clue to their own prophetic importance. That they have a larger role to play becomes clearer as they realize they have a special relationship with the magic book, the significance of which is revealed bit by bit. In this mystical world of Children with Destiny, readers might cringe at potential similarity to a certain young wizard, but this is entirely different. Each character has such a likable voice that the elaborate story doesn't feel overcomplicated, and though the third-person-omniscient narration focuses on Kate's thoughts, brief forays into the perspectives of her siblings hint that the next two books might focus on them. Supporting characters from a heroic Native American to some very funny dwarves further enliven things. The only gripe readers might initially have is with its length, but by the end, they'll immediately wish it was longer. (Fantasy. 10-14)(Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2011)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
388119
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1972-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Stephens, John
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
no index present
Intended audience
720L
Intended audience source
Lexile
Interest level
MG
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 4
  • 8
Reading level
4.9
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
Books of beginning
Series volume
1
Study program name
Accelerated Reader
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Brothers and sisters
  • Magic
  • Space and time
  • Identity (Philosophical concept)
  • Monsters
  • Prophecies
  • Books and reading
Target audience
juvenile
Label
The emerald atlas, John Stephens
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Note
"A Borzoi book"--Title page verso
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
417 pages
Isbn
9780375868702
Lccn
2010029100
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations, frontispiece
Label
The emerald atlas, John Stephens
Publication
Copyright
Note
"A Borzoi book"--Title page verso
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
417 pages
Isbn
9780375868702
Lccn
2010029100
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations, frontispiece

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