Saturday, December 13, 2014

Curiosity by Gary Blackwood - - ESSENTIAL


Blackwood, Gary Curiosity, 313 pgs. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2014. $16.99. Language: G; Violence: PG; Mature Content: G.  

Twelve-year-old Rufus is on his own; his father has been sent to debtors prison.  Rufus is a chess prodigy,  so in an effort to raise some money to help his father, Rufus challenges players at the chess club and is recruited to secretly operate an automaton called the Turk.  He can beat anyone at chess, but can he endure the new life he has fallen into?  

Another terrific offering from Blackwood.  Suspenseful, historical and exciting, this well written look at early 19th century America is a must have for your school library.  

EL MS  - - ESSENTIAL  Lisa Librarian

FYI: Although the page count seems high, the mysterious woman, the historical characters (P.T. Barnum, Edgar Allen Poe and others) and the animatron (how he really worked is still a mystery) make this revisionist history a page turner. Blackwood seamlessly blends history and fiction, creating a plausible scenario that both explores and explains a real mystery from history. Also, the cover is super cool.

3 comments:

Ms. Yingling said...

This was interesting, but I think it will be a hard sell with students because of the length. Also, it was really not a happy book, and there have been so many sad books that we are all definitely look for lighter reads.

Stephanie said...

Will you tell us more since it is rated essential? Thanks!

Lisa Morey said...

Although the page count seems high, the mysterious woman, the historical characters (P.T. Barnum, Edgar Allen Poe and others) and the animatron (how he really worked is still a mystery) make this revisionist history a page turner. Blackwood seamlessly blends history and fiction, creating a plausible scenario that both explores and explains a real mystery from history. Also, the cover is super cool.