Hamilton, Kersten The Mesmer Menace (Gadgets and Gears), 132 pages. Clarion (Houghton), 2013. $17. Content: G (tense, but clean).
In a book narrated by a dachshund, Wally, his parents, and their inn automatons try to thwart the evil plans of the Mesmers, who are attempting to gain control of American leaders through hypnotism.
Too bad this book was all over the place. There is too much stuffed into it to be able to sort it all out. And I wasn’t thrilled by the dog being the narrator, as it is an odd point of view. Instead of being a plausible steampunk for the younger set, it is a strange mix of too much action and not enough explanation. If you want steampunk, get your 6th graders interested in Allan Gratz’ League of Seven novels or Matthew Kirby’s Lost Kingdom.
NOT RECOMMENDED. Cindy, Library Teacher