Anderson, R. J. A Pocket Full of Murder. 340 pages. Atheneum Books for Young Readers (Simon & Schuster), 2015. $7.99. Language: G. Sexual Content: G. Violence: PG.Isaveth’s family is poor in a city where the wealthy have all the power and Sage magic. She’s only twelve-years-old and her mother is dead and her father is arrested for the murder of Governor Orien. Isaveth is sure that her father is innocent. Why would her father murder than man who just offered him work? She meets a one-eyed street boy named Quiz who is willing to help. She goes to the college to find out who saw the Governor the day he died, besides her father. Quiz finds proof that the Governor was killed by Sage-magic which is only taught to the wealthy. Isaveth’s father was set up, but by who and why? Was the Governor’s death personal or political?
Isaveth is a savvy, plucky heroine who isn’t afraid to use her common magic skills to help her family’s finances or to discover the truth. Quiz is a mysterious friend with skills and connections that come in handy. Their friendship is the heart of the story. The plot is fast-moving with some surprising twists that will leave the reader on the edge of their seat. Author R. J. Anderson has created a unique, magical world reminiscent of the industrial era.EL-ESSENTIAL. Samantha Hastings, MA, MLS.