Giuseppe is an orphaned street musician from Italy, who was sold by his uncle to work as a slave for an evil padrone in the U.S. But when a mysterious green violin enters his life he begins to imagine a life of freedom. Read more...
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Giuseppe is an orphaned street musician from Italy, who was sold by his uncle to work as a slave for an evil padrone in the U.S. But when a mysterious green violin enters his life he begins to imagine a life of freedom.
Hannah is a soft-hearted, strong-willed girl from the tenements, who supports her family as a hotel maid when tragedy strikes and her father can no longer work. She learns about a hidden treasure, which she knows will save her family -- if she can find it.
- ISBN-13: 9780545203371
- ISBN-10: 0545203376
- Publisher: Scholastic Press
- Publish Date: October 2010
- Page Count: 391
- Reading Level: Ages 8-12
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2010-09-20
- Reviewer: Staff
In this riveting historical fantasy, which plays out in an unnamed American city in the mid-19th century, three children's lives intersect as they seek, individually and together, a treasure that could make their fondest dreams come true. For apprentice clockmaker and orphan Frederick, that means a promotion to journeyman and the identity of his mother. For Hannah, a struggling maid at an elegant hotel, it's a cure for her dying father and enough money to take care of her family. And for street musician Giuseppe, it means freedom from his oppressive master and a way back to his home in Italy. Toss into the mix an exquisite green violin, a headless clockwork man, a woman claiming to speak to the dead, a long-hidden secret room, and an assortment of unscrupulous enemies, and debut novelist Kirby has assembled all the ingredients for a rousing adventure, which he delivers with rich, transporting prose. Mixing fantasy and steampunk elements with subtle urban mythology, Kirby's immersive story can be read as a modern morality play or a satisfying stand-alone tale. Ages 8–14. (Oct.)
In a quest for answers, they find each other
In a time not that distant from our own, in a city on the East Coast of America, three children are faced with burdens and challenges that would stagger many adults. Their search to find answers—in the extraordinary and in each other—is the quest at the core of Matthew J. Kirby’s marvelous debut novel, The Clockwork Three.
Guiseppe is an 11-year-old orphan who works as a busker—a street musician—for a cruel and merciless padrone. He stands on corners playing his violin, hoping to earn enough money to be spared a beating by his master, dreaming of a way to escape and return to his home in Italy. Frederick works as an apprentice to a watchmaker, hoping to open a shop of his own someday. Hannah has given up school to work as a maid in the city’s fanciest hotel. While each one’s plight seems far removed from the others, they will soon meet, and their lives will be inextricably intertwined.
Kirby paints the New England backdrop of his story as meticulously as an artist dabbling in oils—when Guiseppe finds an enchanted violin washed ashore in the wake of a terrible storm, you can almost smell the fish and salt water in the air. The well-drawn cast of characters brings heart and humanity to this winning tale of hardship, magic and adventure.