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Dec. 7th, 2011

They say no good deed goes unpunished. I suppose if you look at this as a pessimist, my punishment meant me spending hours being unproductive with my own work. Um, I’m not a pessimist. But let me start at the beginning.

Pudd’nhead Books here in St. Louis put out a call for help when it came time for them to move across the street. This store was responsible for allowing me to have lunch with the likes of Jennifer Donnelly, David Wiesner, Michael Buckley and Jon Scieszka. Even if they hadn’t, I’m a volunteer sucker. I went in one morning to help box up the children’s section. There I saw about a dozen copies of The Emerald Atlas.

 I was immediately struck by its cover. Surrounding the beautiful, lush landscape that included three kid jumping rocks to cross a raging river was a border of an old-time map. Together, total intrigue.

“Is this any good?” I asked Melissa.

She didn’t hesitate. “Really great.”

And after about an hour of packing many, many covers, I walked out of the store with that one.

As is my style, I let it sit on my bookshelf for a couple months. Then one day, I was running out the door to some appointment or another and I needed to grab some reading material. My hands touched The Emerald Atlas and I got lost for hours in the first adventure in the series.

The first scene is particularly haunting. Kate, the oldest of her gnome-expert brother Michael and her defiant, feisty, pick-a-fight sister Emma, is given a locket by her mother on Christmas. Just as we see her loving her life, people come barging into their house and as the three kids get spirited away by a man in a tweed coat, her mom makes Kate promise that she’ll keep her brother and sister safe. Later, her mother says to her father, “I told Kate we’d all be together again. I was lying.”

The kids, we find quickly, move through a series of orphanages until they land at a last-chance place in Cambridge Falls, a city that no one has heard of and in a building without any orphans except them. As they explore the building, they happen upon a book that allows them to time travel. When they encounter a beautiful witch about to drown a kid in the river, their dangerous, mysterious adventure begins. It's one that could change the course of history for the people of Cambridge Falls and for themselves as well. Book #2, hurry!

As always, this review exists in conjunction with Barrie Summy’s book review club, the first Wednesday of each month. Thanks again, Barrie!


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 7th, 2011 06:02 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you loved it. I knew you would!

Dec. 7th, 2011 06:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Yay!
I'll take suggestions from you any day. Miss you!
Dec. 7th, 2011 09:10 pm (UTC)
Emerald Atlas
This sounds really good, Jody. I'll have to look for it. I love time travel. :)

Linda McLaughlin http://flightsafancy.blogspot.com/
Dec. 7th, 2011 10:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Emerald Atlas
I just want to clarify,Linda,that it's not standard time travel ... just so you're not disappointed. But I'm not sure you could be, in any way, disappointed by this.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

March 2012

Page Summary


February 18-21
Writing Retreat
San Antonio, TX

March 21
Midwest Booksellers Association
Spring Meeting
Left Bank Books

May 7
Branson Children's Literature Conference
Branson Intermediate School
Branson, MO

May 15
6:30 pm
Children's Book Week Event
Pudd'nHead Books
Webster Groves, MO

May 25
Skype Session
Children's Lit Students
University of Central Washington

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6th & 7th Grades,
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July 26
Skype Session
Children's Lit Students
University of Central Washington


March 7, 2009
3:00 pm
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Austin, Texas

April 1, 2009
Beth Yeshurun Day School
Houston, Texas

April 2, 2009
2:00 pm signing, Author’s Area
Texas Library Association
Houston, Texas

April 16, 2009
Mid-Rivers Council IRA
Main Street Books
St. Charles, Missouri

April 23, 2009
West Clayton Elementary School
Clayton, North Carolina

May 30, 2009
11:00 am
10th Anniversary Celebration
St. Louis County Library, Headquarters

September 13, 2009
St. Louis Art Fair
12:45 pm
Reading with Ridley Pearson

October 3, 2009
Missouri Literary Festival
Springfield, Missouri

October 6, 2009
Southwest Middle School
Manchester, Missouri

October 7, 2009
3:15 pm speaking
4:30 pm signing
Missouri Library Association Conference
Columbia, Missouri

October 10, 2009
The Big Read
St. Louis, Missouri

October 13-23, 2009
15 Schools, Northeast Independent School District
San Antonio, Texas
October 13 – Redland Oaks Elementary
October 14 – East Terrell Hills and Camelot Elementaries
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October 19 - Wilderness Oak Elementary
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November 5, 2009
Mini-Skype Session
4th & 5th Grade Book Clubs
Patton School
Arlington Heights, Illinois

November 10, 2009
Skype Session
Children's Lit Students
University of Central Washington

November 16, 2009
Mason Ridge Book Club
St. Louis, Missouri

December 1-4
8 Elementary Schools
Frisco, TX
December 1 - Rogers and Fisher Elementaries
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December 3 - Spears and Shawnee Trail Elementaries
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December 6, 2009
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
MICDS Book Fair
Barnes & Noble
Ladue, Missouri
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