An apothecary is an old fashioned name for a person who mixes up medicine – to us, a pharmicist. In the old days, apothecaries mixed up medicines made out of herbs or other things in nature like ground up minerals. There was a bit of magic believed to be at work. In 2012, we associate medicine with chemicals, even though those chemicals might come from natural sources like plants or minerals. We think that science is at work…not magic. This book imagines what would happen if the ideas came together – a pharmacist who had some magical recipes for medicine that could do extraordinary things.
Janie moves to London and is desperately homesick for Los Angeles until she meets Benjamin, the son of the man who runs the drug store on her street. Benjamin’s Dad mixes her up a little something for homesicknesses. And it isn’t just M&Ms labelled “homesickness cure” either. Janie feels better. Interesting. I bet CVS or Walgreens won’t do that for you.
It turns out Benjamin’s Dad IS good at mixing up medicine recipes with a little something special added in. He gets his recipes from the Pharmacopoeia, an ancient book that has been handed down from scientist to scientist through the centuries. There is even a group of scientists whose job it is to keep the Pharmacopoeia out of the hands of any bad guys. When Benjamin’s Dad turns up missing Benjamin and Janie are pulled into an adventure that includes espionage, secret elixirs, invisibility, double agents, nuclear bombs…and the need for Janie to enlist the help of the girl in her class who is her worst nightmare. Sometimes, you have to make sacrifices to save the world. Author: Maile Meloy
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