Petra made a powerful enemy when she outsmarted Prince Rodolfo in The Kronos Chronicles Book 1: The Cabinet of Wonders. Now she’s in hiding with her Dad and her trusted best friend Astrophil, who happens to be a small mechanical spider; a smart, witty and brave mechanical spider.
Astrophil reminds me of Lyra’s daemon Pantalaimon in The Golden Compass. Astriphil hides in Petra’s clothes or in her hair. He’s like a permanent mentor, always there whispering good advice. He was built by Petra’s Dad, who is a magical inventor. Petra’s Dad uses invisible tools and is able to shape metal animals and give them life.
What makes Astrophil special is that he learns from his experiences. He can read super fast and remembers everything he sees and reads. The longer he is alive, the smarter he gets. Who wouldn’t like a little mechanical computer like that riding around on their shoulder? What a great gift for a Dad to give his daughter!
In this second book, Petra is being pursued by Prince Rodolfo (and those creepy skeleton looking guys on the cover) and is forced into an alliance with John Dee, a magician she doesn’t trust. In the mean time, Petra’s friends Tomik and Neel are despreately trying to find her, while Petra is desprately trying to find her father who has been snatched by Prince Rodolfo. And all of them…Prince Rodolfo, Petra, Tomik, Neel, John Dee…they all want the Celestial Globe – but why? What can it do? A heart racing adventure with sword fighting, wolves, gypsy pirates, an evil Prince, mechanical animals and good friends that will fight for each other until the bitter end. Author: Marie Rutkoski
Here are some more books that have a similar setting as Petra’s story. Mysterious, magical worlds where kids take on evil with their friends, all of whom are not entirely human, yet reliable, steadfast and true friends all the same. Cabinet of Wonders is Book 1, so don’t miss that.
12 year old Jutta Salzberg lives in Germany in 1938. She likes going to school and being with her friends and having fun – just like you. Jutta lives in 1938 though, when Adolf Hitler and the Nazis were in power. Hitler and the Nazis were responsible for the oppression and killing of Jewish people in Germany from 1941-1945. Jutta and her family are Jewish and try to live normally even though rules keep being passed that make their Jewish customs and way of life illegal. Finally, Jutta’s dad realizes that the only way they will survive is to leave everything and everyone they know and try to get to America.
In this book Jutta tells about her last year in Germany as she gradually says goodbye to all of the things and people she knows. Her friends leave one by one, because Jutta’s Dad is not the only Dad who fears what will happen to his familyi f they stay. Jutta doesn’t just tell you what happened though. This book is Jutta’s real autograph book. Young girls at this time in Germany kept autograph books which they would pass to each other to leave messages – kind of like Facebook on paper.
Jutta was a real girl and it is her daughter, Debbie Levy, who shares Jutta’s book with us. In the authograph book you can read messages that Jutta’s friends wrote that give you glimpses into the scary things that are happening around them. It ‘s hard to imagine that grown-ups would purposely hurt children in this way, but they did.
At the end, Debbie then tells what happened to each of the girls in the book, the girls that were Jutta’s friends before they all had to try to make an escape to safety. Of the 30 people mentioned in the book, only half of them survive. This one might bring some tears to your eyes, but it will make you feel really good too knowing that friendship can survive really terrible situations.
The Necromancer is book 4 in the series The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. The series tells the story of twins Sophie and Josh who are caught up in a centuries old battle over an ancient book that is supposed to hold the secret of eternal life. Sophie and Josh are thought to be the twins of an ancient prophecy, so both sides of the battle want them. Their problem is figuring out which side is the “good” side. Is it Nicholas Flamel or his rival, John Dee?
I would start with the first one with these. I actually like them more with each book. I especially liked The Necromancer because the tension between Sophie and Josh is growing as they try to figure out who is telling the truth.
Nicholas Flamel was probably a real person although his life is shrouded in mystery and legends have grown up around his story. Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel DID live in Paris in the 1300s. Both were alchemysts, were thought to be studying a mysterious book and were also thought to have figured out how to turn lead into gold & also the secret of eternal life. When Flamel died, belief that he had discovered the secret of eternal life also died…except for the story that a grave robber dug up his grave and found it empty. Hmm. Did he fake his death and is still around today? Truth or legend? You decide! It makes for a very good story though! You might remember that Nicholas Flamel is mentioned in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone too. If you like that blending of historical bits and pieces into the story like J.K. Rowling does in the Harry Potter books, then I think you’ll like this series too. Author: Michael Scott
Theo Boone’s parents are both lawyers in the small town of Strattenburg. Theo loves anything to do with the Court House and his friends there; lawyers, judges, court clerks & policemen. Theo even keeps an office of his own. The kids at school come to him with their legal issues: How do I get my dog back from the pound? What will the custody hearing with my parents be like?
Theo is confident and gives out solid legal advice, especially for a thirteen-year-old. When a high profile murder case comes to his little town Theo is determined to get a seat at the trial so he can see the drama unfold firsthand. What he doesn’t count on is getting pulled into the drama himself when a classmate comes to him with information that could change the outcome of the trial. Information that could ensure the right killer is behind bars.
This is an entertaining look at the legal system. There are really two sides to consider…justice for the victim and the presumption of innocence for the accused. That means that a person is innocent until PROVEN quilty. There are laws that are designed to make sure innocent people don’t go to jail for things they didn’t do. Did you know that after a certain point in a trial new evidence can’t be introduced even if it can prove the guilt or innocence of the accused?
I think you’ll like meeting Theodore Boone and looking at the law like he does – from the inside. Author: John Grisham