Peter Nimble is a boy on his own. Not only that, he’s blind. He fends for himself until he is “discovered” by a man who sees in Peter a chance to get rich himself. The man decides to make Peter the very best thief ever.
“For the first year, he locked all the boy’s meals inside an old sea chest. If Peter wanted to eat, he had to pick the lock with his bare fingers….By the age of ten, Peter Nimble had become the greatest thief the town had ever seen. But of course no one actually saw him: they only saw the open safes and empty jewelry boxes that he left behind.” (pages 7-8)
And so his life goes until the day Peter nicks a box that has something very unusual in it – three pairs of eyes. One made of the finest gold, one made of black onyx and one made of emeralds. The first pair of eyes begins Peter’s journey into a new life – Peter pops them in and is transported to a mysterious island where he meets Professor Cake, who has a secret mission especially for Peter – save the Vanished Kingdom from an evil, tyrant king. With the help of his loyal companion Sir Tode, a contingent of loyal birds and a Princess, Peter will battle the evil King’s ape army to free the kingdom’s children from slavery and return it’s rightful heirs to the throne. A really original fantasy adventure with a blind thief as the swashbuckling hero fighting his way toward a destiny he never could have imagined.
I have noticed a lot of really good stories lately that include unusual eyes. Mad Eye Moody isn’t the only one with a powerful eye. What is it about eyes that make them such a delicious part of a story? Maybe because they are thought of as “windows to the soul.” Here are some other fantasy adventures that include eyes doing some amazing things:
In this his sixth book, Septimus Heap, the seventh son of a seventh, is fourteen. He’s been training now for four years with Marcia, the Extraordinary wizard, and he’s ready for his ultimate test – Darke Week. He must enter the Darke alone for seven days and rely on his Magyk skills. This is the training that separates an ordinary wizard from an extraordinary one. His Dad is nervous, his Mother is nervous and Marcia is nervous, but Septimus is just ready to get on with it already!
When a concealed wizard unleashes a Darke Domaine, inviting the creatures of the Darke into the castle and into the wizarding tower itself, it will take Septimus and all of his friends to keep the Darke at bay. This time no one has to go looking for the Darke, the Darke comes out looking for them.
Another magic-filled adventure that explores friendship and forgiveness and just what it is that makes a wizard Darke. Once a wizard is Darke – can he/she ever turn back? I really liked getting to know some of Septimus’s friends in this one – you get much more about Beetle the scribe, Princess Jenna, Septimus’s brother Simon and even Marcia. Author: Angie Sage
There are serveral things in The Emerald Atlas that remind me of other books…3 kids, an orphanage, sassy dwarves, a town of missing children, magic books, good friends, a mysterious old man with bushy white hair and eyebrows (a wizard?) and a beautiful evil woman who wants DOMINION OVER ALL THE WORLD! But there is not too much of the familiar – there is just enough to make me say, “this is just the kind of book I like!”
Kate remembers the most about that long ago Christmas Eve when she and Michael and Emma were awakened in the dead of night and spirited away. Mostly, Kate remembers her mother saying goodbye, ‘There isn’t time to explain. Promise me you’ll look after them.” (page 1) And so Kate HAS looked after Michael and Emma and has held onto the belief that their parents will find them again, no matter how many orphanges and foster homes they live in.
Moved to yet another orphange, Kate and Michael and Emma are troubled to find that in this new place only the evidence of children is there. Beds. Toys. But no other children. And the orphanage itself is the largest house the children have ever seen…except for Kate…because the exact house has been in her dreams. When an afternoon exploring leads them down a dark hall with shifting walls and doors that seem to appear out of nowhere their real adventure begins, the adventure that has to do with a prophecy…and three children, three magic books and saving the world. Author: John Stephens
Mellie has a friend that is really small and has wings. His name is Fidius. Really. She’s not making it up, and to prove it she’s promised the kids in her class that she will bring him to school. When she tells Fidius this plan he is none too pleased. “I am not your servant. I am your secret.” In the night, he disappears leaving Mellie with nothing to take to school but a china figure…of a small person with wings. Makes you wonder if he was real doesn’t it? Maybe Mellie just has a really good imagination.
The kids are not kind about Mellie trying to pass off a china figure as a real fairy. “How’s the fake fairy?” they ask her on the bus. They call her names, they push her head in the drinking fountain; they are just plain mean. Mellie gets a second chance when her parents inherit her Grandpa’s house and they move. She decides to leave her imagination behind and move forward with just the facts. The problem? More small persons with wings! Author: Ellen Booraem
In The Books of Elsewhere #1: Shadows, Olive Dunwoody moved into an old Victorian mansion that looked as if nothing had been moved since the day the previous owner died many years before. And it hadn’t! The furniture, the clocks, the mirrors, the paintings on the walls – all were exactly the way they were the moment the former owner died…as well as the clothes and personal items neatly folded in the drawers.
When Olive found an old fashioned pair of glasses that allowed her to “fall” right into the paintings and walk around, even talk to people, her big adventure began. But now something terrible has happened. Olive has lost the glasses and the ability to fall into the paintings. Her friend Morton is stuck inside one of the paintings and Olive has vowed to help find a way to get him out. When she discovers an old grimoire, or spellbook, Olive is sure it holds the answer to traveling around the paintings without glasses (or the help of the talking cats: Harvey, Leopold & Horatio that came with the house and guard its many secrets).
The spellbook is powerful, more powerful even than Olive realizes. Is Olive using the book to help her friend? Or is the book using HER?! Olive needs all her smarts, the cats and a couple new friends to figure out the evil that lives in her house and save Morton before it is too late. This one is a little bit of the paintings in Harry Potter, a little bit of Coraline and a little bit of 100 Cupboards….and lot of creepy fun! Author: Jacqueline West Series: The Books of Elsewhere