Monday, July 18, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: The Clockwork Three by Matthew J. Kirby

About The Book:
      Three ordinary children are brought together by extraordinary events. . .
     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.
     And Frederick, the talented and intense clockmaker's apprentice, seeks to learn the truth about his mother while trying to forget the nightmares of the orphanage where she left him. He is determined to build an automaton and enter the clockmakers' guild -- if only he can create a working head.
     Together, the three discover they have phenomenal power when they team up as friends, and that they can overcome even the darkest of fears. -Goodreads

What Kids Are Saying:
"One of the things I really loved was how all the characters meet up in different parts of the book.  The book was told from all three of them in different chapters, and they would all see or meet each other a different times.  I really liked that."  -Bransen on Reading Tween

What Others Are Saying:
"...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." --Publishers Weekly

What I Thought: 
I chose this book because the reviews said it was one of the few middle school steampunk stories out there. The cover itself is incredible looking. Kirby did an extraordinary job of switching the point of view, giving each character their own chapters. I have read books that have done this and if it isn't done well it can really mess up a good plot. Timing is everything. I really liked how he showed them crossing paths but not actually meeting. Each character had his own conflict to resolve and each of them sacrificed their own quest to assist the others. Friendship, compassion and honesty are all weaved into an exciting journey.

About The Author:
Agent: Stephen Frazer
The Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency

"I was born in Utah, but with a father in the Navy I’ve lived all over – Rhode Island, Maryland, California (twice), and Hawaii.  As an undergraduate at Utah State University, I majored in history.  I then went on to earn M.S and Ed.S degrees in school psychology.  I live in Utah with my wife where I work as a school psychologist for a large district.
I also write, something I’ve done since I was a kid.  In high school I discovered comic books, and I wrote and illustrated one of my own.  I produced a single issue and photocopied it at Kinkos.  I stopped writing for a while after that, until later in college.  Back then I wrote mostly science fiction and fantasy short stories, and a little bit of poetry.  I’ve continued to write short stories (see issue 11), but my passion is for middle grade and young adult novels." -Kirbside

Upcoming Release On October 1, 2011

I can't wait!


  1. Sounds like a great book. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Intriguing! What a fascinating premise.

  3. Thanks for highlighting this. Sounds great and original. I not only want to read it, I want to study how he manages the multiple point of view.

  4. I'm adding this to my list to read. I'm always on the lookout for a great middle grade read! Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I appreciate the comment! :)


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