The Emerald Atlas, an adventure and a mystery

I am currently reading The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens.  It is an exciting adventure that moves fast and keeps coming up with more surprises.  Three orphans are kicked from bad orphanage to bad orphanage.  They have very little to remember their parents by.  They end up in a very mysterious old house where they find a secret room in the basement.  What they find there gets them into caught up in an old conflict.  Now freaky magic people and creatures want to kill them, and they are not sure whom to trust.  The beautiful Countess?  The mysterious Mr. Pym who brought them to the  house in the first place?  The drunk caretaker?  The silent warrior?

The three kids are 14, 12, and 11 years old.  They have strong personalities and make good and very bad decisions. It is easy to root for them.

I am about 3/4 of the way through the story and excited to finish.  One of the best things about this story is that it constantly surprises the reader.  We think that one thing is the problem, but a new and bigger problem keeps coming out of nowhere.  It starts out about three kids and a mystery, but leads to a huge story about whole races and ancient conflicts.  We only find out slowIy what is really happening as the kids try to stay alive.  I have a loose idea what the next two books will be about, but I have no idea how the kids will get of the trouble they are in now.

I have a copy of The Emerald Atlas available to check out in my class room and will definitely talk about it in the first few weeks of school.

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