Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press (October 1, 2010)
Author's Website: http://matthewjkirby.com/kirbside/
Buy the book: Audio, Hardcover
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.
This is one of the BEST book trailers I've ever seen!
This book was sitting on our shelves for months and months. Our copy is an uncorrected advanced reader copy and the cover only shows the clockwork man, without the kids, and it just didn't look that interesting. It was eventually this interview that made us decide to read the book.
We ended up requesting that our library order the audio cd so that we could listen to it together. Luckily our library is AWESOME, and they bought it.
I really loved this book. I thought it had a LOT of adventure and activity. My favorite character was Giuseppe. I liked how the author sort of got this book off of real history. I liked how Giuseppe ran away from his padrone, Stephano, and that he didn't care how badly he got punished, he just kept going. I liked how he had good friends that would help him.
I loved how Frederick was so determined to build a clockwork. Even though he made some bad decisions. It was hard for him to trust Master Branch because he was brought up in an orphanage and was mistreated by the people in charge. Hannah was so determined to help her father. She made some bad decisions too, but she would do anything to help her father.
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.
I thought the audiobook reader was pretty good. Jim Dale is still the best reader. The voices he did were pretty good. There was one part, where the Clockwork speaks that they made this cool sounding voice. I loved that.
This is one of my top three favorite books. Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, then this book. I loved it and I hope there will be a sequel!! I would suggest this book for anyone!
I thought this book was pretty awesome because I'm an adventure person and this book was totally adventure. My favorite character was Giueseppe because he is Italian and he's really tough and awesome.
My second favorite character is Hannah. She is daring and she's a good "detective" and is willing to risk anything for her family.
I loved how this book was written. I liked how sometimes Giueseppe and Pietro speak Italian. There were so many characters I liked. I also loved the setting. McCaulley park was my favorite.
The reader was cool, except for Fredricks voice. It seemed really snotty. I liked the other voices for everyone else. He did a really good job.
I would recommend this book to people who like Historical Fiction, Clockworks, and Adventure!
This book is fantastic, but it does contain some pretty rough treatment of the boys by the Padrone. There are quite a few times that Giuseppe is beaten, or put in very upsetting situations. There are also slight paranormal elements.
You can read my review on Reading Teen.