If you've got a middle-grade reader, or you just like a light-hearted fun read for yourself, you'll want to get this book. In fact, a good time and place to pick up a copy would be at Matt Kirby's book launch for his debut novel, entitled: The Clockwork Three. It will be held at the Kings English independent book store, Thursday, September 30 from 6:00pm until closing. I tell you these things, not just because Matt is a good friend of mine, but because he is an awesome writer and it will really be worth your while to meet him and get hold of a copy of his first book.
I wrote a review for this book last February when I first read it. Matt noticed it on his blog feed and told me that I needed to remove it from my blog, as Scholastic was not allowing any publicity for the book yet. I have saved that review and will pass it on to you now:
Oh, my gosh! I just finished the most awesome book. If you like Y.A/middle grade fiction, this is a must-read. In The Clockwork Three, the author Matthew Kirby masterfully weaves metaphor, simile and poetic-like imagery into a fast paced multifaceted plot to create a story that is hard to set down. It almost felt like I was reading literary fiction with the wonderful images Kirby painted in my mind. But the fun, loveable characters, with their creative dilemmas and naturally occurring tension, made the book read like commercial fiction.
The story takes place in pre-electricity early America. Guiseppe, a young boy living in an Oliver Twist scenario, finds a magical green violin. Hannah is a young girl having to work in a fancy motel as a maid to help pay the bills for his invalid father and gets caught up searching for a hidden treasure. Frederic is an apprentice clockmaker who has a painful past as an orphan and buries his pain by creating a clockwork man (something like a robot). Their stories start out separate at first, but cleverly intertwine as each of their stories unfold. Each finds they need the help of the others to overcome their problems, making you love each of the characters even more.
Though this is a story written for children, it is a story that will entertain all ages. As a writer of children's stories, I found it not only delightful, but inspirational in its writing style, a style that beckons me to mimic it--if only I could.
Unfortunately, you can't run out to your local bookstore and buy The Clockwork Three--at least not right now. Its release date is not until 10/01/10. The author, Matthew Kirby is a member of my awesome critique group. Last Tuesday he brought an ARC to show us--his editor had over-nighted him a few copies to distribute. I was lucky enough to have first shot at the copy he had to share with our critique group, (he only had one for the five of use, so we'll have to take turns). But mark your calendar and put it on your list to read the first of October. You won't be sorry.