Author: Maile Meloy
Release date: October 4, 2011
Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The year is 1952 and Janie has just arrived in London via Los Angeles because of her parents' fear of being put on the list of communists.
Janie is very unhappy at first to move to cold, dreary London. She has to get used to a new school and even gets put in Latin--which she has never studied. When a bomb warning drill occurs, she sees Benjamin Burrows stand up and refuse to hide under a table--he points out that it will not save him. Janie admires his courage and defiance. She soon discovers that he is the Apothecary's son. This discovery takes Janie on quite an adventure involving spies with a nuclear bomb and an international ring of people with various "magic" backgrounds and abilities trying to protect the world.
Overall, I enjoyed the adventure. From seeing them return Ben's father to his human form after he was just a handful of salt to seeing Janie and Ben transorm into birds in order to escape bad guys. The only slow part came in the middle after Ben's father returns to them--the adventurous moments slow as the author gives the reader details about the atomic bomb and the plans to stop it. But once these details are revealed, the adventure continues at a steady pace. It was a quick read for those looking for an escape that doesn't require a lot of thinking but does include some fun.
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