A dose of magic could save the world...Fourteen-year-old Janie Scott is new to London and she's finding it dull, dreary and cold - until she meets Benjamin Burrows who dreams of becoming a spy. When Benjamin's father, the mysterious apothecary, is kidnapped he entrusts Janie and Benjamin with his sacred book, full of ancient spells and magical ...
A dose of magic could save the world...Fourteen-year-old Janie Scott is new to London and she's finding it dull, dreary and cold - until she meets Benjamin Burrows who dreams of becoming a spy. When Benjamin's father, the mysterious apothecary, is kidnapped he entrusts Janie and Benjamin with his sacred book, full of ancient spells and magical potions. Now the two new friends must uncover the book's secrets in order to find him, all while keeping it out of the hands of their enemies - Russian spies in possession of nuclear weapons. Beautifully written and expertly paced, this stunning and poignant novel will have readers on the edge of their seats.
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Publishers Weekly, 2011-09-05 When the House Committee on Un-American Activities targets Janie's television writer parents, the 14-year-old and her family flee from Los Angeles to London. There, Janie meets Benjamin, a "defiant" classmate, and his father, the neighborhood apothecary, who is involved in much more than hot water bottles and aspirin. In fact, he is part of a long line of apothecaries who have discovered miraculous secrets-truth serums, invisibility, amazing physical transformations-and he is now working with scientists on an incredible plan that has global ramifications with regard to the escalating tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States. Some readers may need to brush up on cold war history to fully appreciate the stakes, but even those with a vague understanding of the times will be quickly swept up in this thoroughly enjoyable adventure, filled with magic, humor, memorable characters, and just a bit of sweet romance. With evocative, confident prose and equally atmospheric spot art from Schoenherr, adult author Meloy's first book for young readers is an auspicious one. Readers will hope they haven't heard the last from Janie and Benjamin. Ages 10-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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