Alistair Grim's OdditoriumBook - 2015
"Ideal for kids who loved Percy Jackson and Harry Potter." -Booklist
"With a dash of Dickens and more than a bit of Rowling, this first book in a proposed series should have no trouble finding an audience."-VOYA
Grubb, age twelve (or thereabouts), has never known anything beyond his miserable existence as a chimney sweep, paid only in insults and abuse by his cruel master.
All of that changes the day he stows away in the coach belonging to a mysterious guest at the inn that he is tasked with cleaning. Grubb emerges from Alistair Grim's trunk and into the wondrous world of the Odditorium. Fueled by a glowing blue energy that Grubb can only begin to understand, the Odditorium is home to countless enchanted objects and an eccentric crew that embraces Grubb as one of their own.
There's no time for Grubb to settle into his new role as apprentice to the strange, secretive Mr. Grim. When the Odditorium comes under attack, Grubb is whisked off on a perilous adventure. Only he can prevent the Odditorium's magic from falling into evil hands-and his new family from suffering a terrible fate.
Grubb knows he's no hero. He's just a chimney sweep. But armed with only his courage and wits, Grubb will confront the life-or-death battle he alone is destined to fight.
From the critics
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“Your strength is impressive,” the woman said. “Being a chimney sweep has made you stronger than you realize. Both inside and out.”
Twelve-year-old Grubb, an orphaned chimney sweep apprenticed to the cruel Mr. Smears, has led a hard, miserable life. One day he escapes by stowing away in a large trunk on a fancy travelling coach. When the coach stops, he finds himself at Alistair Grim’s “Odditorium”, a wondrous, unique place. Filled with enchanted machines and oddities, the vast, spooky Odditorium, powered by mysterious magical energies, is home to a cast of people who quickly accept the young boy as one of their own.
With no idea of how his life will shortly change forever, Grubb becomes an apprentice to the secretive Mr. Grim.
Very soon after that, the Odditorium is attacked by evil forces from outside. Grubb must embark on a series of dangerous adventures in order to save the Odditorium, its magic and its people from falling into malevolent hands and suffering a terrible fate. For some reason, only Grubb can do this … but how, and why? He knows that he’s no hero … he’s just a chimney sweep.
However, it is only Grubb who possesses the courage and intelligence needed to wage the life-or-death battle.
Gregory Funaro’s fast-paced fantasy tale includes many twists and turns, as well as magic, mystery, adventure, humour and lovable characters whose fates will matter to readers. At times the story may remind readers of the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Phantom Tollbooth or the Harry Potter stories, but it actually is an original, highly imaginative tale that stands on its own.
Well-written and thoroughly enjoyable, Alistair Grim’s Odditorium will keep readers’ interest despite its length of more than 400 pages.
The just-published sequel to this book is Alistair Grim’s Odd Aquaticum.
** Recommended for ages 8 to 12 years.
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