STARRED REVIEW
October 2016

A simple pocket watch’s hidden power

By Trenton Lee Stewart
The long-awaited new novel from Trenton Lee Stewart, author of the award-winning, bestselling Mysterious Benedict Society series, is full of intrigue, bravery and friendship.
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The long-awaited new novel from Trenton Lee Stewart, author of the award-winning, bestselling Mysterious Benedict Society series, is full of intrigue, bravery and friendship. 

Reuben is a loner. He spends his days keeping to the shadows, always on the lookout for hiding places, while his mom works two jobs to keep them in their run-down apartment. But when one of Reuben’s daring exploits results in him coming into possession of a coveted pocket watch with an extraordinary function, our young hero suddenly finds himself swept up in a centuries-old fight for power. If he is to prevail, he must learn to trust his new companions: steadfast Penny, cunning Jack and wise Mrs. Genevieve. 

With writing that is smart and fresh, this middle grade novel showcases Stewart’s trademark blend of edge-of-your-seat adventure and emotional resonance. The almost dystopian world of New Umbra is detailed and thoroughly explained, forming the ideal backdrop as one twist gives way to another. The real heart of this story is its beautifully portrayed relationships, from Reuben’s close bond with his mother to his friendship with Penny. This novel has everything: sharp writing, dynamic characters, a well-paced plot, a detailed setting and, most importantly, lots and lots of heart.

 

This article was originally published in the October 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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The Secret Keepers

The Secret Keepers

By Trenton Lee Stewart
Little, Brown
ISBN 9780316389556

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