It's 1952 and the Scott family has just moved from Los Angeles to London. Here, fourteen-year-old Janie meets a mysterious apothecary and his son, Benjamin Burrows - a fascinating boy who's not afraid to stand up to authority and dreams of becoming a spy. When Benjamin's father is kidnapped, Janie and Benjamin must uncover the secrets of the apothecary's sacred book, the Pharmacopoeia, in order to find him, all while keeping it out of the hands of their enemies - Russian spies in possession of nuclear weapons. Discovering and testing potions they never believed could exist, Janie and Benjamin embark on a dangerous race to save the apothecary and prevent impending disaster. Together with Ian Schoenherr's breathtaking illustrations, this is a truly stunning package from cover to cover. Contains a teaser chapter of the sequel, "The Apprentices.
About the Author
Maile Meloy is the author of the story collection "Half in Love" and the novel "Liars and Saints, " which was shortlisted for the 2005 Orange Prize. Meloy's stories have been published in "The New Yorker, " and she has received "The Paris Review's" Aga Khan Prize for Fiction, the PEN/Malamud Award, the Rosenthal Foundation Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in California.
Ian Schoenherr grew up near Locktown, New Jersey. He has written and illustrated three books--"Read It, Don't Eat It!"; "Cat & Mouse"; and "Pip & Squeak"--and illustrated numerous books by other authors, including "Little Raccoon's Big Question", by Miriam Schlein. The artist lives in Woodside, New York.
"[The blend of history, culture, and the anxiety of the time with magical 'science' will keep readers just as spellbound as the characters." -Kirkus reviews
* "[Readers] will be quickly swept up in this thoroughly enjoyable adventure, filled with magic, humor, memorable characters, and just a bit of sweet romance." -Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Satisfies on all levels." -The New York Times
"Pitch-perfect." -The Los Angeles Times
"Meloy offers a strong narrator in Janie and an intriguing mix of history and mystery." -Booklist