Friday, March 2, 2012

Debut Author Challenge: The Cabinet of the Earths

I have been remiss in reporting on my debut author challenge readings!

My first reading was this gem by Anne Nesbitt.

 Check out this magnificent cover.

Several sentence synopsis: Spending a year in Paris with her family, Maya discovers the Society of Philosophical Chemistry. Or have they discovered her? The society's leaders have secrets, and Maya must unravel them. How does a magical bronze salamander doorknob, a fountain dedicated to missing children, beautiful people who seem not to age, the mysterious cabinet, anbar, and Maya's own mother play into the story?
Maya must find out, before she loses everything important to her.

 I began reading this with my 6 year old and it was dragging on a bit. He's a tad younger than the targeted age for this book, which was the issue (absolutely not the writing or pacing). If it had only had illustrations I think it would have engaged him just enough to get through it. [Full disclosure: the four year old was also being read to, and he is a total wiggle worm].

But my 6 year old's interest was waning a bit so I stopped reading it aloud at the halfway point. I’m glad I did, because I charged through the rest of the book breathlessly by myself. The story was so unique, so fascinating and inventive, but also logical-- I LOVED IT!

 I highly recommend this debut author.

I was pushing it, trying to read it to my 4 and 6 year old.

I think kids 8+ would really get into it. Share this book with a kid you love.

 This is a debut author whose work I will read again, no matter the subject.


  1. It sounds exactly like the kind of book I'd love. I'll have to check it out. And the cover art is gorgeous.


  2. It sounds pretty fantastical. Gotta love beautiful people who mysteriously don't age.

  3. Glad you liked it, Kat! I loved the setting and the mysterious cabinet and especially the anbar.

    But I can see how a 4 year old and 6 year old would lose interest. It's a bit complicated for that age.

  4. It was great Connie- I think you'd like it!

    Sophia-- there were lots of cool, unusual elements in this book-- it didn't feel like a rehash of all the same old themes.

    Yay Joanne-- i did love it. Wasn't the anbar a delicious mystery? I loved watching Maya try to figure out what it was (because I was doing the same).


YAY for comments! Thanks for adding to the conversation.