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.
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"Starred Review. With evocative, confident prose and equally atmospheric spot art from Schoenherr, adult author Meloys first book for young readers is an auspicious one." - Publishers Weekly
"After a slow start. It is good, strong historical fiction spiced with intrigue, magical realism, mystery, suspense, and science. The plot and pacing are a bit uneven at points, but the spies and historical twist give it a lot of flavor. The illustrations are fluid and delightful." - VOYA
"The first few chapters were a little slow as Meloy set the stage for the story, but by the end of chapter six, I couldn't put the book down." - Children's Literature
"Although Janie's narration loses some of its charm and humor as the adventure escalates, its blend of history, culture and the anxiety of the time with magical "science" will keep readers just as spellbound as the characters." - Kirkus Reviews
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Maile Meloy was born in Helena, Montana, in 1972. A Family Daughter is her third book. Her short stories have been published in The New Yorker and The Paris Review. Her first story collection, Half in Love, received the Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters , the John C. Zacharis Award from Ploughshares, and the PEN/Malamud Award. Her first novel, Liars and Saints, was shortlisted for Englands 2005 Orange Prize. Both books were New York Times Notable Books. She has also received The Paris Reviews Aga Khan Prize for Fiction and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in California.
Maile Meloy: first name is pronounced my-lee. Last name is pronounced maloy
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