MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Curiosity: Book summary and reviews of Curiosity by Gary Blackwood

Curiosity

by Gary Blackwood

Curiosity by Gary Blackwood X
Curiosity by Gary Blackwood
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Book Summary

Philadelphia, PA, 1835. Rufus, a twelve-year-old chess prodigy, is recruited by a shady showman named Maelzel to secretly operate a mechanical chess player called the Turk. The Turk wows ticket-paying audience members and players, who do not realize that Rufus, the true chess master, is hidden inside the contraption. But Rufus's job working the automaton must be kept secret, and he fears he may never be able to escape his unscrupulous master. And what has happened to the previous operators of the Turk, who seem to disappear as soon as Maelzel no longer needs them? Creeping suspense, plenty of mystery, and cameos from Edgar Allan Poe and P. T. Barnum mark Gary Blackwood's triumphant return to middle grade fiction.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. A thrilling look at the 19th-century age of automata—"a time of curiosity-seekers" - and the riveting story of a likable Philadelphia boy whose life of the mind helps him transcend his extraordinary, oft-cruel circumstances." - Kirkus

"The Dickensian cast of characters and tightly constructed plot will resonate with fans of Laura Amy Schlitz's Splendors and Glooms. Grades 5-8." - School Library Journal

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Author Information

Gary Blackwood

Gary Blackwood is a playwright and the bestselling author of The Shakespeare Stealer series. He lives in Nova Scotia.

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