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A Box of Gargoyles

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Overview

Fans of Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass will love Anne Nesbet’s middle-grade fantasy A Box of Gargoyles.
 
In this sequel to The Cabinet of Earths, twelve-year-old Maya is feeling more at home in Paris, a city filled with old magic. Her little brother, James, is safe, and the terrible man with purple eyes is gone. At least Maya believed he was until a person-sized ...

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A Box of Gargoyles

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Overview

Fans of Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass will love Anne Nesbet’s middle-grade fantasy A Box of Gargoyles.
 
In this sequel to The Cabinet of Earths, twelve-year-old Maya is feeling more at home in Paris, a city filled with old magic. Her little brother, James, is safe, and the terrible man with purple eyes is gone. At least Maya believed he was until a person-sized column of dust and leaves with hints of purple where its eyes should be begins following her.
 
Maya suspects the strange, shadowy column is what’s left of the purple-eyed man, and that it—he—is behind the eerie changes in Paris, including the appearance of flying, talking stone gargoyles. She’s right. Worse, he has bound Maya to make him whole again, even if it kills her.

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Editorial Reviews

The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books

PRAISE FOR THE CABINET OF EARTHS:“Nesbet plays on both the charm of her Parisian setting and the shadowy eeriness of a city steeped in history to create an alluring sense of place that envelops readers from the first page.”

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
PRAISE FOR THE CABINET OF EARTHS:“Nesbet plays on both the charm of her Parisian setting and the shadowy eeriness of a city steeped in history to create an alluring sense of place that envelops readers from the first page.”
The Horn Book
PRAISE FOR THE CABINET OF EARTHS:“A-shimmer with magic, in plot, characters, and literary style.Nesbet’s first novel is an impressive achievement, its substance and style gracefully blended.”
Shelf Awareness
PRAISE FOR THE CABINET OF EARTHS:“This debut novel of intrigue, family betrayal and an unsolved case of missing children will grip readers from first page to last. Readers will be swept along by the novel’s swift pace and enjoy the mystery’s unraveling with Maya and Valko as their companions.”
Booklist
PRAISE FOR THE CABINET OF EARTHS:“In her debut novel, Nesbet has crafted a carefully imagined, magical world—one that is shrouded in mystery and keeps the reader engaged and guessing. With imaginative alchemy, compelling action, and sensitive characterizations, this novel will undoubtedly win over fantasy fans.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
PRAISE FOR THE CABINET OF EARTHS:“Nesbet plays on both the charm of her Parisian setting and the shadowy eeriness of a city steeped in history to create an alluring sense of place that envelops readers from the first page.”
Horn Book Magazine
“Nesbet’s style is both animated and animating...all elements of her story fairly quiver with life.”
Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
Paris might be a magical city, but the magic that surrounds Maya Davidson is from her very own heritage and, in Paris, it has become dangerous. In a previous book, The Cabinet of Earths, Maya encounters a distant cousin, Henri de Fourcroy, who has dangerous power over her. At the end of the first book, Maya has destroyed Henri but, when sequels are involved, nothing is forever. A shadowy entity stalks Maya when she and her family move from California to Paris and tries to regenerate using Maya's heart and spirit. With the help of her friend, Valko, Maya sets out to defeat her magical adversary while also protecting an egg entrusted to her by two animated stone gargoyles. Certainly, the talking, moving stone statues may recall for some the gargoyles in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The egg follows an intriguing trajectory as it is stolen from Maya, retrieved, and ultimately serves as the real reason that Henri de Fourcroy has enlisted Anne as an unwilling apprentice. Maya is a winning character with real adolescent problems, including a pesky little brother and the trauma of her mother's recent illness. Although the family moves to Paris for her father's job, he is an absent figure in the book, and family interaction focuses on Anne and her mother. As Anne's magic comes from her mother's line, this makes sense but there is something missing is that layer of the book. However, young readers will be drawn in my the secret magic that transforms Paris and, hopefully, will seek out Camille Saint Saens' Dance Macabre which figures as a prominent plot point in the story. A nicely done fantasy/mystery hybrid for ghoul-craving young readers. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross
School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—This sequel to The Cabinet of Earths (HarperCollins, 2012) begins shortly after Maya Davidson's victory against her wicked, "sort of" uncle, the powerful magician Henri de Fourcroy. Just as the 12-year-old is beginning to relax and enjoy her new life in Paris, strange things start happening around her. A mysterious swirl of dust that seems to have the shape and colors of a purple-eyed man is following her, and growing regions of magical transformation bring danger and threatening magical creatures to the city. When Maya inadvertently reads a letter that holds a magical compulsion, it seems that she will be forced to give up her own life in exchange for Henri's. With the help of her friends Valko and Pauline, Maya is determined to outwit the constraints of the letter and defeat Henri again. Magical gargoyles and their egg add to the mystery as Maya tries to understand what they need her to do and how they can help her with her mission. Nesbet creates threatening evil and an engagingly magical setting. She gives Maya real doubts and worries, particularly about protecting her family and her mother's recurring illness. Fans of the first book will enjoy this next installation, but it functions smoothly on its own as well.—Beth L. Meister, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, WI
Kirkus Reviews
Receiving birthday well-wishes is a delight, unless one of those greetings is on creepy green stationery that obligates you to reanimate a supposed-to-be-dead wicked relative. Demonstrating that Paris isn't always baguettes and bicycles, Maya's 13th-birthday happiness is challenged from every angle. Her mother falls ill, her best (and only) friend, Valko, is being sent to Bulgaria, and an off-putting ripple of something peculiar is gradually transforming Paris for the worse. Maya soon realizes that Henri de Fourcroy, the cousin she banished but didn't exactly kill, is behind the dark wave of strangeness changing the city. With the use of some sinister stationery, Henri binds Maya to helping him rematerialize at the eventual cost of her own life. Thus the struggle to save herself and the world from the growing circle of mischievous magic commences as gargoyles, a madwoman and a purple-eyed shadow stalk her. A twist of the magic makes its transformative effects visible only to Maya and Valko, cementing this as a battle they must strategically fight without adult help. Stone monsters and spells aside, this is at its core a tale of summoning intellect, guts and logic to save the day. This sequel to The Cabinet of Earths (2012) has, like Maya, only become more refined, its vividly sensory third-person narration artful and immediate. And though reading the previous book is helpful, it can substantially stand on its own. A flavorful mille-feuille with equally tasty layers of dark magic, light comedy and salty determination. (Suspense. 12-15)
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
PRAISE FOR THE CABINET OF EARTHS:“Nesbet has written a unique, interesting fantasy with just enough suspense to keep readers turning the pages long into the night. Fantasy readers of all ages, especially middle school students, will enjoy this story.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062104250
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/14/2013
  • Pages: 357
  • Sales rank: 822,329
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Nesbet is the author of The Cabinet of Earths, which was named a Best of the Best Book by the Chicago Public Library. She is a professor of Slavic languages and literatures and of film studies at UC Berkeley. She lives near San Francisco with her husband, several daughters, and one irrepressible dog.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2013

    Really good book

    This is one of the best books i have ever read this year so far and i loved Anne Nesbet's first book "Cabinet of the Earths!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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