Horten's Incredible Illusions: Magic, Mystery & Another Very Strange Adventure

Horten's Incredible Illusions: Magic, Mystery & Another Very Strange Adventure

4.5 23
by Lissa Evans

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This magical follow-up to Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms continues Stuart's amazing adventures--with more enchantment, more surprises, and more thrills. When we last left 10-year-old Stuart, he had just recovered his great-uncle Tony's long-lost magic workshop. Now all the priceless tricks are on display in the Beeton Museum--and Stuart is junior…  See more details below


This magical follow-up to Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms continues Stuart's amazing adventures--with more enchantment, more surprises, and more thrills. When we last left 10-year-old Stuart, he had just recovered his great-uncle Tony's long-lost magic workshop. Now all the priceless tricks are on display in the Beeton Museum--and Stuart is junior curator of the exhibit! But another mystery awaits Stuart: Where did the great magician hide his will? Only by entering the magic world of the workshop can he find the answer. But as the mechanisms whisk him off on increasingly incredible adventures, the puzzles become harder and harder to solve…and the stakes higher. With even more page-turning action, this second book in the exciting middle-grade series does a magic trick of its own: it's even better than the first!

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—In this sequel to Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms (Sterling, 2012), 10-year-old Stuart Horten is catapulted on yet another adventure left to him by his Great-Uncle Tony. Now that Teeny-Tiny Tony Horten's magic tricks have been safely recovered, it is up to Stuart to follow clues to locate the great magician's will. He and his friend April soon discover, however, that Tony's Tricks are truly magic: each one transports them to another time or place, where a puzzle must be solved before the clue can be recovered-and before they can return safely home. Children will delight in Stuart's adventures, which are infused with humor, and clamor for the next installment.—Laurie Slagenwhite Walters, Peachtree Montessori International, Ann Arbor, MI
From the Publisher
“Stuart Horten, 10, is back for a second mysterious adventure.. . .it's still rollicking good fun and often engagingly suspenseful, perfect for a quick read or entertaining read-aloud.” --Kirkus Reviews

"Children will delight in Stuart's adventures-which are infused with humor, and clamor for the next installment.” -- School Library Journal
“Evans does a clever job of getting all that happened in Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms (2012) into the first couple of pages of this sequel, so readers can get the backstory out of the way and start the new adventure. And adventure it is. Stuart Horten, who found his great-uncle Tony's magic tricks in the previous book, now must use those tricks to locate his will. Once again there are plenty of clues to figure out, puzzles to solve, and codes to break. The fun is enhanced when May and June, along with sister April, join the search. Old and new fans will find this good Booklist
Kirkus Reviews
Stuart Horten, 10, is back for a second mysterious adventure. Previously, in Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms (2012), he discovered the hiding place of his Great-Uncle Tony's magic-making paraphernalia--stage equipment from his magic show. Now, with the help of intrepid reporter and next-door-neighbor triplet April, he intends to find out what the mechanisms do. There's an added bit of pressure: Hidden somewhere in the magical contrivances is Tony's will, which conveys ownership of all the tricks to whoever finds it. A mysterious elderly woman from Canada would like to be that person, so Stuart and April have to work hard and fast. Each mechanism, when successfully triggered, creates an intriguing and sometimes perilous trap for the pair to escape. April's siblings, May and June, unwind a little from their previous aloof attitude and begin to help out as well. Other colorful characters, briefly sketched but neatly depicted, meander through the tale. Horten's dad, known for his enthusiastic overuse of an extensive vocabulary, is joined by museum curator Rod Felton. They take turns throwing around bewildering (but funny) Latin terms, their incomprehensibility enhancing Horten's and readers' sense of living in a world separate from adults. While this outing lacks the notable magical impact of the first of the series, it's still rollicking good fun and often engagingly suspenseful, perfect for a quick read or entertaining read-aloud. (Mystery. 9-14)

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Product Details

Sterling Children's Books
Publication date:
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Barnes & Noble
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File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Lissa Evans, who resides in London with her husband and two daughters, has traveled quite a mysterious path to middle-grade novelist. After a brief career in medicine and an even briefer one in stand-up comedy, Lissa became a comedy producer and spent a decade running a red pencil through other people's work before eventually beginning to write herself. Lissa has written three adult novels and a picture book. This is her second work of middle-grade fiction.

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Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms: Magic, Mystery, and a Very Strange Adventure 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Ronrose More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It is a magical blend of mystery and just the right amount of magical adventure to keep young readers and their parents glued to the pages. The thrills and action are age appropriate for preteen readers. An exceptionally short young boy named Stuart Horten is about to have a wonderful summer adventure. S.Horten's family moves back to the town where Stuart's uncle, Teeny Tiny Tony Horten once lived and worked as a magician. Stuart finds that Teeny Tiny Tony mysteriously disappeared some years ago. With the the help of April, May, and June, the identical and precocious triplets who live next door, Stuart follows magical clues left by Teeny Tiny Tony to hopefully solve the mystery of his missing uncle. Book provided for review by Sterling Children's Books.
Italian_Radio More than 1 year ago
i got an ARC of this book and it sat on my shelf for at least a month. I finally picked it up and kicked myself for not reading sooner. This was a quick light read that kept me entertained. Great for the 7-12 crowd but enjoyable for all ages.
BookSakeBlogspot More than 1 year ago
Book Review (ARC) This was a pretty cute, quick read. I think that a lot of children will really enjoy the story and the Indiana Jones like clues that Stuart has to follow in order to find out the mystery behind his great-uncle Tony’s disappearance. There are clear cut good and bad characters and kids will have an easy time following along with who they are rooting for and who to watch out for. I do wish there was more of the triplets from next door. They don’t show up in full force many times, but they were so entertaining I missed them when they weren’t around. One of the triplets was in the story more than the others and luckily she held her own! Overall younger kids will be able to grasp the storyline and enjoy the magic and mystery. Reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very suspensful book and has many adventures! If you like adventures thenREAD THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My nephew loves this book,it is a great mystery/novel like book
VAMomSL More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and more importantly so did my kids and the friend's of my kids. It is so cute. A light, fun, but interesting read full of magic and just the right amount of wholesome adventure. You won't be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever. But first read hortens miraculas mechinisims! In my class we are all reading this book together i thoght it was going to be boring but this book is the best book i have read in my entire life
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Worlds best book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got introduced to this book this past year by my friend Spence.best book ever.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the way the author wrote the book!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
the British language of this book. Best suited for children ages 9 and up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I read it its like im in the book. Great job
ChristineyReads More than 1 year ago
Rating: 4 Stars I love children’s books. I really, really do. My parents (and some of my classmates) tend to look at me strangely when I whip out a MG book for some light reading, but I really do love reading them. After all, these were the books that cultivated my love of reading at an early age and some of the better, more imaginative books I have read were MG. With that said, I am proud to say that I loved HORTON’S MIRACULOUS MECHANISMS. The story is extremely well developed and the author definitely knows her audience! I mean, what kid wouldn’t want to go on a scavenger hunt of a lifetime that’s filled with magic (real and show-businessy magic) and riddles all wrapped with clues from history! [To be honest, I kind of figured out the climax and resolution halfway through, but I like to think that it's because of all the books I've read as a child until now... I doubt any of its intended audience will be able to catch on as quickly :p ] When I read the summary, I was expecting something more BENEDICT’S in terms of clues and riddles but the scavenger hunt was as straight-forward as it could possibly get. That’s the reason why I had to dock it half a point. The joy that comes from reading a mystery book comes from being able to (or, at least, trying to) figure out the clues yourself. Another reason why I had to dock it another half a star was that I felt the book itself was too short. It didn’t give enough time for the characters to fully develop in my mind, especially April. When she and her sisters were first introduced, I pretty much mentally listed all the stereotypical ways that the author might have demonstrated their friendship to Horten, but I enjoyed the way she approached their relationship. However, I really wished that April was integrated into the story earlier since the book itself was really short to begin with. I felt as though she wasn’t given the time to fully develop as a character and, rather, was mainly there for the purpose of getting Horton out of sticky situations. Regardless, this book was a very pleasant read and it was easy for me to disappear into the world and follow Horton along with his hunt.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can not and will not put it down. The mystery, suspense, and even a bit of comedy really drags readers in. Any reader would love this! It is 100% worth the $8 you are probably about to spend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
very much enjoyed!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
About the 3rd best book ive read in my 10 years in this world (Thats saying a lot, im in the highest reading group at school. I read a lot :D)
sweetpeaRK More than 1 year ago
this book was really great with a lot of mysterious factors to it. I really would recommend it !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First book in series well worth it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quick good read
epicrat More than 1 year ago
Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms reminds me of The Phantom Tollbooth or Coraline where a young person manages to find his or her way into some wonderful and magical adventure where anything – especially that of an unexpected nature – can happen. This was a charming yet awfully short read, and I loved watching Stuart try to decipher his uncle’s encrypted messages and learn about his family legacy in magic-making. I also enjoyed Mr. and Mrs. Horten’s quirks, especially Mr. Horten’s crossword-inventing self that would thrown in the most random of comments. I did wish that the book had spent more time on expanding on the minor characters, especially the triplets, because they came onto the page with all sorts of interesting things to say, but then left shortly without really getting too embroiled in Stuart’s adventure. Overall though, Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms can be a wonderful discovery for a young reader with a big imagination and a love for all things fantastic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the first two chapters (about 30-pages) aloud to my 6-1/2 year old nephew and 8-1/2 year old niece. The story had not yet reached any "hook" in the plot, so it somewhat lost the kids' attention, although they were still willing to try again later. (Note that I have a rather good reputation for reading aloud to children, including changing voices for the characters, reading slowly and expressively, etc., so I don't think I was the cause of the problem.) Besides the slowly developing plot (from a kid's perspective at least), the language, phrases, and even sentence structure was noticeably British. (I Googled the author after the fact, and she is indeed British.) I had to stop to explain several words and phrases, and eventually resorted to just replacing some words as I read. I think this idiom issue was a more critical problem for the kids. It made it hard to follow the characters' conversation and meanings. So the storyline was that much harder to pick up. As an adult or young adult, I could see that this could be an interesting quick read, assuming you enjoy parsing out the language and cultural novelties. Personally, I do, so I may read it myself later, but I won't push it on the young kids.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a really nice book!1335012694237