Overview

At the age of fourteen, 'chime-child' Peter Gannet is apprenticed to a locksmith in Covent Garden. But his desperate longing to escape from the insufferable adults around him and go to sea leads him into some dubious undertakings. Before long, the old ship's carpenter's dire prophecy comes true, for in the locksmith's workroom he meets a phantom with an empty sleeve.



Leon Garfield was the acclaimed author of more than thirty novels for children and adults. He received many ...

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The Empty Sleeve

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Overview

At the age of fourteen, 'chime-child' Peter Gannet is apprenticed to a locksmith in Covent Garden. But his desperate longing to escape from the insufferable adults around him and go to sea leads him into some dubious undertakings. Before long, the old ship's carpenter's dire prophecy comes true, for in the locksmith's workroom he meets a phantom with an empty sleeve.



Leon Garfield was the acclaimed author of more than thirty novels for children and adults. He received many accolades during his career, including the inaugural Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Literary Award.

Though he dreams of going to sea, fourteen-year-old Peter is not entirely displeased to be apprenticed to a locksmith, especially as it means getting away from his "saintly" twin; but when the ghost of a former apprentice and a murder put him in grave danger, it is only his despised brother who is able to save him.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
It's no secret that Peter's parents have always favored his sickly twin brother Paul. When Peter leaves home to begin his apprenticeship to a locksmith, both he and his family are relieved. But Peter doesn't really plan on learning the locksmith's trade: as soon as he has the money he's going to run away to sea. Driven by this secret ambition, Peter becomes a pawn in the murderous scheme contrived by the sinister Lord Marriner. Just when his ruin seems inevitable, Peter is rescuedby none other than his hated brother Paul. Their shared adventure teaches each of them about the other. At times there is a sensein a building up of the supernatural elements of the storythat the author may have tried to convey some larger truths, but this is not fulfilled. Instead, ghosts, prophecies and other eerie happenings impart a pleasantly creepy flavor to this portrait of a teenager's growing awareness of the complex workings of the adult world. Ages 8-12. (September)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up Set in 18th-Century England, Garfield's newest title is the saturnine story of the tangled destinies of 14-year-old twins Peter and Paul Gannet, whose family name, appropriately enough, is also the name of a sea bird, for going to sea is Peter's dream. Perverse destiny decrees, however, that he should be apprenticed instead to a locksmith, becoming in the process a kind of a bird in a leaden cage, an image that Garfield reinforces through his skillful use of metallic simile and metaphor. Peter, who born while the clock was chiming, has, as his birthright, the capacity to see ghosts and converse with the devil. A ``loutish, ruffianly boy,'' Peter is the antithesis of his twin, Paul, a sickly, cosseted child whom his father describes as an ``angel, a real angel''or is he, instead, readers may wonder, the devil of his brother's destiny? The devil is very present in image and allusion in this wonderfully atmospheric exercise of the imagination. Garfield may be the greatest extant evoker of dread, an emotion which informs many of the best scenes in The Empty Sleeve and which anticipates a world of evil, epitomized in the character of the monstrously smiling, silken-voiced Lord Marriner and symbolized in the demon-faced carnival mask which is Paul's prized possession. In terms of character, atmosphere, and theme, The Empty Sleeve can be enjoyed on many different levels, but it is Garfield's style, his diabolically skillful use of language which can be enjoyed on every level and which demonstrates the visceral, almost sensual pleasure which reading promises and which Garfield's books deliver. Michael Cart, Beverly Hills Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781448174003
  • Publisher: RHCP
  • Publication date: 6/30/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Age range: 9 - 11 Years
  • File size: 515 KB

Meet the Author

Leon Garfield was born in Brighton in 1921. He was the acclaimed author of more than thirty novels for children and adults including Devil in the Fog, winner of the inaugural Guardian Children's Fiction Prize in 1967, The God Beneath the Sea, winner of the 1970 Carnegie Medal, and John Diamond, winner of the 1980 Whitbread literary award. He was also elected a member of the Royal Society of Literature. He died in 1996.
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