The Glass Puzzle

Overview

Eleven-year-old Zoé Badger, imaginative, carefree and adventurous, lives a transient life, moving with her mother from one town to the next—except for summers, when she stays with her granddad in Tenby, Wales. But when she and her cousin Ian discover a glass puzzle that's been hidden away for decades, ancient forces are unleashed that threaten to change their safe-haven summer town in sinister ways.

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The Glass Puzzle

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Overview

Eleven-year-old Zoé Badger, imaginative, carefree and adventurous, lives a transient life, moving with her mother from one town to the next—except for summers, when she stays with her granddad in Tenby, Wales. But when she and her cousin Ian discover a glass puzzle that's been hidden away for decades, ancient forces are unleashed that threaten to change their safe-haven summer town in sinister ways.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
10/01/2013
Gr 4–6—Zoé Badger and her cousin Ian find themselves on the adventure of a lifetime during what starts out as a normal vacation with their grandfather in Wales. Their summer begins with the discovery of a mysterious glass puzzle that is the doorway to the lost island of Wythernsea and ends with them saving their entire world from evil Scravens, who had invaded through the puzzle. The story line could hold the interest of fans of modern fantasy; unfortunately, other than Zoé, the characters are only lightly sketched out, and even her development is too weak for readers to form a real connection. The reasons behind her actions are often unclear, and the author tries to compensate with out-of-place statements of her feelings. Motivations that should be shown are instead left out or seem improbable. These flaws affect the plotline as new characters join the cousins on their quest and readers are left wondering why any of the adventurers are willing to risk their lives.—Genevieve Feldman, San Francisco Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Cousins Zoé and Ian must find the key to a glass puzzle or risk the destruction of their Welsh town. Zoé Badger loves summering with her cousin, Ian, at their grandfather's house in small, seaside Tenby. But things take an unexpected turn when they find an antique glass puzzle and unwittingly release Scravens--evil creatures with a craterous third eye and massive wings--into Tenby. The cousins, in turn, are magically transported to Wythernsea, an island long submerged underwater, whence the Scravens come. There they learn that Scravens are taking over the bodies of Tenby inhabitants--as well as terrorizing Wythernsea--and that they must save both towns from the creatures. To a gratingly earnest third-person narration, readers follow the adventures of Zoé, Ian and their friends as they attempt to defeat the Scravens. Adults either too daft or unwilling to be much help, and who behave in erratic ways, shake the credibility of this far-fetched fantasy. Spot illustrations by Santoso are reminiscent of Mary GrandPré's art for the Harry Potter series but lack her accurate representation of characters. The interesting premise is bogged down by narration that doesn't seem to fully trust readers' intelligence and by characters who defy credibility, keeping it from rising above the bevy of middle-grade fantasies. (Fantasy. 9-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375990878
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 7/9/2013
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 336
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

CHRISTINE BRODIEN-JONES studied writing at Emerson College in Boston, and has been a journalist, an editor, and a teacher. She now splits her time between Gloucester, Massachusetts, and Deer Isle, Maine. Look for her other book for young readers, The Owl Keeper, available from Delacorte Press.

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