The Mourning Emporium

Overview

Venice is in peril. Bajamonte Tiepolo is back, and his baddened magic has spread across the globe, from the island of Hooroo in the South Pacific, all the way to London, where Queen Victoria lies dying.

Now two cities need saving by Teo, the Undrowned Child, and Renzo, the Studious Son of a Venetian prophecy. Time is running out as they try to unravel the mysteries threatening London and Venice. They meet mermaids and mourning children, giant squid, a talking bulldog, and the ...

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The Mourning Emporium

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Overview

Venice is in peril. Bajamonte Tiepolo is back, and his baddened magic has spread across the globe, from the island of Hooroo in the South Pacific, all the way to London, where Queen Victoria lies dying.

Now two cities need saving by Teo, the Undrowned Child, and Renzo, the Studious Son of a Venetian prophecy. Time is running out as they try to unravel the mysteries threatening London and Venice. They meet mermaids and mourning children, giant squid, a talking bulldog, and the delectable, deceptive Miss Uish. But who is a friend, and who an enemy?

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—This tongue-in-cheek, quirky sequel to The Undrowned Child (Delacorte, 2011) begins promisingly. Teodora Gasperin becomes aware that evil Tiepolo is back as Venice is invaded by ice and floods. As Teo joins her friend Renzo on a floating orphanage for boys, it becomes clear that Tiepolo's plot is wide-ranging, involving the destruction of Venice, the usurpation of the British throne once Queen Victoria has died, the use of monsters such as the Vampire Eel, and the kidnapping of scientists. While the writing is often inventive and interesting, and the tone at times appealingly slapstick, the characters are less so, with the exception of the exceedingly nasty Miss Uish. The London scenes are vividly described, but the street dialect of the homeless children will be a challenge for American readers. The plot is exciting but the many byways sometimes add up to a meandering feeling. This novel will mostly be enjoyed by fans of the first book.Sue Giffard Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
After thwarting the supernaturally malevolent Bajamonte Tiepolo's plan for Venice's annihilation in The Undrowned Child (2011), Teodora and her friend Lorenzo again find themselves, and the city, targets of destruction. The labyrinthine plot unfurls with Venice gripped by fresh terrors--an icy flood kills many, including Renzo's mother; illness spreads; children disappear. Renzo is pressed onto the Scilla, a ship converted to shelter orphan boys; Teo, impersonating one, joins him. The resurgent Tiepolo's allies include an exiled lord sailing from Australia to claim the dying Queen Victoria's throne and the villainous Miss Uish. Impersonating the Queen's emissary, Uish assumes command of the Scilla, sets sail for London, and turns her child crew into unwilling pirates en route. Lovric again produces teeming subplots and an elaborate typology of subhuman abettors of both evil and good. The titular Emporium figures incidentally, during the London convergence halfway through; that funereal marketplace hosts a crowd of gritty street kids who trade work for overnights in the coffins. While Teo's adoptive parents (abducted scientists conscripted to design a submarine for Tiepolo) endow that escape vehicle with a fatal flaw, this picaresque stew ends with another voluminous sequel clearly telegraphed. This steampunk-ish tome--rife with Victorian bilge water and colossal squid gore--will best serve those who enjoyed the first. (author's note; "What's Real and What's Made Up?") (Fantasy. 10-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375865985
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 8/6/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 726,391
  • Age range: 10 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

MICHELLE LOVRIC has written three novels for adults and is active in the literary world, running writing workshops and writing reviews and travel features. The author divides her time between Venice and London. This is her second book for young people.

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Read an Excerpt

1. Only one person to blame

Venice, late afternoon, Christmas Day, 1900

A small girl stood on the ice that crusted the edge of the lagoon.

The storm was over. But the temperature was still falling. The girl shivered, wrapping her arms around her narrow body.

This was not the kind of cold that makes your nose glow, nor the kind that makes you look forward to sitting by the fire with a nice warm cup of something. It was that hopeless, heart-dragging kind of cold that makes you feel like an orphan.

Particularly if you are one.

Like this girl, Teodora Gasperin.

As far as the eye could see, way out on the islands of the lagoon, droplets of fog had frozen into a crystalline haze over the skeletal branches of the trees. It looked as if the leaves had been replaced by diamonds, glittering like angry teardrops. Ice strangled the shore; long white arabesques of it reached into the black water.

As she turned to trudge back home, Teo's eye snagged on something glinting just below her, embedded in the frozen water. She bent down, lifting her pinafore out of the way for a better look.

Then she screamed.

For what she had glimpsed was a white eel, thick and long as a young tree trunk, with red gills sprouting like coral from its muscular neck. At the sound of her cry, the creature slowly lowered one translucent eyelid and winked at her.

"Vampire Eels!" Teo shuddered. "They're back. And Venice all but drowned under the ice. It can only mean one thing.

"Renzo!" she whispered to herself. "I must tell Renzo! And the mermaids. And Professor Marin and the other Incogniti . . ."

A black-backed gull flapped past, cawing "Ha! Ha! Ha!"

Teo winced at its mockery. Her nose pinkened, and she blinked rapidly. Then she stamped her foot.

"Yes, I know. I know. I know. If Bajamonte Tiepolo has come back, and brought all his vile creatures with him, and baddened magic too, then there's only one person to blame."

The girl lifted her head and cried out over the icy tracts: "Me."

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