Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Jewel of Life

The Jewel of Life

by Anna Kirwan-Vogel, Jane Yolen (Editor)

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 4-6--The Jewel of Life is the fabled philosopher's stone to which--legend has it--medieval alchemists ascribed the power to turn base metals to gold. Master Crowe, the aged alchemist/apothecary of Kirwan-Vogel's first novel, agrees that the stone promises ``power and wealth'' to the one who finds it, but more importantly, this good and wise man asserts, ``alchemy teaches a person to mine and smelt and to work the gold of his own heart and soul.'' It is not Master Crowe, however, but his young apprentice, Duffy, who seems to possess the magic necessary to manufacture the jewel of life. Unfortunately, Kirwan-Vogel lacks the requisite writer's magic to make the boy's quest either numinous or even credible. Her denouement, for example, is driven by a clutch of deus ex machina and a plot device (a solar eclipse misperceived as the devil's work) that had whiskers when Mark Twain used it a hundred or more years ago. Her characters are stereotyped instead of multidimensional people, and despite the fact that the author is billed as a ``poet,'' her ``days of yore'' diction is as dusty as Master Crowe's apothecary shop and her imagery is more muddy than golden. More precise imagery, fresher diction, and characters who are people instead of cliches would have provided the kind of organic magic that Kirwan-Vogel has struggled--and failed--to impose. --Michael Cart, Beverly Hills Public Library

Product Details

Harcourt Children's Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
6.23(w) x 9.32(h) x 0.58(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews