The Apothecary (The Apothecary #1)
It's 1952 and the Scott family has just moved from Los Angeles to London. Here, fourteen-year-old Janie meets a mysterious apothecary and his son, Benjamin Burrows - a fascinating boy who's not afraid to stand up to authority and dreams of becoming a spy. When Benjamin's father is kidnapped, Janie and Benjamin must uncover the secrets of the apothecary's sacred book, the P...more
It's the year 1952, and 14-year-old Janie is living a happy, carefree life with her parents in Los Angeles. One day, while walking home from school, she notices a black sedan following her, which causes her parents to panic and make some sudden decisions. Suspected of being communist sympathizers, they feel like they have no choice but to pack everything up and move to London.
Starting school in London is harder than she ever imagined. Janie hates e...more
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Good for fans of both magic and mystery. Perfect read for "advanced" preteen readers and for young teen readers whose parents want something with chaste mild romance and no swear words that is also engaging.
Read for Books for the Beast library-staff conference, 2013.
This was a really interesting book. From the beginning, it really pulled me in and grabbed me and I didn't want to put it down. It had a magical quality about the story that I hadn't found in a while. I found, however, at about 2/3 the way through that I kept on expecting the story to be over, but it was still going on because it needed to tie up all of the pieces. I found the problem that the Apothecary was working on to solve with the other chemists was too real for my expectations of thi...more
I recently bought this book, and I love the story. It’s set in the past, which I normally don’t like, but the plot and magical elements made up for that. In fact, I think the time period was perfect for the story- it added in its own twists, and made everything much more realistic. It also had so much humor woven in. I don’t know if everyone will find this, but I totally loved this aspect. In many points during the book, I began to laugh out loud, which was pretty awk...more
The peculiar thing about this book is that it is sort of like historical fiction, but it is also part fantasy. London and other countries are still recovering from the aftermath of the invention of the atom b...more
Janie's family moves suddenly from a comfortable life in Hollywood to a not so comfortable life in England all because her parents share communist ideals. Janie tries to fit in, and befriends a classmate named Benjamin whose father runs the Apothecary down the street. Suddenly she is thrown headlong into an adventure when Ben's father tells them he is in danger and they must protect an important book called the Pharmacoepia. Things go from bad to worse...more
It’s like nothing I’ve ever read before. In fact, the only book that kind of reminded me of it is my much loved first five star review of 2013, Bomb by Steve Sheinkin. But that’s only because they both talk about the arms race to develop atomic and nuclear bombs.
The writing creates a lilting magical prose that sweeps you into Janie’s life and adventures with Benj...more
This book was AMAZING. At first, I was hesitant to buy it, but after a while, I proceeded to order the book. And thank goodness my money had been well spent!
The story starts out with a girl,Janie Scott,who's parents just happen to be Communists (which I'm not sure actually counts as a spoiler, but if it does, sorry), and flee- I think that's a word I can use for the situation- to England. There she meets and apothecary and his son, Benjamin, and when something happen...more
All you have to do is go to the library and take it out, and you will become immersed in the magical adventures of 1952.
Janie's family just moved across the ocean to England because the U.S. government thinks her parents are communists.
They move into a flat (British slang for apartment) with minimal heating, and Janie ha...more
I picked up this book because m...more
And danger. The stakes...more
Jane, or “Janie” as she prefers, is a total fish-out-of-water in 1952 London. Because her uniform is not ready yet, she attends her...more
When Janie's family moves to London from Los Angeles she feels like she doesn't fit in at her new school and is desperately homesick. When she first spots Benjamin Burrow ignoring the bomb drill she can't decide if her interest in him is because of the excitment he brought to the day or something else.
When she decides to follow him she finds out that he is the son of the local...more
The year is 1952. The place is London. Janie Scott has been forced to move from Los Angeles with her screenwriter parents who have been blacklisted. Soon she meets and makes friend with the daring a...more
The Apothecary is not just another pretty face thoug...more
"We were on a nuclear test site with an untested antidote. The Soviet Nav...more
This book was an interesting mix of genres. Mystery - Fantasy - historical fiction. I think a lot of students would enjoy this book, but I was personally put off by the author's representation of communism. Pg. 9 of the book defines communism as "the idea that people should share resources, and own everything communally, so there aren't wildly rich people who have everything and desperately poor people who have nothing." That sounds wonderful! Except that's not what...more
The author does a great job with character development using u...more
Janie, our heroine, begins the story in sunny California, where her parents are screenwriters in Hollywood. But it's the 1950s, her parents are suspected of being Communists, and so the family flees to cold war-ravaged London. Janie's parents are happy work...more
Janie Scott, the daughter of two successful Hollywood writers is wrenched from her comfortable life in 1952 Los Angeles when her parents take a job writing for BBC...more
By Maile Meloy; Putnam, 2011
Despite its widely positive reception, I am baffled how Maile Meloy’s fifth book, THE APOTHECARY—her first for Young Adults—could engage a serious writer’s talent, even as a holiday from seriousness. There are investments: in the historical framework of 1952, in the Los Angeles of that time (with McCarthyism and the black list), and the London of that time. The author has done research and invested time and setting with realistic detail. The heroine, fou...more
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He stood over the pot, looking down at the leaves. 'Something like, Who do you fancy?'
'That might work,' I said, even though it was the last question I wanted to answer. But it was impossible, suddenly, to tell a lie.
Benjamin took a deep sniff over the steam and turned to me. 'All right,' he said. 'So who do you fancy?'
I hesitated. 'Fancy means like, right?' I said stalling.
I gritted my teeth against the answer coming out. but I couldn't stop myself. 'You,' I said helplessly.”