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The Boxes (Marco's Millions #2)

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  662 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
Open this book -- if you dare!Uncle Marco's frequent, mysterious trips have fascinated Annie for years -- he never tells anyone, even his beloved niece, where he is going or when he'll be back. But this time is special: He leaves Annie in charge of two sealed boxes, with strict instructions not to open either one while he's away. As time passes, curiosity gnaws at her unti ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published June 1st 1998 by Dutton Juvenile (first published 1998)
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Feb 02, 2009 Steph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Quirkly sci-fi fun for the middle school boy. The protagonist is female, but I found more interest from the boys in my classes.

Odd Uncle Marco, Annie's only respite from her feisty Aunt Ruth, leaves her in charge of two mysterious boxes. "Don't open them. . . and keep them safe for me until I return." What a temptation for our angst-ridden protagonist.

In short, the boxes stop time. There's much more to it than that: a little romance, plenty of adventure, and menacing creatures with telepathy.
Nathan Togstad
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 26, 2011 Kiri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Another fun William Sleator book. This one combines a mysterious uncle, the Pandora myth, evil real estate developers, and some creepy gothic elements into a lively quest and battle against the bad guys. Like many Sleator books, there's a fun element of warped physics going on as well. This is clearly a YA book, as the writing is okay but not stellar -- but it's a fun read regardless. (His best books, in my opinion, are still House of Stairs and Singularity.) Really, I mostly wanted to hear more ...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
Apr 10, 2008 Jackie "the Librarian" rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids who like creepy sf
Annie’s Uncle Marco entrusts two boxes to her; like Pandora, she peeks inside. Out scurries a creepy-crawly; it reproduces, starts building, and tells Annie telepathically to open the second box, a time-altering clock. Everything else slows down so the creatures can build faster.
Unscrupulous developers steal the clock, but it slows them down, and Annie recovers it. Uncle Marco reappears, praises Annie for snooping, and accompanies her through a doorway in the creatures’ structure to the unknown
Uncle Marco is Annie's favorite person in the world. He's exciting and mysterious and he doesn't put her down like Aunt Ruth does. If only she could live with him! But Uncle Marco is always travelling, although Annie doesn't know quite where he goes. Then Uncle Marco brings home the two boxes and gives Annie two instructions: 1) Do Not Open the boxes and 2) Don't tell Aunt Ruth about them. Annie wants to obey Uncle Marco, but the boxes give her a funny feeling...

The Boxes is a companion to Marco
Julie Decker
Anne is a curious child, so it's odd that her Uncle Marco entrusts her with two sealed boxes WHICH MUST STAY SEALED before he disappears on a trip. Of course, Anne cannot resist the temptation, and ends up releasing weird crablike creatures that take over her basement and send her telepathic messages about what she has to do for them. She also releases a time-control device that the crab creatures order her to use. When the safety of her little world is threatened by a curious development compan ...more
Diana Welsch
Annie lives with her cranky, hateful aunt Ruth, and sometimes her charming, kind, but frequently absent uncle Marco. One day, before Marco leaves on one of his frequent, lengthy excursions, he trusts Annie with two mysterious boxes, which he tells her she is absolutely not to open for any reason. Of course, she opens them right away, and is sucked into a strange conflict between some strange, telepathic crablike critters, and the silently malevolent clock that they worship. The clock can slow do ...more
Mar 11, 2016 Luke rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-boxes
The book that read is called The Boxes by William Sleator. The genre of this book is fantasy. The main character of this book is Annie. She has short black hair, dark eyes, and is in good shape. She is very shy, obedient, and curious throughout the whole book. She feels like she is being abused and is very sad because her parents died in a car crash. She also has a bedtime, chores, and is too young to date just like many young disciplined people. The initial story problem is that he
Dayna Smith
Feb 09, 2014 Dayna Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen-horror
This is a fun story about Annie whose strange Uncle Marco gives her two boxes and tells her not to open them whatever she does. Like Pandora, she is overwhelmed with curiosity and opens the boxes. She finds a strange clock and even stranger little creatures. Enter some evil property developers and a budding friendship with her neighbor Henry and the story is off and running. This book begs for a sequel.
May 19, 2015 Emily marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
5th grade booktalk Scifi
Have you studied Greek mythology? Not the Percy Jackson kind, but the real stuff? Okay – someone tell me the story of Pandora.Pandora, the first woman, was created by the gods and given to Epimetheus as his bride. She took with her a jar (or, in some retellings, a box) given to her by her creator, Zeus, as a wedding present. Zeus told her that she must never open the jar… and of course, she opens it, spilling out death and evil into the world. Pandora struggles to get the
Although I have seen this pitched as young adult science fiction, it works equally well for younger students. My second grader picked this book out at the school library and happily plowed through it in a single evening. I liked that the unusual elements and events weren't explained away as "magic" but were instead presented just as the facts of what happened. I liked that the plot and characters included loose ends that were never fully explicated, in contrast to the tidy wrapping up that you t ...more
Stephen Huang
Dec 17, 2009 Stephen Huang rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine that one of your family members left you boxes and said don’t open them; doesn’t it make you want to open them up even more? People tell people to not stick their nose where it doesn’t belong or mind their own business. These things make people’s curious mind attract to what they want to know inside their puzzle mind. The Boxes is an excellent mystery novel because of the way it is related to life which it seems true about how people really acts, the mind pulling force of mystery pops o ...more
D.M. Dutcher
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pablo Ramirez
Oct 07, 2013 Pablo Ramirez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Middle School Kids and teens
What if some one told you not to open a special box would you open ofcouseit.The genre of thhis book is science fiction.I thought the book was really good.

One day uncle Marco went on a trip and brough two special boxes he gave the two sealed boxes to Annie uncle Marco said not to open aturthem.Of course she is tempted to open the boxes and when she opens the boxes she sees these crablike creatures they posses a power Annie could never imamgine. she mostly spends her time in her room.Annie in the
Nov 02, 2014 Anthony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The boxes is a great book, for people who like sci.fic. books. When annie's uncle marcos is going on an adventure he leaves annie in charge of two boxes. Marcos told her that the boxes can not be together, there was a metal, and a wood one. Of cource annie was courious to see what was inside the boxes. Opening the box is all annie cares about. Eventually annie pries open the wooden box, and a crablike creature comes out.
Douglas Larson
May 24, 2014 Douglas Larson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While this is listed as book 2 of a 2-book series it was actually written first even though it does take place chronologically after the events of book 1.

This book and its companion are both enjoyable stories, with this one being slightly the better. But they both have Sleator's signature twist endings that are both intriguing and sad. Book 1 of this series has an especially sad ending, perhaps the saddest ending of all his stories.

The protangonist in this book, is Anne, the niece of two of th
Starts off pretty suspenseful and spooky but the author, perhaps driven to wrap things up in under 200 pp does so too perfunctorily, with everyone happy despite the brooding tone established in the book's first half.
Big Tone
Oct 22, 2012 Big Tone rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a fantasy based novel. I enjoyed reading this because this book included "show not tell", descriptions, and a good plot which led to a magnificent ending.

The Boxes, had my full attention every time I would read it. It brought me into a different world. I went into the world of the main character who was in first person throughout the whole story. I could create a picture for everything I was reading, and that is hard to do when reading unless you are reading a great book. Overall,
Dustin Sullivan
An entertaining quick read. It was good to see the main character grow. The writing wasn't great, but I've read worse in YA.
Oct 30, 2013 Tucker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Boxes is a good book. I would recommend it to anyone who’s interested in any science fiction books dealing with controlling time. The book is a quick read, but is interesting. The “basement creatures,” as they call them in the book, aren’t as scary as they are pictured on the cover. Also, the clock doesn’t seem scary, but it is vicious.
There really isn’t a moral to the story, but it’s not like everything has to have a moral. I think that author William Sleator is a great writer because he
Holli  Ronquillo
Quick read. Average for Sleator.
Keagen Grass
Mar 07, 2016 Keagen Grass rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
good book needs a sequel
Nov 22, 2013 Josh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sleator's weird, distant tone can be effective sometimes, but here it's very difficult to see past. Mostly, that's due to the fact that the distant tone belongs to our protagonist, a 13 year old girl.

I love the moral complexity that's introduced early on, but the book doesn't have any way of dealing with the moral questions once they've been posed.

And the ending is not an ending at all but a beginning to the next book in the series, which I doubt I'll be reading.
Nov 11, 2007 EmJay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young adult readers of science fiction / horror
Annie's self-absorbed friends and relatives rely on her to act as their messenger, a role she begins to resent when she realizes how seldom they take an interest in her problems. After opening THE BOXES, Annie becomes the "nervous system" in a symbiotic relationship between a society of insect-like creatures and the device they revere as their deity. Sleator is like the YA version of Dean Koontz, with horrific plots that hinge on scientific or paranormal phenomena.
Dec 27, 2013 Travis rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a weird book with a disjointed feel that seemed to belong in a series. As I later found, there is another book, but it doesn't seem to tie to or complete this story. At any rate The Boxes was too up in the air for me to find out. It was entertaining, at least for the complete plot of Annie's little race against time with the real estate company.
Aug 13, 2008 Swankivy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
As a Young Reader's Choice winner, I expected more from this one. It was ok, but somewhat predictable and not as 'thrilling' as I'd been led to expect. Interesting ideas, but clunky writing, and forgettable characters. He could have done so much more with the concept.
Sep 13, 2012 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was alright. I read it for class and it was an interesting book to get ideas and writing started, but not much more than that. I think both boys and girls of ages 9+ will enjoy this adventure book. Nothing for me though.
Notes after reading this a second time: Not quite as fabulous as I'd remembered it to be. And parts of it really annoyed me. But I love too much about this book to give it anything less than five stars.
Junior Se
Nov 20, 2015 Junior Se rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
interesting... Has a complete twist at the end
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What's The Name o...: YA, creepy, kinda paranormal, can't remember the author/title [s] 4 68 Jan 21, 2014 09:59AM  
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William Warner Sleator III was born in Havre de Grace, Maryland on February 13, 1945, and moved to St. Louis, MO when he was three. He graduated from University City High School in 1963, from Harvard in 1967 with BAs in music and English.

For more than thirty years, William Sleator thrilled readers with his inventive books. His House of Stairs was named one of the best novels of the twentieth cent
More about William Sleator...

Other Books in the Series

Marco's Millions (2 books)
  • Marco's Millions (Marco's Millions #1)

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