Alan's Reviews > The Clockwork Three

The Clockwork Three by Matthew J. Kirby
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Dec 05, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: young-adult

ATOS Book Level: 4.5
Interest Level: Middle Grades (MG 4-8)
AR Points: 15.0
Lexile: 680
Word Count: 100530
The cover flap describes this story as "a dose of fantasy, (and) a hint of magic". My problem with the book, for me, is that it would work better if this was a fantasy. In fantasy there is a suspension of beliefs, a stepping away from what "you know to be true" with/in this world. Giuseppe's fiddle playing has a "hint of magic", why not give it some real magic, or at least let us set aside our preconceptions of the world and believe in the magic. Is it possible, in this time period, to make a machine that can move and analyze data? What is a green violin, what's it made of, is it magical (well if we're in this world...how could it be)? Is McCauley Park somehow magical?
This is a good story, set in this world, but I believe it could be a very good story if it was set in another world, one in which we could set aside our beliefs, one in which we could embrace the magic, ponder the wonder of the bronze head, and wonder at what other such things there could be in this world.
Enough about me...I think that most young adult readers won't give this book enough time to develop.
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03/11/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Connie (last edited Dec 12, 2010 07:15AM) (new)

Connie Rockman Respectfully disagree. The 'hint' of magic is what makes this book so special - and so unique. That same 'hint' of magic came in near the end of Cornelia Funke's "The Thief Lord," unexpected and astounding, and it made the book very special.

And, yes, if you look into the history of automatons, it was, indeed, possible to create machines like that back then. Macauley Park is 'magical' because any green place in the middle of a city is magical - get lost in Central Park sometime (as the real life boy who inspired the Guiseppe character did) and you will believe it. The back story of the real life Joseph in New York is a chilling one if you take the time to look it up (see the discussion guide posted on Scholastic's web site).


Amanda Kimball Connie wrote: "Respectfully disagree. The 'hint' of magic is what makes this book so special - and so unique. That same 'hint' of magic came in near the end of Cornelia Funke's "The Thief Lord," unexpected and ..."

I absolutely agree with you, Connie!


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