Laura's Reviews > Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier
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's review
Jul 25, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011, children-s, middle-grade
Read in July, 2011

Peter Nimble, a boy who was abandoned as an infant, is the greatest thief in the world. Despite the fact that he is blind, he can pick locks and sniff out loot better than any other thief. He finally stumbles into an adventure that sends him to a lost land to save a bunch of people from some bad things that are happening.

I'm having a tough time figuring out what I liked and did not like about this story. It took me over two weeks to read this whole book, a snail's pace for a determined summer reader of children's books.

So, what I liked: Adventure, adventure, adventure!! Peter Nimble goes everywhere and faces danger after danger. Many of his dire situations are unique and have a fresh feel. The narrator has a strong and fun voice and I enjoyed the humor and mischief that shined through. I also really liked the mystery elements of the story and that the reader doesn't always know who's good or bad.

But what I didn't like was that this book was just packed with story. It felt like every one of Joseph Campbell's ideas about heroes was included in the text. The plot of this book is nearly impossible to sum up in just a sentence or two (see my brief summary above). While Peter Nimble and the main characters are well-developed, the plot swirls around them in a confusing mess of good, bad, right, wrong, and just plain gruesome.

I bet kids will like this book and I would recommend to students, especially boys, in grades 5 - 7. They will be delighted with Peter's early thieving days and will be absorbed by his adventures in the Vanished Kingdom. I definitely look forward to reading Auxier's works and hope that he continues to develop wonderful characters.

ARC Provided by... the publisher at ALA 2011 Annual Conference.
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