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The Secret of the Great Red Spot

(The Jupiter Chronicles #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  99 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Librarian's Note: an alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here.

Steampunk for Children in Grades 2 and up.


A war has been fought and lost by the Jovians. Now the answer to their freedom lies within the Great Red Spot and it's up to Ian and Callie to uncover its secret.

It is the year 1892 and Ian and Callie Castillo have had to suffer the hardships of a single
Paperback, 70 pages
Published September 15th 2012 by Leonardoverse (first published January 1st 2010)
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  99 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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May 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
For anyone not familiar with Steam punk, it is basically a branch of science fiction: alternative history/speculative fiction often with a Victorian/Edwardian aesthetic. Basically think Victorian Style with modern technology - brass computers powered by steam - that kind of thing. I LOVE IT. And the idea that someone had written with the intention of introducing the Steam punk aesthetic to children seemed like a fantastic idea!

This book is clearly aimed at the younger pre-teen, not being an expe
Kristen Ramirez
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have to recommend it because my husband wrote it!

Seriously, we wanted to have a chapter series available to struggling readers who can't make it through an entire Harry Potter encyclopedia so I suggested to my husband that he write something for that crowd. The world has enough wizards and zombies!
 Davis Jennifer
Oct 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
I was given an e-copy in exchange for my honest review.

Callie and Ian's father disappeared 5 years ago. They have never really been told what happened, he just vanished. Callie decides she is going to use the telescope (Ian's last present from their father) that is collecting dust in the attic, mostly because Ian has forbidden her to do so. Ian comes in to stop her and the telescope transforms and sends them off on a journey to Jupiter. The kids set off on a dangerous mission and finds out what
Joan Brennan
Apr 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Leonardo Ramirez has written a wonderful first installment in the Steampunk Series of children’s books with The Jupiter Chronicles: The Secret of the Great Red Spot .

There is something for every young reader in this fictional, sci-fi chapter book. The two main characters, Ian and Callie, are each both courageous and inventive. Stinky Frank adds some unique comic relief that will most certainly appeal to the many young readers of this book. The inter-planetary travel of all involved in this a
Carolyn Dubisch
Mar 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Starting in the very early twentieth century on Earth, life is pretty grim for brother and sister, Ian and Callie. Their father has vanished, their mother is struggling hard to support them. From such a dismal beginning comes an action packed adventure, full of steam-powered technology, robots, other worlds and a nasty lizard alien no one cares for very much. I think this book spot on for the older elementary school age group. It's a great warm up to the Harry Potter series. Funny, engaging, and ...more
Sep 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was short but sweet. Aimed at MG readers but one I enjoyed as an adult.

I got a good sense of the world, People and Aliens the Author created and the story really drew me in and captured my imagination.
Feb 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Publisher: Leonardoverse

Publishing Date: January 2014

ISBN: 9781386696308

Genre: Steampunk/Kids

Rating: 2.7/5

Publishers Description: It is the year 1892 and Ian and Callie Castillo have had to suffer the hardships of a single parent family since their father went missing five years ago. Since then Ian has refused to use the last gift that his father left the wounded boy; a telescope that sits collecting dust in the attic. When Callie decides to peer through i
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ages 8 and up
Shelves: kindle-books
This book probably came from my days of collecting Kindle freebies. The Goodreads page for this book states it is Steampunk for grades 2 and up. I would say it is more suitable for grades 4-5 and up, or ages 8 and up, unless the child is already very interested in steampunk themed material.

The storyline follows two children whose father has mysteriously disappeared. One night they sneak up to the attic to use the telescope the father had left for the son. The telescope transforms into a spacesh
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When a young, poor brother and sister stumble across a machine that takes them to another planet, they learn that their missing father is trapped there and set out to rescue him.
Full Review On YouTube Here:
During the fight for their lives to extricate their father, they realize they are much more involved in the fate of the planets than they realized.
Each book rolls into the next and expands their family details and storyline and by the end of the third book, you d
Kristi Bernard
Jul 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: multicultural
Ian and Callie have lost their father. It's been five years now and a struggle for them and their mother. Their father, Peter, had mysteriously disappeared without a trace. The fondest memory Ian had of him is the time they spent looking through a telescope. It was a birthday gift from Peter, who taught Ian all about the planets, his favorite being Jupiter. Callie, the adventurous one, is restless and creeps up to the attic to peer through the telescope, which has been there since the disappeara ...more
Bailey Baxter
Sep 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Life has been tough for Ian and Callie since their father went missing five years ago. Ian is so hurt by his father’s disappearance that he refuses to touch the last gift he gave him – a very unusual telescope.

Younger sister Callie thinks Ian’s refusal to look into the telescope is ridiculous. So she sneaks a peek into it – and is surprised when the instrument transforms into a sort of space ship.

The kids are even more shocked when the machine whisks them to Jupiter.

Ian and Callie are quickly ap
Scarlet Paolicchi
Apr 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My 8 year old daughter really enjoyed reading this book. She loved Cali's strong character.
The author is from Nashville and I invited him to do a guest post on my blog which he did and which offers some insight into the writing of this book
May 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great book. I loved how Ramirez wove classic literature into a form that made it accessible to young people.
LitPick Book Reviews
In The Jupiter Chronicles: The Secret of the Great Red Spot by Leonardo Ramirez, the year is 1892. Ian Castillo walks in on his sister, Callie, trying to use a telescope that has been stored in the attic for five years. It is special to Ian because it was the last gift their father gave him before he mysteriously disappeared. When the kids least expect it, it turns itself into a space ship and launches them into space.

When they get to Jupiter, a Martian Doomslayer ship captures them. In prison,
Chris Pavesic
Aug 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Jupiter Chronicles: The Secret of the Great Red Spot by Leonardo Ramirez, is a steampunk adventure novel for young readers. The novel includes a variety of steam-powered inventions, aliens, children whose curiosity gets the better of them, “somewhat” lost civilizations, mysterious forces, space battles, and, yes, even a farting robot. It is a perfect blend for anyone who enjoys speculative fiction mixed with humor.

The novel is set in an alternate version of 1892. Ian and Callie Castillo lost
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Jupiter Chronicles: The Secret of the Great Red Spot, is the first book in Leonardo Ramirez' Children's Steampunk series. The story opens with brother and sister, Ian and Callie Castillo living with their mother, Camilla, a single parent ever since her husband Peter left years before. The transformation of the telescope into a spaceship and Ian and Callie's trip to Jupiter was a wonderful tale. The presence of steam engines, gadgets, and planet Jupiter makes the story even more fun and inter ...more
Rachel G
Imagine being raised by a single mother in working class Victorian England. The last connection you have with your absent dad is a telescope he gave you 5 years ago, the day before he disappeared. Your annoying kid sister decides to play with the telescope that you told her to leave alone, and you are both suddenly whisked about the spaceship it transforms into and you fly to Jupiter! This is how the story of Ian & Callie Castillo begins & it only gets more crazy from there as the two protagonis ...more
Dec 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ian and Callie Castillo’s dad disappeared in 1892. He left Ian a telescope before he went missing but Ian refused to look at it. Callie finally looks into it and that is when something magical happens. This exploratory tale is wonderful and charming. Author Ramirez laces entertaining, logical, and sci-fi events with aspects of wisdom wrapped up in a steam-punk fantasy. The storyline combines the present, with an age gone by. Full of action, battle scenes, exciting space beings, an evil lizard em ...more
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I received this free from NetGalley and the publisher for an honest review.
This book is aimed toward the middle-grades, but I can honestly say as an adult that I enjoyed it very much. It in some ways reminds me of Frank L. Baum's Oz stories. It is also steampunk, a genre that I have never really liked before, but this book has changed my mind. Definitely reading the next book in the series.
I read this book to my third graders and they enjoyed it, but I did not love it. I thought the story could have used some work and the ending left a lot to be desired. I did love one of the characters more than the others and that was a robot, but I won't give anything away for anyone who chooses to read this book. ...more
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This innovative historical fantasy novel delivers a family adventure of galactic proportions along with believable sibling dynamics, political chaos, and intense action for entertainment galore!
Anas Rahman
This book was good and was about the aliens, which I always love. The book was very adventurous and curious.
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020challenge
This was great. The kids are funny and courageous.
Lynn Worton
Apr 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author for an honest review.

This is the first book in a new steampunk series for children. I loved it!

Ian and Callie Castillo are fun characters. Ian is twelve and Callie is 9. Ian is an extremely serious young man. It's not been easy growing up without his father. I absolutely LOVE Callie! She is more relaxed and has a funny sense of humour.

This is a fun steampunk novel for children. The story is an amazing adventure that see's Ian and Calli
Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
Ramirez enjoys his world, it’s easy to tell. There’s enough steam engines and gadgets, gears and wishful thinking for any young reader to love in The Jupiter Chronicles, without too many details over the head of nine to eleven-year-olds.

Young readers join Callie and Ian as they blast off in a mystery mission to Jupiter where they encounter the false lizard emperor, robots, and other cool gadgets. The gadgets and creatures not only help them learn the secret of the red spot, something that Ian’s
Simon Okill
May 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
The Jupiter Chronicles: The Secret of the Great Red Spot is an absolute joy to read and is wonderfully directed at young children. Leonardo Ramirez mixes humour with childhood angst to perfection, showing how two children, Callie and Ian cope with the loss of their Father 5 years ago. The loss is made worse as their Father simply vanished without trace, leaving them to wonder if he is still alive. One day in the year 1892, Callie enters the attic and plays with the forbidden telescope, a present ...more
Dec 29, 2012 rated it liked it
I liked it, but only because Callie's got mad diary skills and there's a farting robot. Otherwise, The Secret of the Great Red Spot is probably a great book for six year olds but lacks the complexity to really do much for 'big kids' like me beyond mild amusement. The plot's imaginative, the setting's cool, the characters pretty fun, but at the same time the descriptions are extremely light, the sentence structure is picture book quality basic, and the story fairly bare bones. No problem for (muc ...more
Terri Walsh
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-to-my-kids
This book is very awesome. Yeah I know I am sounding like my 9 and 6 year old using the word awesome but when they described it using the word “awesome” there is no better word I could come up with to describe this story. I found the timing for reading this book to be great because in this book it mentions Nikola Tesla and my 9 year old daughter is studying Tesla for homeschool. She thought it pretty neat that the book mentioned him.

You know you have a winning book on your hands when your kids d
Crystal Otto
Apr 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
I recently had the pleasure of reviewing something totally new to me. I was completely unaware of exactly what steampunk was and I can’t remember back to what books were important to me in third grade. When I was approached by Leonardo Ramirez and asked if I would like to read and review a steampunk book geared toward third graders I sort of hesitated. I wasn’t sure if it would interest me and my oldest is in first grade so I knew very little about third graders. Nonetheless I agreed and boy am ...more
Christoph Fischer
Jul 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"The Jupiter Chronicles: The Secret of the Great Red Spot" by Leonardo Ramirez is a book I have been meaning to read for a long time because of its great intriguing title.
Two siblings who are being taught about the solar system by their father, who then suddenly disappears over night. One night the two find more than they bargained for in their attic and end up on a spaceship headed for Jupiter. What follows is an action packed and well paced science fiction space adventure
I have always been fas
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Leonardo Ramirez writes books for readers of all ages, including children’s steampunk and young adult fantasy. Steampunk is a genre of science fiction that has a historical setting and typically features steam-powered machinery such as steam-powered robots, rockets and more!

From his humble beginnings in Bronx, New York, he’s bootstrapped his way into the hearts of his audience—young and old alike.

Other books in the series

The Jupiter Chronicles (3 books)
  • The Ice Orphan of Ganymede (The Jupiter Chronicles, #2)
  • The Orb of Terra (The Jupiter Chronicles #3)

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