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Alistair Grim's Odditorium

(Odditorium #1)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,010 ratings  ·  242 reviews
Grubb, age twelve (or thereabouts), has never known anything beyond his miserable existence as a chimney sweep, paid only in insults and abuse by his cruel master.

All of that changes the day he stows away in the coach belonging to a mysterious guest at the inn that he is tasked with cleaning. Grubb emerges from Alistair Grim's trunk and into the wondrous world of the Oddit
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published January 6th 2015 by Disney-Hyperion
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Gregory Yes, book 2 is Alistair Grim's Odd Aquaticum. No third book scheduled yet, but spread the word and who knows? Thanks for reading...

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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
That minute you hit save and Goodreads eats your review. Anger face.

My friend J brought this book to my attention. Yay!
This is the kind of fantasy I like. Fast paced-story doesn't get confused with a million characters-and so much fun.

It begins with Grubb, he was left on Mr. and Mrs. Spears front steps and they took him in. Once Mrs. Spears passed away the Mr. saw no need for Grubb. It was either work as a chimney sweep or be sent to the workhouses.

Grubb and Mr. Spears part ways after some m
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Updated to include this additional review written by my 13 year old son:
Alistair Grim's Odditorium is an extremely well written book, with many twists and turns and very good combat scenes. The plotline of the book has a depth that not very many books have. The series could go anywhere at this point. I'd like to rate this book at 4.5 stars, tying with Rick Riordan's books, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and the Michael Vey series by Richard Paul Evans.
-- So there you have it, straight fr
Darth J
This was almost a 5 star book for me. Almost*.

Going into this, I thought the whole thing would be great. The artwork is incredible, and much of the tone and style were reminiscent of Rowling's first Potter book. There's a bit of a steampunk element to this, but not overly so. It also has a lot of familiar, Disney-esque pieces to it but it's also refreshingly original and whimsically gothic.

First we have an orphan named Grubb who is deposited onto the doorstep of strangers by the Yellow Fairy.

Cameron Chaney
Apr 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Cameron by: Darth J
Magic, adventure, dragons, banshees, sirens, and steampunk!

I’m happy to report that Alistair Grim’s Odditorium by Gregory Funaro has all of these things and more! It is the wonderfully written first book of a fantastical middle grade fantasy series. It is now a new favorite of mine and I cannot wait to read the second book Alistair Grim's Odd Aquaticum. I mean, c'mon! Look at that cover!

I recommend this richly whimsical book to anyone who likes their fantasy stories fun, imaginative, and bright
Very imaginative, well-written, adventure, excitement, battles, characters to love and root for, magical stuff. Overall an excellent MG Fantasy.

The blurb for this one does a good job telling what this story is about. It's set in London in what seems to be the Victorian era, and the writing and characters reflect that to perfection. Grubb is a likeable protagonist, is loyal, tries to do the right thing, and willing to put himself in jeopardy to save a friend.

However he's part of the event that p
Opening line: The odd was the ordinary at Alistair Grim’s.

With a title of ALISTAIR GRIM’S ODDITORIUM I should not have been surprised that this was, at times, a very odd book. Aimed at the 8 to 12 age group the adventure was quite complex at times, and I had a hard time keeping up with some of the events. I worried that kids in this age group might as well; but then again they will probably have more brain cells than me still.

The basis of the story follows the magical adventure of a young orphan
Benjamin Thomas
Imagine you want to write a book for today’s youth, say ages 8-12, grades 3-7. It’s a tough assignment, choosing to compete with the multitudes of entertainment options kids have these days. And even if you can capture their attention with the idea of actually reading a book, well, how would you make yours stand out among all the competitors you will have?

Gregory Funaro surly thought through these issues when he first made the decision to write such a book. However he developed this project, he
The hodgiest hodge-podge of a book I've read in a long time. It had everything from Roman mythology to steampunk to fairies to sorcery to science-fiction to banshees to dragons, all set in London. It was a bit overwhelming, to be honest.

One thing that hooked me nearly immediately was the prose. I really enjoyed it. And despite the fact that you can't make heads nor tails of how everything interconnects, it is undeniably quite a fun hodgepodge and I'll be back for the second book.

Small nitpicks
Wart Hill
Super fun and magical!
Kirsten Barber
Alistair Grim's Odditorium might be my favorite book of 2015. It's pretty early to say something like that, but I loved it. I read all 432 pages in the course of less than 24 hours in just a couple sittings. I literally could not put it down. Reading this gave me the feeling that I had as a kid reading the first Harry Potter book, of course with more of a steampunk twist.

Grubb was left on the doorstep of a chimney sweep when he was just a baby and doesn't remember anything before his life with
Sep 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
You can also read my review on my blog here.

In short: Alistair Grim's Odditorium is the start of an inventive and eccentric new series that is perfect for younger readers.

You all know I love me a quirky Middle Grade read with a cute illustrated cover! I fall for them every time. And so when I was given the opportunity to read Alistair Grim's Odditorium and found out that it was about a poor orphan who gets carried off into a wondrous and strange new world, well I couldn't resist now, could I? It
Nicole M. Hewitt
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
My full dual review with my friend Danielle can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction

A wacky and adventurous MG romp through a magical world! Grubb was a wonderfully endearing character. The beginning of the book, with his struggles as an orphan in a bad situation tug at your heartstrings and get you invested right away. And everyone who lives at the Odditorium, a group of ragtag magical characters, made for a wonderful found family! One of my favorite characters was the hilariously s
May 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Alright, I need to expand this review. One because of my love for this series and two because my daughter just read it again. She really loves it too.

The Odditoruim blends fantasy with Steampunk with adventure to bring forth a brilliant story filled with twists and turns to give us a tale we can fall in again and again. You learn and laugh with Grubb, an orphan saved from drowning bu the yellow fairy as he begins this tale as a simple chimney sweep. Yes, it had me singing "Chim-Chimeree." To esc
Nov 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have read some of this author's suspense/horror novels and enjoyed them all thus far. I was intrigued to read this author's children/young adult series. Let me tell you that Mr. Funaro is the real deal. He can write. Some authors that I have read have tried to make the leap to this genre and have not been as successful in my eyes.

Instantly, I was transported to this magical world of Odditorium. I did not want to leave this world. Luckily I won't have to as this book is just the first one in t
May 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
A middle school fantasy book about a young orphan (Grubb) adopted by a chimney sweep's wife, who becomes a slave to the sweep when she dies. He escapes that life by hiding in a trunk, and is whisked away to London, where he finds himself in a strange environment with odd people and things, such as an ever-broken pocketwatch. They are kind to Grubb, and he eventually becomes a loyal apprentice there. This book is an entertaining collection of characters, magic, themes, and even, genres. Probably ...more
Helen (pagesandpeaches)
This book was fantastically imaginative and thoroughly enjoyable. I really loved the idea of the odditorium idea and animus magic. This was a beautiful story that kids and adults will like.

My favourite character was Cleona because she was a banshee and she was very responsible and sweet. The character I didn't feel was necessary was the Black Fairy because he wasn't really in a lot of the story, but who knows maybe I'll appreciate him more in the second book.
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a perfect "me" to come
Brandy Painter
Feb 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, fantasy
Originally posted here at Random Musings of Bibliophile.

Alistair Grim's Odditorium by Gregory Funaro is a mixture of magic and mystery with a whole lot of adventure and familiar aspects fantasy lovers will recognize.

Grub was raised by the wife of chimney sweep. He has no idea who is true parents are. When the lovely woman who has been the only mother he's known dies, his life becomes a drudgery of work as the sweep's apprentice. One day after a making a mess while being bullied Grub knows he has
Sharon Tyler
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alistair Grim's Odditorium is the first book in the Odditorium series by Gregory Funaro. Grubb, age twelve (or thereabouts), has never known anything beyond his miserable existence as a chimney sweep. All of that changes the day he stows away in the coach belonging to a mysterious guest at the inn that he is tasked with cleaning. Grubb emerges from Alistair Grim's trunk and into the wondrous world of the Odditorium. Fueled by a glowing blue energy that Grubb can only begin to understand, the Odd ...more
Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When young chimney sweep, Grubb, runs away from his cruel master and stows away in the carriage of one mysterious Alistair Grim, he sets off on an unbelievable adventure. Alistair Grim is the creator and owner of the Odditorium, a wondrous place full of enchanted objects and people, all run by the energy of a strange blue light. Grim makes Grubb his apprentice and Grubb finds himself a new, loving family. But when a dangerous enemy sets out to steal the blue energy, Grubb must find his courage t ...more
Raf/ kittensparadise
7.5⭐ out of 8⭐
Keywords: middle grade, fairy, older mentor, orphan, magic house

Alistair Grim's Odditorium is a middle grade fantasy book, so when you read it you have to keep it in mind that this book target audiences are children.

The story of this book opened up with a fairy tale-like vibes. The story is told from first point of view of it's main character, chimney sweep named Grubb. Due to its target audience, the narrative is using simpler english, that non-native like me can easily underst
Nov 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, and my kids thought it was fantastic--which makes me love it even more. If you can get an eight and nine year old to pay attention to anything for more than half a second then you know the author must be doing something right.

This book speaks to the imagination of kids (and adults, or at least this one.) The humour is appropriate for middle grade and lower kids and as a parent, I was impressed with the writing, as it didn't seem to be stunted or less intellectual than a book
Spotted this on the street -- someone was giving away a heap of YA advance reader copies and couldn't resist this one. Orphaned chimney sweep hides in fancy carriage and is swept off to London where he becomes an inhabitant of the Odditorium, a strange building powered by magic. Plot rattled along and all rollicking good fun, but the color-mixing combinations got a bit trying (blue magic + red magic = purple magic, etc).
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I accidentally read the second one first. I recommend that this one be read first though. Kids about 10-15 will like the adventure story and it's a fast, easy read.
Claudia {SparrowHawk}

Alistair Grim’s Odditorium is an abundantly rich and imaginative narrative set in a world where unusual flying machines and extraordinary characters endlessly entertain and boggle the mind. Oddly enough, you do not mind whether these elements make sense or not as this is truly a story that reaches the imagination – I really liked it!
+ The fanciful world of Alistair Grim’s Odditorium is visually stunning and highly creative –
Gina (My Precious Blog)
A solid four star middle grade book featuring a chimney sweep called Grubb (with two B's), who is twelve or "thereabouts". Why two B's you may ask? Well, the extra "B" is for a blessing. He was left on the doorstep of a childless couple, Mr and Mrs Cleary as a wee baby. Mrs Cleary loved and cared for him well, embracing this gift with open arms. When Grubb reached the tender age of six, Mrs Cleary unexpectedly died. His stepfather, Mr Cleary, didn't hold similar sentiment for him. He thought of ...more
Andrea Strube
Dec 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
1. The hero, Grubb, is amazing!

Grubb encounters a hard life. He doesn’t know where he came from, but he lives with Mr. and Mrs. Smears. Mrs. Smears is a lovely woman who treats Grubb (like the worm, but with double b’s in case you wanted to write it down) like her own son. She loves him fiercely, then she dies. After her death, he is faced with Mr. Smears who is ruthlessly cruel and employs Grubb as a chimney sweep. He doesn’t feed the boy, because he thinks Grubb will get too fat to fit up into
Aug 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

There are some books you come across that compel you to swear off reading for a while, and there are books that shortly after reading are forgotten. Then there are books that you devour so quickly that you go out and buy the rest of the series just so there won’t be an end. If there was a second book to go out and buy, Odditorium would fall into the latter category.

Okay, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Odditorium is told from the perspective of Grubb,
Ms. Yingling
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Copy provided by the author

Grubb was abandoned as a baby at the house of the Smears. Mrs. Smear is fairly nice, but she passes away when Grubb is six, and Mr. Smears keeps the boy only because he can be useful in his chimney sweeping business. When cleaning chimneys at the local pub, Grubb manages to cause quite a commotion, and ends up stowing away in a carriage, since he knows he can never go back to Mr. Smears. When the carriage flies, however, he doesn't know quite what to make of it! He is
Jan 06, 2015 rated it liked it
A young boy escapes his life as a chimney sweep and finds himself carried away—literally—to a fantastic place where he meets a mysterious man with unusual talents. The boy joins the man’s coterie and becomes his apprentice, but the apprenticeship only marks the beginning of the boy’s adventures. Author Greg Funaro gives middle grade readers this ambitious but somewhat uneven story in Alistair Grim’s Odditorium.

Twelve-year-old Grubb doesn’t remember his parents. For as long as he’s known, he’s li
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Gregory Funaro is the NY Times best-selling author of Disney-Hyperion's ALISTAIR GRIM'S ODDITORIUM (an Amazon Best Book of the Month for January, 2015) and ALISTAIR GRIM'S ODD AQUATICUM (2016), which received a Kirkus starred review. His latest book, WATCH HOLLOW (HarperCollins, 2019), received starred reviews from School Library Journal and ALA Booklist, and was a Junior Library Guild Gold Standa ...more

Other books in the series

Odditorium (2 books)
  • Alistair Grim's Odd Aquaticum (Odditorium, #2)

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“The odd was the ordinary at Alistair Grim's. The people who lived there were odd. The things they did there were odd. Even the there itself there was odd.” 4 likes
“On the other hand, if you were too timid to ask for directions, you could just walk around until you came upon a black, roundish building that resembled a fat spider with its legs tucked up against its sides.” 1 likes
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