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The Remarkable Inventions of Walter Mortinson

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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  140 ratings  ·  59 reviews
In this sweeping and inventive debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Roald Dahl, Neil Gaiman, and Tim Burton, a prodigal inventor flees his home to find his destiny.

In the humdrum town of Moormouth, Walter Mortinson’s unusual inventions cause nothing but trouble. After one of his contraptions throws the town into chaos, Walter’s mother demands he cut the nonsense and join
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Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 2nd 2019 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Mel (Epic Reading)
A little disjointed at times, this strange and unique middle grade book has a lot to digest (even for an adult). I feel like it tries to do too much and that takes away from what the core story should be. While I felt like there was an attempt to have a fun and dream-like tone and story; Quinn Sosna-Spear misses the mark for me in some key areas including plot and use of flashbacks.

Plot
It's only at the 32% mark in which our two children actually take off on their journey together! Just a bit
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MissBecka
From the description I expected an amazing story of fun, adventure and friendship.
There is a trip and some adventure to be had, it just didn't work for me.
It was hard work getting through the long winded pages of this book.
Many interesting places and things are introduced in this book, but it felt like the author was trying to introduce too many places/things without really taking the time to develop any of them fully.
It was a really cool idea, I just didn't enjoy the execution.
I did love
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Crystal Smith
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When my 10 year old son was small—maybe four or five—we watched a movie that choked him up. When I asked him what he thought about the show, he could only squeak out “salty watermelon.” It was all he could think of to describe what he was feeling: happiness with a distinct touch sadness underneath. A bitter that only seemed to enhance the sweet.

Since then, “salty watermelon” has become our shorthand for things that make us feel. Happy but sad, bitter but sweet, hurting but hopeful.

I was lucky
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Jessica (The Psychotic Nerd)
This and other reviews can be found on The Psychotic Nerd

MY THOUGHTS
I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this book. From the synopsis, I mainly expected a fun middle-grade book, and I did get that, but there was so much more to unpack from this novel.

This book, unsurprisingly, is mainly about a young boy named Walter Mortinson. Walter loves to invent odd things, but in the town of Moormouth, people are meant to work in tedium and kids are not supposed to have an imagination or to know
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Chris Baron
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First off, the prose in this book is wonderful-and even as the book flows so seamlessly, I found myself wanting to reread lines for the sheer joy of it. What I like best about this is that the prose so beautifully represents the wild imagination of the characters and the story.

One of my favorite things about this book THE REMARKABLE INVENTIONS OF WALTER MORTINSON is that the Walter has 'inventing' in his DNA--and he knows it. It's how he functions--creating so many fantastic inventions that do
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Joshua Levy
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
THE REMARKABLE INVENTIONS OF WALTER MORTINSON is as fantastical and delightful as its name (and cover) suggests. The brilliant Walter sets out to seek more from life than his humdrum town can (and is willing to) provide, echoing a journey his own parents once took. Walter embarks on this adventure with his friend Cordelia (or, if not a friend, exactly, someone who once was; and someone who maybe can be again). Together, Walter and Cordelia encounter strange sights and even stranger attitudes.

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Mila
Dec 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
The digital arc of this book was kindly provided by the publisher via Edelweiss+ website in exchange for an honest review.

My biggest problem with this book was that it wasn't what I had expected or wanted. It reminded me of "The Series of Unfortunate Events" but a much less depressing version. This book also mostly relied on bizarre places and events that happened to the characters rather than the actual characterization and it went out of its way to try and surprise me with every chapter.
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Naomi Milliner
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most imaginative, original and one-of-a-kind books I have read in a very long time. It is also the perfect blend of dry humor, outrageous characters, fantastic world-building, and pathos. Walter is a tremendously lovable character, and his inventions (like the author's writing) is incredibly clever. If you enjoy books by Lemony Snicket, Roald Dahl and Michael Ende, this one's for you. If you don't enjoy those books - this one is for you anyway. You've never read anything like ...more
Ms. Yingling
Feb 12, 2019 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

I have the budget and readership for about 10% of the fantasy books for middle grade that are published, and my students have rather specific needs.

Inventions and books with a Steampunk vibe do very poorly with my readers. I loved Savage's Fires of Invention, but it sits on the shelf. Definitely take a look at this if your readers like these kinds of books.
Andreea (Infinite Text)
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is such a sweet children's book. Creepy mortuary + invention in the style of Gaiman, and Lemony Snickett, with the storytelling style of Nevermoor.
Heather
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh my gosh, this book was brimming with voice!!! Although Walter Mortinson was the main character (and such a loveable one at that), some chapters were told from other characters’ perspectives, and through them all Sosna-Spear threaded the quirky and strange. I loved reading every sentence and feeling the rhythm of the words and the build-up of the story.

With their own hopes held tight, Walter and Cordelia (a former and maybe-again friend) followed a path running parallel to his parents so many
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Kelli Gleiner
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
The right mix of fantasy and reality for me. Sadness creeps throughout the book, winding through some very beautiful moments.
The Vivid descriptions of inventions and places set my imagination reeling at times.
My only criticism is that it wrapped up sort of neatly and quickly.
Amie's Book Reviews
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Debut author Quinn Sosna-Spear has a hit on her hands with THE REMARKABLE INVENTIONS OF WALTER MORTINSON.

With an imagination equalling that of iconic children's author Roald Dahl, and emotional intelligence commensurate to that of BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA author, Katherine Paterson, this exceptional middle-grade book is destined to be at the top of multiple BestSeller lists.

Firstly, I have to mention the awe-inspiring cover art. There is no way that any reader will be able to walk past that cover
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Katarina
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heartwarming and hilarious, this book offers delightful adventures, charming characters, fantastic inventions, and beautiful reflections on grief, death, and mental illness. In classic Quinn fashion, the heartbreaking moments are balanced with a wit that will bring readers old and young alike some laughter, some insight, some joy, and some comfort.
Lindsey
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’ll admit that one of the reasons I requested this book, besides my quest to encourage a love of reading in my youngest (I’ve given up on the oldest), was the eye-catching artwork design on the cover of this tween-novel.

This magical debut novel targeted for the Middle School sector was released today! It is a well-written story with elements of mystery, adventure, family, friendship, acceptance, love, loss, and healing. Set in an incredibly fantastical land with enchantingly descriptive
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Teresa Grabs
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sosna-Spear's book is a roller coaster ride through Walter's life. Driven by a need to invent, Walter tries to escape the very thing he can't - himself. The ending is very touching. While the book will not be for everyone, anyone who has wished they could change the past will relate to Walter.
Angela
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Walter Mortinson is a unique boy in a town where being unique is not a good thing. Walter is an inventor. While searching for his own identity and a connection to his late father, Walter finds friendship, love, and the real meaning of family.

Walter Mortinson’s father, Maxwell, died when Walter was just four years old, but Maxwell’s creativity and inventiveness lived on in Walter. Unfortunately, Walter’s mother Hadorah was determined to quash all inventing and force Walter to be like everyone
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Vi
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had the incredible fortune to win the ARC of this book in a giveaway.
--

Our protagonist, Walter Mortinson, lives in the town of Moorsmouth, which is the living embodiment of the word "dreary." Smog literally obscures the vision of its inhabitants, for one. Walter's only enjoyment comes from his inventing, but unluckily for him, his mother is against his passion, calling it "dangerous" and pressuring him to pick up the family business and become a mortician. Cordelia, his next-door neighbor, is
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Aimee Leonhard
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
I picked this up yesterday from a group of ARCs solely because I liked the cover and I didn't have time to choose more than one. I decided to look it over while I ate lunch and I couldn't put it down. It definitely has that Goth/steampunk vibe but it is so much more. The characters are all multifaceted and I loved Walter and Cordelia the awkward almost 13 year olds. The inventions are fantastic and the towns remind me of the wizard of Oz books or Gullivers travels, not all Honey and magnolias. ...more
Darla
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were some really great things about this debut novel. The creativity of the butterfly balloon, the way Walter's journey mirrored that of his parents, his quest to win over Cordelia, and his indomitable spirit. Unfortunately, I did not love the book as much as I have works by Roald Dahl and Lemony Snicket. Walter was hailed as a successful inventor, but his room was such a disaster and I did not find the inventions he had completed to be at all appealing. At least in the Series of ...more
Kat
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: diverse, e-arc, excellent
The warmest of thank you's to NetGalley and the publisher of this novel.
What a wonderful and lovely book! I absolutely loved this and wasn't even sure when I requested it that I would have time to read it. I made the time and I'm so glad that I did. This novel is not to be missed!!!!
Kim McGee
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Walter is a boy inventor whose inventions sometimes don't quite work the way he hopes. His father is gone and his mother wants him to set aside this nonsense and become a mortician but that isn't what Walter wants. He sets out on a journey alongside his neighbor, Cordelia to become the apprentice of a famous inventor on Flaster Isle. Now, they just need to get there in one piece and have a few wild adventures along the way. The world will get a lot stranger, Cordelia will become a bit friendlier ...more
Jeanne Ferruolo
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“You know, your father always told me something, but I hardly ever agreed with him long enough to believe it: An invention never fails. You simply haven’t found the right use for it yet.”

Walter Mortinson has found his calling – he must invent. And invent he does, from a monocle that looks through paper to a mechanical rabbits (that seemingly brings the dead back to life). Problem is, his inventions are not appreciated – not at school, not at home, and certainly not in the town of Moormouth. So
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Katie Zhao
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It was such a pleasure getting to read this book early! Walter Mortinson is a boy with the desire to invent, who is told he should focus on being a mortician instead. This concept grabbed me from the get-go because I (and a lot of readers, I'm sure) have always grappled with following what my heart is telling me versus what my parents or society do. Cordelia, the girl Walter likes, is also very quirky...and let's just say their friendship takes a turn I didn't expect.

This book made me laugh out
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Gail Shepherd
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This remarkably inventive debut by Quinn Sosna-Spear is a delight. The fantasy landscape Sosna-Spear builds for her main character, Walter, an irrepressible inventor with a sad family backstory (a dried-up shrew of a mother, a mysteriously missing father), is slightly surreal and always humorous. Walter’s madcap inventions often don’t seem to have much use--a walking rabbit skeleton? A comb that changes your hair color? But that’s all part of the wild ride on this adventure—an adventure that ...more
Lisa Ramee
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've always enjoyed stories that are a bit off center and this book definitely fits the bill. It's just whacky enough to entice you and draw you in and before you know it's happening, you're caught up in themes of acceptance and loss and courage. The book is surprising and inspiring. I rooted for the main character throughout even while I wasn't exactly sure what I was rooting for exactly. That is to say, I didn't know what I hoped for him, but I knew I wanted him to succeed in a way that would ...more
Tiffany Martin
Feb 16, 2019 rated it liked it
At first, i simply found this book odd and wondered if I could get anything from it (except how weird it is). However, as it all unfolded, I was impressed with how it touches on the delicate subjects of life, death, and our lives following a death. While I didn't dislike it, it was still not really for me but I do appreciate it for what it was.
Lars Stuyts
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I write this review after receiving an ARC from Netgalley for my honest review. The book was wonderful, a mix of fantasy and fiction that mesmerized me the whole time spent reading it. My only criticism would be that I felt it’s ending came too quick, the book could have gone on and on. My habit is not to offer a synopsis but I will say that if you love Neil Gaiman books? This is for you!
Engel Dreizehn
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
ARC Copy...I liken the imagination and inventive wonder of the world itself especially the seemingly impossible inventions shown to Walter...we totally need a paint by slumber invention to paint actual dreams!
Tory
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019, middle-years
Too zany and quirky for me. As another reviewer said, it relies way too much on crazy locations and situations -- the plot is lackluster and the voice was inconsistent. I ended up skimming the last third because I was tired of the characters.
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Hello, I'm Quinn and I like magic.

I wrote a book called "The Remarkable Inventions of Walter Mortinson." It has quite a bit of magic in it, so I think it's pretty good (I hope you like it too).

You can read it April 2, 2019, from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.