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03 January 2015

Jonathan Auxier's Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes

A well-written book is a well-written book regardless of who it's written for. It is exactly this reason why I have so many "middle-grade" books on my "Want-To-Read" shelf on GoodReads ... and exactly this reason why I chose Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes as my first official read of 2015 (and the "A" for my A to Z challenge).
Like an awful lot of books, lately, I first heard about Peter Nimble thanks to a GoodReads recommendation. They seem to know me well.

Peter Nimble is a ten-year old blind orphan who was raised horribly by a despicable man with a rotten temper and a rotten dog in a port town .... somewhere. Peter was raised to be a thief and has an incredible talent for it. Because of his blindness, all of his other senses work remarkably well and he can hear and smell like no one else.

One night he is out picking pockets in a crowd otherwise preoccupied with a man selling "magical" hats. Peter can smell riches. When he comes close to the man's wagon he smells something that he can't resist. Even though the wagon is covered in a variety of locks, once Peter is left alone with the wagon he is able to break in (I told you -- he has an incredible talent for thievery). He finds the smell coming from a small box which he takes off with and then the fun truly begins.

I really don't want to say too much about what the "fun" entails, but here's a brief tease:

  • near-death experiences
  • magical islands
  • vanishing kingdoms
  • more thieves
  • more orphans
  • talking birds, fish, apes, beetles, and this:

There's magic and science and science disguised as magic and goodness and evil and laughs and tears. 

It's a lengthy book (the paperback has 400 pages according to Amazon), but a pretty fast read since once I started I did very little else. I just HAD to know what was going to happen next! It's like Dickens heads to Narnia by passing through the Phantom Tollbooth and stops by A Swiftly Tilting Planet on the way.

You can read the first chapter at the book's website but you may want to hold off and just get the book. You might not want to stop after the first chapter is done. I have the ebook right now but have every intention of buying the physical book-book soon. In a year or so I fully expect that John will be reading it. Even though he's okay with ebooks, some books you just have to own "for real."


Amazon Link:

from GoodReads:

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