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Stuart Horten and his family have recently moved back to his father s childhood hometown, and Stuart discovers that his family has played quite an important role in local history Stuart solves the mystery of his missing great uncle Teeny Tiny Tony Horten and makes a great friend along the way Full of great language and vocabulary, the story plays out with wit and style I especially liked Leonora and her seeing eye dog, and the villainess reminded me of Cruella deVil Fun I ve already requested the sequel This is the Great Unexpected Dangerous story of the great magician Tony Horten, the mysterious circumstances of his disappearance and the quest that a young boy undergoes to find the magician s missing workshop and its miraculous mechanisms.The unlikely hero of this story is a small for his age 10 year old boy named him Stuart Horten by his very smart yet not entirely sensible parents With a name that could be shortened to S Horten, Stuart, who is indeed a child very small for his age, is granted the nickname shorten by his friends.In any case, in spite of that, Stuart s life is pretty good what with a bike with eight gears and a garden with a tree house and a pond until his not entirely sensible parents decide to move away to a small town where his father s family used to live This is done at the worst possible time ever, meaning at the of the summer holidays when as any sensible person would know it is basically impossible for anyone to make new friends.Luckily for Stuart, the move leads to the beginning of an awesome Adventure with capital A as he finds himself solving the literal puzzle of his as it turns out Great Uncle Tony s disappearance with the aid of the his new neighbours, the triplets April, May and June.Small Change for Stuart is a super fun read vastly entertaining and smart From the clues Stuart must solve to the mechanisms that his uncle has built, it is all very cleverly done That, combined with other threats woven into the story, like Stuart s relationship with his older parents, his trips to the library to research the past, a tragic or it is love story, just make this little book all the engaging to older readers as well as kids.But what really tipped the book into awesome territory for me are two things First, the friendship that develops between Stuart and the triplets most of all with April I loved how at first, Stuart finds them completely alien and scary The trio run their own newspaper and each kid has a journalistic role to perform and that in itself is a hoot but also show to Stuart how clever they are and eventually he sees them as allies in his adventures In fact, April becomes the Brains of the operation and Stuart begrudgingly at first admires her for that.Second, this book acknowledges the fact that 10 year olds live in a universe of their own There is a very serious moment in the novel in which Stuart has to think about his heart s desire and it is no surprise that Stuart s entire universe boils down to the fact that he is short There is a really interesting balance between the gravitas and importance of this admittedly self absorbed moment to Stuart at the same time that it shows his decision to do the Right Thing to everybody I love these moments of True Growth in children s books especially when the story is still simply fun.From the adorable opening to the surprising ending Small Change for Stuart is a great MG book Glad I found it. Fun Reviewed by Rusty Key Writer Becca WorthingtonRecommended for Boys and girls, ages 8 and upOne Word Summary Mesmerizing My father used to do magic tricks at my siblings and my birthday parties when we were little It was basic, beginner stuff pick a card any card, guess which tiny cup the fluff ball is under, sleight of hand type novelty tricks but it won us over nonetheless We sat there year after year, a group of enthralled and entranced elementary schoolers on a green shag carpet, gawking up at this bearded magician extraordinaire, as he pulled a quarter from his mouth that we had distinctly watched him tuck under his shoe just a moment before There is something about magic It captures the imaginations of children and adults alike, from clowns piling endlessly out of a circus car to David Blaine levitating and David Copperfield making the Statue of Liberty disappear In whatever guise, it inspires the question, Why do we love to believe in magic so much Is it simply because it s entertaining Or is it because our creativity is triggered and intrigued by the unknown Or could it be perhaps because we all truly, deep down, think that if a live rabbit can be pulled from a top hat, nose wiggling, then anything is possible that if I pick the right card from this magician s hand right now, the possibilities for my life and my destiny are limitless The wildly inventive middle grade novel Horten s Miraculous Mechanisms by Lissa Evans reads like one giant, fantastic, eye bulging magic show It relays impressive tricks, careful never to show its hand until the right moment It inspires, it dazzles, and it could happen to any one of us at any given time or so it would be and is absolutely delightful to think.Stuart Horten is a ten year old boy so short he is constantly mistaken for an eight year old When his parents a bustlingly busy doctor mother and a nerdy crossword puzzle writer father decide to move to his father s tiny hometown of Beeton in the English countryside, Stuart is horrified There is nothing to do in miserablelittle Beeton except poke around crumbling historical museums listening to lectures on ancient artifacts That, and try to avoid the nosy next door triplets, April, May and June, who seem determined to uncover the dirt on Stuart and publish an expose of his life in their homemade newspaper But that is all about to change, starting with the discovery of a little box One dull morning at home with his father, Stuart accidently unlocks a trick coin box with a secret compartment that holds a handful of old coins and a note The note is from his missing uncle, Teeny Tiny Tony Horton, a notoriously skilled local magician who disappeared under mysterious circumstances several decades before On his way to the town library to dig up information on the disappearance, Horton realizes he is being followed by the triplets He ducks into a phone booth to escape, and out of curiosity, he puts one of the old coins into the phone slot before realizing that the phone cord is entirely severed, hanging lifeless and disconnected Disappointed, he opens the booth to leave, and the phone rings The voice on the other end of the line asks to speak to him Stuart s summer is about to get a lot interesting.Horten s Miraculous Mechanisms is a thoughtfully crafted and wonderfully told tale of an ordinary child who is in for the magical ride of his life The first in what promises to be an extraordinary series, this charming debut gives its readers puzzles to solve, characters to enjoy, jokes to chuckle at, and smart twists to keep readers on their toes If you like magic, you will breeze through this book faster than Houdini can escape an underwater straightjacket Faster even, perhaps, than my father can pull a quarter from behind my ear And that, my friends, is an impressive trick.For reviews, author interviews, reading lists, and feature articles from The Rusty Key, visit us at www.therustykey.com As a school teacher I see soooo many possibilities to integrate with this book While reading we could dive into a study on family history, locate primary documents, write memoirs from the point of view of a relative or fictional memoirs So many ideas running through my head as I read I also loved the pace of the book It is fast paced and exciting making a very fun read aloud Excited to read the sequel. This is a fun book which contains pretty much what it says on the tin magic, mystery and a very strange adventure.Stuart moves with his family to his father s childhood town of Beeton, much against his will When there, he finds out some things about his family including the fact that his great uncle was a magician of the prestidigitation variety Half by accident, Stuart is set on a journey to discover the lost workshop of his uncle, coming across mysterious clues in a National Treasure type quest.As will happen, along the way he encounters allies and enemies, and it becomes a race against time and each other to see if Stuart can gather the clues and find the workshop before its lost forever.I liked the characters, though I found Jeanie, the main villain, a bit overdone Then again, I found the annoying, bossy, nosy triplets a bit overdone, too, but they grew on me especially April, as she s the largest part of the story.I was going to bump it up to 3.5 stars, but I found the ending both a bit rushed and overly convenient That said, I m not sure things are as wrapped up as they may seem.I ll most likely look into the next in the series at some point. I enjoyed this story about a boy named Horten who moves back to his ancestors hometown and discovers a mystery waiting for him His great uncle had been a magician, and his workshop was never discovered but Horten has found a few clues that might lead him to it I was strongly reminded of the Magic series by Bosch The Name of This Book is Secret and sequels , a little bit of Grabenstein s Escape from Mr Lemoncello s Library, and a little of Patrick Carman s Floors. *DOWNLOAD KINDLE ⇜ Small Change for Stuart ↲ Stuart Horten Ten Years Old And Small For His Age Moves To The Dreary Town Of Beeton, Far Away From All His Friends And Then He Meets His New Next Door Neighbours, The Unbreable Kingley Triplets, And Things Get Even WorseBut In Beeton Begins The Strangest Adventure Of Stuart S LifeHe Is Swept Up In A Quest To Find His Great Uncle S Lost Workshop A Work Shop Stuffed With Trickery Magic There Are Clues To Follow And Puzzles To Solve, But What Starts As Fun Ends Up As Danger, And Stuart Begins To Realize That He Can T Finish The Task By Himself Brilliant Love the coins and the machines Love the triplets that live next door Love that the only books that I pick up believing to be one offs turn into series Here s hoping for a great couple of books to come I LOVE THIS BOOK This was fantastically reminiscent of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and even Coraline I cannot say enough how well written, developed, and intriguing this book was to me, and I can t wait to share it with a child or family.