Jan
11
2012

The Apothecary by Maile Meloy

Book Review: The Apothecary by Maile Meloy

 

Hello!  StorySnoops.com is here
with a fun book for middle grade kids of both genders.

 

Here is the story:

The year is 1952
and the Scott family has just moved from Los Angeles to London. It is there
that fourteen-year-old Janie meets a strange and mysterious apothecary and his
son Benjamin, a boy who stands up to authority and longs to become a spy. When
Benjamin’s father is kidnapped, Benjamin and Jamie must get to work solving the
secrets of his sacred book, the Pharmacopoeia, to find him. This proves to be a
challenge as they struggle to keep it out of the hands of their
enemies–Russian spies with nuclear weapons. Together, Janie and Benjamin test
and discover potions they never could have imagined while they race to save
Benjamin’s father and prevent total disaster.

Here is the scoop:

Gripping from
the first page, this book for middle graders is set during the Cold War. Janie
and her parents, who are TV writers, move to London after they are blacklisted
in Hollywood. There, she meets Benjamin and has a series of adventures
involving spies, magic, potions, lots of action, and a smidge of romance. Janie
and Benjamin are smart and likeable hero(ine)s that will appeal to middle
school kids. The book has beautiful illustrations throughout, which lend to its
charm. The Apothecary is one of those historical fiction books that
sneaks in a bit of history without being boring, and is in fact quite the
page-turner. It would make a great classroom selection or book report choice
because not only is it a great read, but also completely wholesome and
educational. Discussion could be had about the Cold War and the McCarthy Era.

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