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Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyesby Jonathan Auxier
Synopses & Reviews
This much-anticipated follow-up to Jonathan Auxier’s exceptional debut, Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, is a Victorian ghost story with shades of Washington Irving and Henry James. More than just a spooky tale, it’s also a moral fable about human greed and the power of storytelling.
The Night Gardener follows two abandoned Irish siblings who travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious spectre and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives. With Auxier’s exquisite command of language, The Night Gardener is a mesmerizing read and a classic in the making.
Praise for The Night Gardener
"Lots of creepiness, memorable characters, a worthy message, Auxier’s atmospheric drawings and touches of humor amid the horror make this cautionary tale one readers will not soon forget."
--Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Storytelling and the secret desires of the heart wind together in this atmospheric novel that doubles as a ghost tale."
--School Library Journal, starred review
"Auxier achieves an ideal mix of adventure and horror, offering all of it in elegant, atmospheric language that forces the reader to slow down a bit and revel in both the high-quality plot and the storytelling itself."
--Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
"All proper scary stories require a spooky, menacing atmosphere, and Auxier (Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes) delivers the goods with his precise descriptions of the gothic setting and teasing hints of mystery and suspense."
--The Horn Book Magazine
Summer 2014 Kids' Indie Next List
"Debut author Auxier spins a lively, magical adventure led by 10-year-old Peter Nimble, a blind orphan and 'the greatest thief who ever lived.' Peter has always had to fend for himself, and after five grueling years of working for a heartless beggarmonger and perfecting his burgling skills, he uncovers a box filled with three sets of stone eyes: gold, onyx, and emerald. The first set transports him to a hidden island where the psychic Professor Cake awaits. The professor provides Peter with a companion (Sir Tode, a half-cat, half-horse knight) and a mission: to solve a riddle and save the Vanished Kingdom from an evil king. Peter and Sir Tode set sail unarmed, aside from their kind natures, faith that the eyes will guide them, and Peter's skill at picking locks ('He considered every lock to be a personal challenge. By definition, locks are designed to tell you what you can't do'). At times the omniscient narrator can feel overly precious, but the fast-paced, episodic story, accompanied by Auxier's occasional pen-and-ink drawings, is inventive, unpredictable, and — like its hero — nimble. Ages 10 — up. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is the utterly beguiling tale of a blind 10-year-old orphan who has been schooled in a life of thievery. One fateful afternoon, he steals a box from a mysterious traveling haberdasher—a box that contains three pairs of magical eyes. When he tries the first pair, he is instantly transported to a hidden island, where he is presented with a special quest: to travel to the dangerous Vanished Kingdom and rescue a people in need. Along with his loyal sidekick—a knight who has been turned into an unfortunate combination of horse and cat—and the magic eyes, he embarks on an unforgettable, swashbuckling adventure to discover his true destiny.
Praise for Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes
“I absolutely loved this book…As soon as I read the opening lines of the book, I was hooked.” – WIRED’s Geed Dad blog
“Auxier has a juggler’s dexterity with prose that makes this fantastical tale quicken the senses.” – Kirkus
“The fast-paced, episodic story, accompanied by Auxier's occasional pen-and-ink drawings, is inventive, unpredictable, and--like its hero--nimble.” – Publishers Weekly
“Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is as delightful a magical story as readers ages 9-14 will hope to find. Wholly captivating.” – The Wall Street Journal’s Bookshelf
“In his debut novel, Auxier writes a charmingly well written story with a dark edge and entertaining twists in language and plot to capture and keep the attention of even the most reluctant reader.” – Library Media Connection
Awards and Honors:
2011 ABC New Voices Project Choice
2011 BookPage Best Book of 2011, Middle Grade
Raised to be a thief, blind orphan Peter Nimble, age ten, steals from a mysterious stranger three pairs of magical eyes, that lead him to a hidden island where he must decide to become a hero or resume his life of crime.
About the Author
Jonathan Auxier, raised in Canada, now lives with his wife in Pittsburgh, where he works as a screenwriter. This is his first novel. Visit him online at www.TheScop.com.
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