The Cabinet of Wonders

By Marie Rutkoski
(Farrar Straus Giroux, Hardcover, 9780374310264, 258pp.)

Publication Date: August 5, 2008

List Price: $16.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Fall 2008 Kids' List
“This is a book to get lost in, to explore with curiosity and delight. Upon completion of the world's finest astronomical clock, Peter Kronos, is betrayed by the prince who commissioned it, blinded, and sent home. His daughter, Petra, sets out to retrace her father's journey and reclaim his eyes. An examination of the true meaning of blindness -- and an exciting start to a promising new series featuring a heroine with magic and spunk.”
-- Emily D. Pardo, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL


Description

Petra Kronos has a simple, happy life. But it's never been ordinary. She has a pet tin spider named Astrophil who likes to hide in her snarled hair and give her advice. Her best friend can trap lightning inside a glass sphere. Petra also has a father in faraway Prague who is able to move metal with his mind. He has been commissioned by the prince of Bohemia to build the world's finest astronomical clock. Petra's life is forever changed when, one day, her father returns home - blind. The prince has stolen his eyes, enchanted them, and now wears them. But why? Petra doesn't know, but she knows this: she will go to Prague, sneak into Salamander Castle, and steal her father's eyes back. Joining forces with Neel, whose fingers extend into invisible ghosts that pick locks and pockets, Petra finds that many people in the castle are not what they seem, and that her father's clock has powers capable of destroying their world.

This startling debut novel, about the risks we take to protect those we love, brims with magic, political intrigue, and heroism.

"The Cabinet of Wonders" is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.




About the Author
Marie Rutkoski is the author of The Kronos Chronicles, including "The Cabinet of Wonders" and "The Celestial Globe". "The Cabinet of Wonders", her debut novel, was named an Indie Next Kids' List Great Read and a Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, among other honors. Rutkoski grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), as the oldest of four children. She attended the University of Iowa, where she took Writers' Workshop classes and studied with Pulitzer Prize-winner James Alan McPherson. After graduating, she lived in Moscow and Prague. Upon receiving her Ph.D. from Harvard University, she held dual appointments as a lecturer there in both English and American Literature and Language, and History and Literature. Rutkoski is currently a professor at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Renaissance Drama, children's literature and creative writing. She lives in New York City with her husband and cat.
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