by Lissa Evans
270 pages of prestidigitation, puzzles and illusion – an entertaining middle grade read
Stuart Horten is an only child. His parents, though clever, are not fully involved in Stuart’s comings and goings. His mom is a scientist and his dad creates crosswords. They have their things and Stuart has his – lots of friends, a great yard, a bike, a tree house, and a pond to explore. Life was pretty good until his mom got a new job, his dad discovered that the job was near his old hometown and it being the end of the school year the Hortens could easily move. Suddenly the boy who had everything with the whole summer ahead of him, found he had nothing with the whole summer ahead of him.
Stuart did still have his bike, but he had nowhere to go, no friends to be with and nothing at all to do. Out of boredom Stuart went for a walk with his dad. That walk was the beginning of journey into history, into magic and into a different dimension of time and space. On that walk Stuart learned of a great uncle who had disappeared. He learned that this man had been an accomplished magician – not the have fun at a birthday party kind, but the amaze and dazzle a full theater kind. And he learned that he had left his father one last present. It was a money box that was MUCH more than it seemed.
Not long after Stuart had made those first discoveries, he got a call on a phone, no longer connected, leaving him with a cryptic message. He couldn’t resist and decided to follow up on it going as far as he could. This begins Stuart’s amazing adventure. It gets more mysterious and dangerous with each step. It is exciting and fun. Read Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms – Magic, Mystery and a Very Strange Adventure to find out if Stuart is the right sort of boy to unravel a fifty year old mystery and discover the difference between illusion and true magic before it is all lost forever.