Sometimes, you just come across a read-aloud book that makes you think, Why didn’t I know about this one before? That’s how I felt as my son and I zoomed through Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms, a novel by Lissa Evans that is packed tight with lots of action, mystery and humor. The story revolves around 10-year-old Stuart Horten, whose family moves back to Stuart’s father’s hometown where a decades-long mystery about a great-uncle remains unresolved. Stuart resolves to resolve it. Using his wits and detective smarts, a help from an unlikely friend, Stuart slowly uncovers clues to the whereabouts of his famous magician uncle, Teeny Tiny Tony Horten, who disappeared one night long ago and whose workshop of magic remains a mystery.
I won’t give the story away, but my son was amped up for the clues that Stuart had to find and solve, and as soon as we were done with Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms, we were on our public library site, ordering the sequel, Horten’s Incredible Illusions. Evans does a nice job here of creating a believable character, setting the plot in motion, and even allowing us moments where we can suspend our disbelief about magic in the world in order to enjoy a good story.
Peace (in the sleight of hand),