Read Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms: Magic, Mystery,a Very Strange Adventure by Lissa Evans Online


The exciting launch title of Sterling's middle-grade fiction list:HORTEN'S MIRACULOUS MECHANISMS  Enter a wonderful world filled with real magic, mystery … and danger.As if being small for his age and also having S. Horten as his name isn't bad enough, now 10-year-old Stuart is forced to move far away from all his friends. But on his very first day in his new home, StuartThe exciting launch title of Sterling's middle-grade fiction list:HORTEN'S MIRACULOUS MECHANISMS Enter a wonderful world filled with real magic, mystery … and danger.As if being small for his age and also having S. Horten as his name isn't bad enough, now 10-year-old Stuart is forced to move far away from all his friends. But on his very first day in his new home, Stuart's swept up in an extraordinary adventure: the quest to find his great-uncle Tony--a famous magician who literally disappeared off the face of the earth--and Tony's marvelous, long-lost workshop.  Along the way, Stuart reluctantly accepts help from the annoying triplets next door… and encounters trouble from another magician who's also desperate to get hold of Tony's treasures.A quirky, smart, charming page-turner, Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms will enchant young readers--as well as teachers, librarians, and parents. ...

Title : Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms: Magic, Mystery,a Very Strange Adventure
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781402798061
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms: Magic, Mystery,a Very Strange Adventure Reviews

  • Darth J
    2018-12-16 04:13

    Good for teachers, Meh for entertainmentI really liked the premise and the illustrations are charming, but this just was too dry to really enjoy. I can see teachers picking this up for a class read because kids can learn new words via the crossword creator father, but that character is actually pretty obnoxious the more you get into the book; like he seems like the dumb friend you have who got a word-a-day calendar and is trying to impress you but is just really inefficient with keeping a conversation going because they have to define each new word they've learned.The mother, who is a doctor is basically nonexistent so the audience is treated to a set of three wannabe Nancy Drews/gossip columnist neighbors as the female leads. While they have gumption, they are also pretty annoying because they are so nosy. You actually want to smack them more than the kid in the Babadook.While each chapter is only a few pages long, for some reason the pace dragged. I think because the characters and plot are so bland that it just never got interesting enough to keep me motivated.There's more references to props than the stage magic, and when ~real~ magic shows up it's in the last few pages and is pretty wobbly-wobbly, timey-whimey. It just seemed like a major letdown.

  • Becky Loader
    2018-11-26 01:13

    Stuart Horten and his family have recently moved back to his father's childhood hometown, and Stuart discovers that his family has played quite an important role in local history. Stuart solves the mystery of his missing great-uncle Teeny-Tiny Tony Horten and makes a great friend along the way. Full of great language and vocabulary, the story plays out with wit and style. I especially liked Leonora and her seeing-eye dog, and the villainess reminded me of Cruella deVil. Fun! I've already requested the sequel...

  • Wart Hill
    2018-12-14 01:12


  • The Rusty Key
    2018-11-30 05:47

    Reviewed by Rusty Key Writer: Becca WorthingtonRecommended for: Boys and girls, ages 8 and upOne Word Summary: Mesmerizing. My father used to do magic tricks at my siblings’ and my birthday parties when we were little. It was basic, beginner stuff—pick a card any card, guess which tiny cup the fluff ball is under, sleight-of-hand-type novelty tricks—but it won us over nonetheless. We sat there year after year, a group of enthralled and entranced elementary schoolers on a green shag carpet, gawking up at this bearded magician extraordinaire, as he pulled a quarter from his mouth that we had distinctly watched him tuck under his shoe just a moment before!There is something about magic. It captures the imaginations of children and adults alike, from clowns piling endlessly out of a circus car to David Blaine levitating and David Copperfield making the Statue of Liberty disappear. In whatever guise, it inspires the question, “Why do we love to believe in magic so much?”Is it simply because it’s entertaining? Or is it because our creativity is triggered and intrigued by the unknown? Or could it be perhaps because we all truly, deep down, think that if a live rabbit can be pulled from a top hat, nose wiggling, then anything is possible; that if I pick the right card from this magician’s hand right now, the possibilities for my life and my destiny are limitless?The wildly inventive middle-grade novel Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms by Lissa Evans reads like one giant, fantastic, eye-bulging magic show. It relays impressive tricks, careful never to show its hand until the right moment. It inspires, it dazzles, and it could happen to any one of us at any given time—or so it would be (and is) absolutely delightful to think.Stuart Horten is a ten-year-old boy so short he is constantly mistaken for an eight-year-old. When his parents—a bustlingly busy doctor mother and a nerdy crossword puzzle writer father—decide to move to his father’s tiny hometown of Beeton in the English countryside, Stuart is horrified. There is nothing to do in miserablelittle Beeton except poke around crumbling historical museums listening to lectures on ancient artifacts. That, and try to avoid the nosy next-door triplets, April, May and June, who seem determined to uncover the dirt on Stuart and publish an expose of his life in their homemade newspaper. But that is all about to change, starting with the discovery of a little box. One dull morning at home with his father, Stuart accidently unlocks a trick coin box with a secret compartment that holds a handful of old coins and a note. The note is from his missing uncle, Teeny Tiny Tony Horton, a notoriously skilled local magician who disappeared under mysterious circumstances several decades before. On his way to the town library to dig up more information on the disappearance, Horton realizes he is being followed by the triplets. He ducks into a phone booth to escape, and out of curiosity, he puts one of the old coins into the phone slot before realizing that the phone cord is entirely severed, hanging lifeless and disconnected. Disappointed, he opens the booth to leave, and the phone rings. The voice on the other end of the line asks to speak to him. Stuart’s summer is about to get a lot more interesting.Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms is a thoughtfully crafted and wonderfully told tale of an ordinary child who is in for the magical ride of his life. The first in what promises to be an extraordinary series, this charming debut gives its readers puzzles to solve, characters to enjoy, jokes to chuckle at, and smart twists to keep readers on their toes. If you like magic, you will breeze through this book faster than Houdini can escape an underwater straightjacket. Faster even, perhaps, than my father can pull a quarter from behind my ear. And that, my friends, is an impressive trick.For more reviews, author interviews, reading lists, and feature articles from The Rusty Key, visit us at

  • TheBookSmugglers
    2018-11-15 23:15

    This is the Great! Unexpected! Dangerous! story of the great magician Tony Horten, the mysterious circumstances of his disappearance and the quest that a young boy undergoes to find the magician’s missing workshop and its miraculous mechanisms.The unlikely hero of this story is a (small for his age) 10-year-old boy named him Stuart Horten by his very smart yet not entirely sensible parents. With a name that could be shortened to S. Horten, Stuart, who is indeed a child very small for his age, is granted the nickname shorten by his friends.In any case, in spite of that, Stuart’s life is pretty good (what with a bike with eight gears and a garden with a tree house and a pond) until his not entirely sensible parents decide to move away to a small town where his father’s family used to live. This is done at the worst possible time ever, meaning: at the of the summer holidays when (as any sensible person would know) it is basically impossible for anyone to make new friends.Luckily for Stuart, the move leads to the beginning of an awesome Adventure (with capital A) as he finds himself solving the (literal) puzzle of his (as it turns out) Great-Uncle Tony’s disappearance with the aid of the his new neighbours, the triplets April, May and June.Small Change for Stuart is a super fun read: vastly entertaining and smart. From the clues Stuart must solve to the mechanisms that his uncle has built, it is all very cleverly done. That, combined with other threats woven into the story, like Stuart’s relationship with his older parents, his trips to the library to research the past, a tragic (or it is) love story, just make this little book all the more engaging to older readers as well as kids.But what really tipped the book into awesome territory for me are two things. First, the friendship that develops between Stuart and the triplets (most of all with April). I loved how at first, Stuart finds them completely alien and scary. The trio run their own newspaper and each kid has a journalistic role to perform and that in itself is a hoot but also show to Stuart how clever they are and eventually he sees them as allies in his adventures. In fact, April becomes the Brains of the operation and Stuart (begrudgingly at first) admires her for that.Second, this book acknowledges the fact that 10-year-olds live in a universe of their own. There is a very serious moment in the novel in which Stuart has to think about his heart’s desire and it is no surprise that Stuart’s entire universe boils down to the fact that he is short. There is a really interesting balance between the gravitas and importance of this admittedly self-absorbed moment to Stuart at the same time that it shows his decision to do the Right Thing to everybody. I love these moments of True Growth in children’s books especially when the story is still simply fun.From the adorable opening to the surprising ending Small Change for Stuart is a great MG book. Glad I found it.

  • colleen the convivial curmudgeon
    2018-12-01 23:59

    This is a fun book which contains pretty much what it says on the tin - magic, mystery and a very strange adventure.Stuart moves with his family to his father's childhood town of Beeton, much against his will. When there, he finds out some things about his family - including the fact that his great-uncle was a magician of the prestidigitation variety. Half by accident, Stuart is set on a journey to discover the lost workshop of his uncle, coming across mysterious clues in a National Treasure type quest.As will happen, along the way he encounters allies and enemies, and it becomes a race against time and each other to see if Stuart can gather the clues and find the workshop before its lost forever.I liked the characters, though I found Jeanie, the main villain, a bit overdone. Then again, I found the annoying, bossy, nosy triplets a bit overdone, too, but they grew on me - especially April, as she's the largest part of the story.I was going to bump it up to 3.5 stars, but I found the ending both a bit rushed and overly convenient. That said, I'm not sure things are as wrapped up as they may seem.I'll most likely look into the next in the series at some point.

  • Kristen
    2018-11-19 05:05

    I enjoyed this story about a boy named Horten who moves back to his ancestors' hometown and discovers a mystery waiting for him. His great uncle had been a magician, and his workshop was never discovered... but Horten has found a few clues that might lead him to it. I was strongly reminded of the Magic series by Bosch (The Name of This Book is Secret and sequels), a little bit of Grabenstein's Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, and a little of Patrick Carman's Floors.

  • Audrey
    2018-11-29 04:49

    Brilliant. Love the coins and the machines. Love the triplets that live next door. Love that the only books that I pick up believing to be one-offs turn into series. Here's hoping for a great couple of books to come

  • Jen Mech
    2018-11-29 00:08

    I LOVE THIS BOOK! This was fantastically reminiscent of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and even Coraline. I cannot say enough how well written, developed, and intriguing this book was to me, and I can't wait to share it with a child or family.

  • Alexandra
    2018-12-04 02:54

    "Ich muss weg, und es kann sein, dass ich nicht mehr zurückkehre. Wenn ich nicht wiederkomme, gehört meine Werkstatt und alles, was sich darin befindet, dir - wenn du sie finden kannst. Und wenn du sie findest, dann bist du auch der Richtige dafür." Seite 5 / Vorspann + Seite 97 Inhalt:Der 10jährige Stuart Horton kann es nicht fassen: Verkünden ihm doch seine Eltern, dass sie - ausgerechnet auch noch zu Ferienbeginn - umziehen werden. In die verschlafene Stadt Beeton soll es gehen, in der sein Vater aufgewachsen ist. "Wie soll man den bitte in den Ferien andere Kinder kennenlernen?", fragt sich Stuart. Die lernt Stuart dann doch schneller kennen, als ihm lieb ist, denn im Nachbarhaus wohnen äußerst Neugierige und für seinen Geschmack auch äußerst aufdringliche Drillingsmädchen April, May & June Kingley, die Stuart auf Schritt und Tritt zu verfolgen scheinen.Doch eines Tages stößt Stuart auf eine geheimnisvolle Nachricht seines Großonkels, die zusammen mit acht Threepenny-Münzen in einer alten Schatulle versteckt waren, und er stellt voller Überraschung fest, dass Onkel Kenny ein berühmter Magier war - bis er eines Tages plötzlich spurlos verschwand. Nun ist Stuarts Neugierde natürlich geweckt und er beginnt, die Spuren seines Onkels zurückzuverfolgen.Mit überraschenden Ergebnissen!Handlung & Charaktere:Lissa Evans hat mit "Stuart Horten" ihr erstes Buch im Kinderbuch-Genre veröffentlicht und dies ist ihr mit Bravour gelungen. Dieses Erzählung ist so schön, so magisch, so fesselnd geschrieben, dass es mir die meiste Zeit ein Lächeln beim Lesen auf das Gesicht zauberte.Der Schreibstil ist völlig Kind- und Altersgerecht, die Sätze kurz und immer sehr verständlich geschrieben. Zumindest einmal abgesehen von den durchaus gewollt-komplizierten Wortspielereien von Stuart's Vater, einem begeisterten, wenn auch immer etwas geistesabwesenden Kreuzworträtsel-Autors. Aber zumeist werden diese Begriffe und Umschreibungen auch wieder innerhalb der nächsten ein oder zwei Sätze erklärt.Aber gerade dies ist ein gutes Beispiel für die geradezu bezaubernd dargestellten Charaktere. Denn hier bekommt nicht nur der Protagonist Stuart Leben eingehaucht - nein, Lissa Evans hat sich die Zeit genommen, allen Persönlichkeiten dieser Erzählung eine Besonderheit, einen ganz individuellen Charakter zu geben. Neben dem leicht skurrilen Vater wären da zum Beispiel noch die Nachbars-Drillinge, die zum Schreien komisch sind in ihrer Art und ihrem Auftreten - neugierig, naseweis und neunmalklug, und wenn es darauf ankommt, auch sehr tapfer, mutig und hilfsbereit.Oder zum Beispiel auch der etwas schusselige Magierlehrling, der im ersten Teil mehr nur eine Nebenrolle hat und trotzdem durch sein Auftreten dem Leser im Gedächtnis bleibt. Und natürlich Stuart selbst, der so liebevoll dargestellt ist, dass man ihn am liebsten knuddeln möchte :)Ein Junge, der für sein Alter um einiges zu klein ist und mit diesem Grössendefizit auch kämpfen muss - der sich aber deswegen nicht unterkriegen lässt und tapfer "seinen Mann" steht. Denn auf die Körpergrösse kommt es nicht immer an, dass beweist der kleine Stuart allen. Die Geschichte wird aus seiner Sicht erzählt und so darf der Leser ausgiebig an seinen Gedanken teilhaben, was ebenfalls immer wieder eine Freude ist, denn Stuart hat eine leicht ironische Art an sich, die einen immer wieder schmunzeln lässt.Stuarts Sommerferien entwickeln sich ganz unverhofft zu seinem größten Abenteuer - und was das Tollste ist: dieses Abenteuer steckt voller bezaubernder Magie. Und diese Magie geht direkt auf den Leser über. Man fiebert regelrecht mit dem kleinen Stuart mit und lässt sich nur allzu bereitwillig von dem tollen Abenteuer gefangen nehmen. Man möchte die ganze Zeit mitraten, mitsuchen, mithelfen - um endlich das Rätsel zu lösen und die magische Werkstatt zu finden. "Wenn etwas schließt, klickt oder dreht, dann steht Horton auf dem Gerät. Münze rein und mit einem Klick kommt ein Geschenk - aus der Horton-Fabrik" Seite 100 Mein persönliches Fazit:Lissa Evans Kinderbuchdebüt "Stuart Horten" hat mich von den ersten Seiten an völlig in seinen Bann gezogen und ich habe diese Erzählung regelrecht verschlungen. So wunderschön magisch und auch so spannend, dass ich es nicht aus der Hand legen konnte.Das Buch ist absolut kindgerecht und eine tolle Bereicherung für Kids, die sich gerne von der Magie verzaubern lassen und Lust auf ein tolles Abenteuer haben. Denn hier darf eifrig mitgerätselt und mitgefiebert werden. Und ich muss sagen, dies ist definitiv ein Kinderbuch, dass auch Erwachsenen immer wieder ein Lächeln aufs Gesicht zaubern wird.Auch ich freue mich nun sehr auf die Fortsetzung, die im Frühjahr 2013 erscheinen wird. Das Abenteuer um Stuart Horten und die magische Werkstatt geht weiter!

  • Cheryl
    2018-12-11 01:51

    Stuart Horten was in for a big surprise, when his parents informed him that they were moving. This was not good for Stuart. Summer time was about to start. This is definitely, not the right time to move for a ten year old, when school is out and he is the new kid. Who will he play with? With there is always his next door neighbors…the Kingley triplets…April, May, and June. They are quite interested in Stuart. Stuart finds a grand adventure when his stumbles upon a message from his Uncle urging Stuart to find his secret workshop. His uncle was a wonderful magician.I have an enjoyable time reading this book. This book made me feel like a little kid again. I was really trying hard to guess what Stuart’s Uncle was trying to tell him in his crypt messages and figure out the clues before Stuart did. Alas, this did not happen. Although, I had fun trying. At first, like Stuart, I was annoyed by the Kingley triplets but as I got to know them, I found they grew on me. Of course, April more because she had more face time in this book than her two sisters. Stuart shined in this book. He was shy and kind of nerdy but he was in his element trying to solve the riddle of his uncle’s workshop. I am interested to see what next adventure Stuart finds himself in.

  • Julesmarie
    2018-12-01 04:54

    This was a unique experience: this book was recommended to ME by a student instead of the other way around. He did warn me that I need to buy the second book, as well... I should have listened. This ends just where I expected it to really begin.This was a very fun, interesting read. Stuart is clever, adventurous and resourceful: a great character for my students to read about and try to relate to.I admit, though, that given the title I'd anticipated more of the miraculous mechanisms and less of the quest to find them. The whole book ended up being Stuart's attempts to discover the location of his great-uncle's workshop. Those attempts were fun to read about and Stuart leads the reader on some fun and interesting adventures along the way. But he doesn't actually FIND the workshop until right at the end.I'll be sure to prepare my students for that and to buy the second book so that they don't have the cliffhanger-esque feeling that I'm left with now while i wait for book #2.

  • Tara
    2018-12-09 00:16

    Small change for Stuart begins with Stuart’s family moving to a new town. Stuart finds life in the new town pretty boring. That is until; he begins his adventure to find his great uncle’s magic workshop. His next door neighbours, who are triplets, April, May and June, provide laughs with their different personalities and try and help Stuart. As Stuart is on his journey, he has to solve little puzzles which the reader can do at the same time. This book is accessible for all ages if they want a fun book to read. However, I found that with its simplistic words and plot it would make an ideal read for 8-10 year olds. The pace is great and keeps the story moving without losing out on the adventure. This is because of the great characters within the book and the mini cliff-hangers at the end of the chapters.

  • Flora Smith
    2018-12-13 03:59

    What a fun, cute book! This book is perfect for middle grade kids, ages 8-12, or for anyone who is still a kid at heart. Stuart Horten, S. Horten, who is smaller than most kids his age, has just moved to his dad's old hometown. Its summertime and Stuart knows no one in the neighborhood. He's feeling lost and lonely when he comes upon a family mystery. He learns that his great uncle Tony Horten was a magician that mysteriously disappeared. When he unexpectedly comes across the first in a series of clues he sets out to solve what happens. Along the way he makes friends, has an adventure, and learns you are more than your stature. This was such a fun story. Its a very light fun read that is perfect for kids and adults alike. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading more of Stuart's adventures.

  • Jessica at Book Sake
    2018-12-17 01:07

    Book Review (ARC)This was a pretty cute, quick read. I think that a lot of children will really enjoy the story and the Indiana Jones like clues that Stuart has to follow in order to find out the mystery behind his great-uncle Tony’s disappearance. There are clear cut good and bad characters and kids will have an easy time following along with who they are rooting for and who to watch out for.I do wish there was more of the triplets from next door. They don’t show up in full force many times, but they were so entertaining I missed them when they weren’t around. One of the triplets was in the story more than the others and luckily she held her own! Overall younger kids will be able to grasp the storyline and enjoy the magic and mystery.Reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.

  • Chelsea Couillard-Smith
    2018-12-16 00:12

    A fun mechanical mystery. A love a good clue trail, particularly one that has gone cold over time, and Horten was an engaging character to tag along with. The British, old-fashioned(ish) feel of the setting was also fun, and fit in perfectly with the history mystery revolving around magicians, disappearances, and clockwork secrets. However, I wish the ending hadn't been supernatural - I thought the emphasis on the mechanical would have led to a plausible explanation, but was disappointed by a sudden dose of time travel. The first in a series, future titles seem like they will continue to include a magical element, so I'm not sure I'll keep reading. It would be fun to spend more time with Horten and the triplets in that quaint little town - I'm just not sure I'm interested in following them anywhere else.

  • Jonathan
    2018-11-29 05:17

    Not sure if it has to do with the fact that I read this book aloud and it took me over a month to get through it, but this book fell way short. It started out very intriguing, with a mystery and clues to discover, but quickly became confusing and was not only hard for my class to keep track of, but myself as well. I'm not sure if I really understand how everything played out. The other part of the book that was lacking was an element of a lesson or a moral. It's there, but not very strong. The major plus however in this book was a huge set of vocabulary and lots of words that we were constantly discussing. Overall not the worst book ever to read aloud, but not going to go out on a limb to recommend it.

  • Jackie
    2018-11-26 00:12

    This book was one of those read it straight through stories. I just couldn't put it down until I had finished it. I've got 2 middle school age children who are now currently reading it and loving it just as much as I did when I was reading it. If you want a great story for your kids, I highly recommend this book. Stuart is one of those characters you just can't help but like and April is obviously a friend to him for life. I am also suggesting to my local library that they purchase this book for their shelves.

  • Danielle Heape
    2018-12-02 01:58

    As a school teacher I see soooo many possibilities to integrate with this book! While reading we could dive into a study on family history, locate primary documents, write memoirs from the point of view of a relative or fictional memoirs. So many ideas running through my head as I read! I also loved the pace of the book. It is fast paced and exciting ~ making a very fun read aloud! Excited to read the sequel.

  • Julie
    2018-12-09 22:06

    This book made me realize that I really do like mysteries - when they're well done. After all, it reminded me of another of my all-time favorites, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler!

  • Rebecca Sofferman
    2018-11-18 02:14

    A very fun, light mystery, with the quirky British humor I love so well! Was hoping it had more of a steampunk theme due to the cover, but that wasn't really the case. Still, worth a read for anyone who likes adventure stories with a hint of mystery and magic!

  • Ela
    2018-11-19 22:05

    A nice adventure for children but lacks depth that makes some childrens' books truly engaging and thought provoking.I don't think it deserves to be on the shortlist for the CILIP Carnegie award and certainly shouldn't win but it is amusing and good fun for 8-10 year olds.

  • Suzze Tiernan
    2018-11-18 21:47

    It's a mystery-adventure with a touch of magic. I will be recommending this book to any kids looking for a good mystery. A page-turner all the way!

  • Stacey
    2018-12-08 03:10

    I loved it! It was unexpected, and unusual, and fantastic. My husband read it aloud to me and my daughter. It was delightful and I recommend it to anyone.

  • Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
    2018-12-01 22:14

    This is not your typical mystery. It's quirky and smart, and I can't wait to booktalk it to all the schools in Hoover.

  • Donna
    2018-12-15 01:47

    I liked this book a lot. Reminded me of a Secret Series book for younger readers. First book of at least two. I look forward to reading the second installment this fall.

  • Erin Schyck
    2018-12-09 03:58

    Such a fun quick read. Great for older elementary and middle schoolers (though my 21 year old thought it was fun too!).

  • Sarah
    2018-12-05 05:52

    Great book. Mainly simple vocab but good plot.

  • Haim
    2018-12-13 03:52

    I enjoyed the Victorian era contraptions. I was hoping for less fantasy.

  • Debbie
    2018-11-18 22:15

    Loved this but the ending was a bit confusing. I THINK I understand what happened?