The Apothecary

Maile Meloy, illus. by Ian Schoenherr. Putnam, $16.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-399-25627-1
When the House Committee on Un-American Activities targets Janie’s television writer parents, the 14-year-old and her family flee from Los Angeles to London. There, Janie meets Benjamin, a “defiant” classmate, and his father, the neighborhood apothecary, who is involved in much more than hot water bottles and aspirin. In fact, he is part of a long line of apothecaries who have discovered miraculous secrets—truth serums, invisibility, amazing physical transformations—and he is now working with scientists on an incredible plan that has global ramifications with regard to the escalating tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States. Some readers may need to brush up on cold war history to fully appreciate the stakes, but even those with a vague understanding of the times will be quickly swept up in this thoroughly enjoyable adventure, filled with magic, humor, memorable characters, and just a bit of sweet romance. With evocative, confident prose and equally atmospheric spot art from Schoenherr, adult author Meloy’s first book for young readers is an auspicious one. Readers will hope they haven’t heard the last from Janie and Benjamin. Ages 10–up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/05/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
Show other formats
Hardcover - 435 pages - 978-1-4104-4504-9
Paperback - 353 pages - 978-0-14-242206-9
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-84939-972-2
Open Ebook - 437 pages - 978-1-921834-76-9
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-101-53574-5
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-101-53444-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-61176-009-5
Prebound-Glued - 353 pages - 978-0-606-35712-8
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