cover image A Perilous Journey of Danger and Mayhem: A Dastardly Plot

A Perilous Journey of Danger and Mayhem: A Dastardly Plot

Christopher Healy. Walden Pond, $16.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-234197-6

In this timely historical adventure set in 1883 New York City, a female duo attempts to break into a male-dominated field and stumbles across a fiendish plan concocted by a ruthless mad scientist. All that 12-year-old Molly Pepper wants is for her brilliant mother, Cassandra, to be accepted by the Inventors’ Guild and its leaders—Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell. While trying to secure themselves an exhibition space in the upcoming World’s Fair, Molly and Cassandra discover that Bell is plotting to destroy the city with a secret army of robotic death machines. With the help of Bell’s assistant, Emmett, the mother-daughter team joins up with the Mothers of Invention to thwart Bell’s (or is it Edison’s?) evil schemes. Plot twists and banter hit at breakneck speeds in this heartfelt yet tongue-in-cheek look at the tumultuous Age of Invention, and its focus on two often marginalized groups—immigrants and women—allows for relevant social commentary. While Healy (The Hero’s Guide series) takes a few liberties with history, his inclusion of real inventors may inspire further reading about their lives and contributions. Ages 8–12. Agent: Cheryl Pientka, Jill Grinberg Literary Management. (Sept.)