Leonardo's Shadow: Or, My Astonishing Life as Leonardo Da Vinci's Servant

Christopher Grey, Author Atheneum Books $16.95 (394p) ISBN 978-1-4169-0543-1
This exciting first novel, set in 1497 Milan, Italy, revolves around Leonardo da Vinci and the painting of his masterpiece, The Last Supper. ""It's not an easy life, a servant's. You'll see,"" promises teenage narrator Giacomo, who knows whereof he speaks, as a servant to the Renaissance master himself. Shopkeepers continually demand payment for goods and the Duke of Milan insists that da Vinci finish the painting he's been working on for the past two years-until then he goes unpaid. Da Vinci, however, seems more interested in his notebooks and secret experiments than in painting (""Days will pass and the Master is nowhere to be found!""). Through Giacomo's often comical narrative, first-time author Grey relates the ups and downs of looking after a genius. Giacomo (who suffered a memory loss in a serious fall) does not know anything about his life before coming to reside with da Vinci. As Giacomo struggles to help the Master finish the painting, he tries to find answers to his own past (which he hopes will connect him to da Vinci) while striving to one day apprentice to the Master. Filled with humor, readers will enjoy the many descriptions of the painting of The Last Supper and of da Vinci's eccentricity. Ages 12-up.
Reviewed on: 09/25/2006
Release date: 09/01/2006
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-4391-1564-0
Paperback - 390 pages - 978-1-4169-0544-8
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