cover image The Apprentices

The Apprentices

Maile Meloy, illus. by Ian Schoenherr. Putnam, $16.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-399-16245-9

Set in 1954, this sequel to The Apothecary features the same fun, fast-moving formula as the first book, with charming characters and exciting intrigue mixed with a handful of magic. As this story opens, Janie, now 16, is alone at an elite American boarding school, unaware of the whereabouts of her first boyfriend, Benjamin, and his apothecary father. After she is wrongly expelled, she realizes she is the victim of a nefarious scheme, which again poses a threat to world peace. The elaborate but well-executed plot spans the globe as the heroes find their way back to each other. Readers are again treated to plenty of impressive alchemical wizardry along the way, including a powder Benjamin invents that gives its users the ability to see through someone else’s eyes, allowing for a sort of long-range communication. Schoenherr’s moody illustrations (not all seen by PW) add to the atmosphere of this magical (in multiple senses) story; readers will be glad to reconnect with these well-drawn characters and be grateful that Meloy leaves room for a third installment. Ages 10–up. Agent: Amanda Urban, ICM. (June)