The Thirteenth Hour

Quinn Sosna-Spear. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-5344-5188-9
In Sosna-Spear’s (The Remarkable Inventions of Walter Mortinson) second middle grade fantasy, Rosemary Marks, a presumed-white artistic and socially isolated sixth grader, has grown up on her aunt Jo’s stories about worlds where “magic looks like smoke.” But when Jo’s brain cancer returns and Jo disappears from the hospital, Rose learns that the stories are real. The worlds, accessible through a pocket watch, are divided by magically erected Walls, which are maintained by the Smoke Keepers: “the Walls need smoke to stay up. They’re made of smoke. So when a person is thrown into the Wall, all of that person’s smoke is sucked out.” Rose’s exploration of the worlds is interrupted when former friend and current bully Jeremiah is thrown into the Wall. As his life hangs in the balance, Rose must collect smoke from Kings and Queens of the worlds in order to destroy the Wall. Though secondary story lines, such as Rose’s relationship with her father, feel underdeveloped, the quick pacing and imaginative worlds will appeal. Ages 8–12. Agent: John Cusick, Folio Literary. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 08/26/2021
Release date: 10/01/2021
Genre: Children's
Book - 978-1-5344-5189-6
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-5344-5190-2
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