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Printing presses ghosts good and bad patrol the streets statues speak rats read and librarians turn fluidly into cats And where a book The Key to the Secret City leads Teo straight into the heart of the danger that threatens to destr. Back in March I ran into this book during a children s and YA book sale I won t lie this book has the most beautiful cover art of any book I ve ever seen and that would be one hundred percent why I picked it up Even the end pages were gorgeousBut then I picked it up and read the blurb it was set in Venice One of my dream European cities Ok so the premise sounded like it had promise too but really I might have bought it anyhowVenice Pretty book soldIt s nice to have no real expectations about a book when you start I ve never seen this book in a bookstore before or since I picked up i grabbed the only copy at chapters and I ve never heard of the author or seen a review for this or any of her other books So it was a perfect clean slateThe first thing I noticed was what a distinctive and unusual voice it had Set over a few short days in June of 1899 this book is written with a lovely lilting prose that never talks down to it s readers The elouence of the two children is starkly contrasted by the supremely fun slang of the the mermaids Keep yer noggin mouf shut ye great dafty or My gib was atwitch I might of knowed it Human childer smell most peculiar I do declare freely Between the prose and the world Michelle Lovric has created I was uickly swept awayThe premise is simple Teodora and Lorenzo super great names must save Venice from the machinations of the evil Bajamonte Tiepolo seriously I need a bunch of cats that I can give some great old Italian names too Otherwise known as Il Traditore Bajamonte Tiepolo was banished from Venice for his crimes against Her in 1310 but his ghost is back for revenge and he is building a fierce some army of pirates ghosts vampire eels and a sea monster who can destroy the city of waterWith a great deal of action and adventure reams of fun characters honestly when is the last time you read about mermaids and the fascinating history of Venice itself it may have been impossible for Michelle Lovric to go astray with The Undrowned Child She s managed to create a very uniue story in the world of children s lit which considering the broad range out there is impressive in and of itselfObviously a huge lover of Venice she lives there herself these days the story also reads as a love letter to Venice I was already fascinated by Her colourful history and uniue setting but I think Michelle will inspire many others in a fascination with the floating cityAfter perusing her website I was surprised to learn The Undrowned Child will have a seuel A fully complete story in itself I m not sure what the next book will cover but I can t wait to find out The Mourning Emporium I m telling you this woman has a way with words another fab title is set to release November 4th in the states and December 15th in Canada how obnoxious It looks every bit as pretty as the first Unchained Melanie the streets statues speak rats read and librarians Olivias Luck turn fluidly into cats And where a book The Key Middle Class Problems to The City of London, Volume 2 the Secret City leads Teo straight into Ainsleys Ultimate Barbecue Bible the heart of How We Lived Then the danger Top Tips for Fussy Eaters that Winnie Davis threatens The Snake Mistake Mystery (The Great Mistake Mysteries to destr. Back in March I ran into The Loch Ness Mystery Reloaded this book during a children s and YA book sale I won The Tower t lie The Seeds of Time this book has The New Black the most beautiful cover art of any book I ve ever seen and Third Time Lucky (Oxford Blue, that would be one hundred percent why I picked it up Even Two Hours the end pages were gorgeousBut Finding Us (Finding, then I picked it up and read The End of the Story the blurb it was set in Venice One of my dream European cities Ok so ديوان حافظ the premise sounded like it had promise The Christmas Killer too but really I might have bought it anyhowVenice Pretty book soldIt s nice The Fall of the House of Usher/The Pit & the Pendulum/Other Tales of Mystery & Imagination to have no real expectations about a book when you start I ve never seen The Lost Revolution this book in a bookstore before or since I picked up i grabbed Marion Mahony Reconsidered the only copy at chapters and I ve never heard of The Girl in the Glass Tower the author or seen a review for The Great Divide this or any of her other books So it was a perfect clean slateThe first The Lady and the Peacock thing I noticed was what a distinctive and unusual voice it had Set over a few short days in June of 1899 Flights of Fancy, Leaps of Faith this book is written with a lovely lilting prose The Real Deal that never The Holy Roman Empire 1495-1806 talks down Complete Enderby to it s readers The elouence of The Invisible Writing the The Penguin Book of Dutch Short Stories two children is starkly contrasted by The Winter of the Lions the supremely fun slang of The Malay Archipelago, the land of the orang-utan and the bird of paradise; a narrative of travel, with studies of man and nature - Volume 2 the The Not So Invisible Woman the mermaids Keep yer noggin mouf shut ye great dafty or My gib was atwitch I might of knowed it Human childer smell most peculiar I do declare freely Between A Short History of Egypt the prose and The Boss the world Michelle Lovric has created I was uickly swept awayThe premise is simple Teodora and Lorenzo super great names must save Venice from Captain Greys Lady the machinations of The Handmaidens the evil Bajamonte Tiepolo seriously I need a bunch of cats My Bossy Dolly that I can give some great old Italian names Maternal Justice too Otherwise known as Il Traditore Bajamonte Tiepolo was banished from Venice for his crimes against Her in 1310 but his ghost is back for revenge and he is building a fierce some army of pirates ghosts vampire eels and a sea monster who can destroy The Ascent of Rum Doodle the city of waterWith a great deal of action and adventure reams of fun characters honestly when is A Bachelors Baby the last The Carpenters Daughter time you read about mermaids and A Talent for Surrender the fascinating history of Venice itself it may have been impossible for Michelle Lovric Orchard Street, Dawn to go astray with The Undrowned Child She s managed Stepbrother Dearest to create a very uniue story in Mystery in Spiderville the world of children s lit which considering Spring the broad range out Unknown (Anders Knutas, there is impressive in and of itselfObviously a huge lover of Venice she lives A time for being human there herself Stanley and the Women these days The Gene the story also reads as a love letter The Empty Hand (The Snow Walker, to Venice I was already fascinated by Her colourful history and uniue setting but I Seasons of Splendour think Michelle will inspire many others in a fascination with Stage Mum the floating cityAfter perusing her website I was surprised A Village Affair / A Passionate Man / The Rectors Wife to learn The Undrowned Child will have a seuel A fully complete story in itself I m not sure what The Relate Guide to Sex in Loving Relationships the next book will cover but I can Salvage t wait Thin Air (Jessica Shaw, to find out The Mourning Emporium I m Blue Book of Grown-Up Fairytales telling you Mo Hayder 2-Book Bundle this woman has a way with words another fab Broken Horse (Saddle Club, title is set Sarah Keys Back Sufferers Bible to release November 4th in Will in the World the states and December 15th in Canada how obnoxious It looks every bit as pretty as Traitors Purse (Albert Campion Mystery the first

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The Undrowned Child

Oy the city to which she feels she belongsAn ancient proverb seems to unite Teo with a Venetian boy Renzo and with the Traitor who has returned from the dark past to wreak revenge But who is the undrowned child destined to save Venice. At first glance this book seemed like it was written for me Magic mystery and mermaids in an alternate Venice of 1899 What could be better Unfortunately there was simply too much going on in this book and at times it was hard to follow the thread view spoilerCase in point At one stage Teo ends up in a church I think where Bajamonte Tiepolo or one of his henchmen I think steals the skin of a famous saint called MarcAntonio Bragadin I think in order to hold Tiepolo together before he gets his proper body back I think Please note all these pieces of information were referred to again at later stages in the book otherwise I wouldn t have a clue Reading that passage I was just like Okay Teo s suddenly in a church wait what How did she end up there And there s a giant white bat or something where did that come from And oh I give up hide spoiler

Summary The Undrowned Child

Teodora has always longed to visit Venice And at last she has her chance But strange and sinister things are afoot in the beautiful floating cityTeo is uickly subsumed into a secret world in which salty tongued mermaids run subversive. All her life Teodora has wanted to visit Venice but her adoptive parents have always resisted Now Venice is sinking faster than ever before and strange things are stirring and her scientific parents have been called from Naples to attend a convention to figure out the problem and its solution while the Mayor of Venice pretends that nothing is wrong and that children aren t dying Eleven year old Teo happily explores the ancient city and when it falls on her head in an old bookshop acuires a little volume with a mermaid on the cover The Key to the Secret City Carved and painted mermaids decorate the city and begin mouthing rough sailor talk to Teo that only she can hear and the book seems to have been written just for her Teodora of Sad MemoryThe knock on the head the book gave her sees her sent to hospital with a concussion and during the night she disappears only to wake up on a tomb two days later No one can see her except other children and ghosts because she is now between the linings she can only watch as her parents put up missing posters and search for her The Key to the Secret City shows her Venice but it isn t until she meets Lorenzo a smug studious boy that she learns of the history of the city And when the two are led by the Key to the mermaids and their Seldom Seen Press which they use to print handbills telling the truth about the city they learn the truth about Bajamonte Tiepolo who in 1310 tried to take over the city for his own ends that now in 1899 he s returned that he s trying to put his body back together and drown Venice in mud Teo also learns the truth of her own past how she came to be adopted and live in Naples and who her real parents areThe mermaids have an important task for Teo and Lenzo the Undrowned Child and the Studious Son they must find Bajamonte s Spell Almanac and help defeat him in a battle that only the supernatural can fight while in the depths of the lagoon a Creature stirs This is a gorgeous book beautiful in form and appearance as much as in story the dustjacket is thick and old feeling with a wonderful illustration and rich colours a gold embossed title and marbled flyleaf The pages are thicker than normal too with chapter headings in old typeface and the story in a similar font as that used for the Harry Potter books There s so much detail in the look and feel of the book as well as a map of the old city that it perfectly complements the tone of the story and makes you feel like you re holding pirates treasureBased on real historical events artistically altered to fit the story Lovric has written a charming story full of weird and wonderful characters magic and mystery adventure and mayhem folklore and Viennese history Teo doesn t narrate but hers is the perspective we see through and she is a wonderful protagonist who carries the story easily She has the gift of seeing what people are saying in their own personal script above their heads of reading hearts with a touch and reading books upside down My favourite character was easily the Grey Lady at the Archives and I loved all those statues and emblems of the city coming to life in defence of their homeA busy story events move swiftly and in deepening layers never leaving you behind For some reason I can t figure out this book took me a long time to read I found it hard to sit down with it and really read for any length of time It is written for children but unlike say Harry Potter I kept slipping from the story I doubt this is a problem with the book with myself and my life at the time it certainly didn t detract from how impressed I was with itThe tone is both light and dark full of humour and irony and even a few political digs that should be just as noticeable to a younger audience The mermaids colourful sailors cant and love of curry was amusing and the fantasy aspects were new and invigorating I keep coming back to the details both in terms of story prose and look dialogue and character The love of books history and the fantastical secret underbelly of an old city comes across vividly This is a Venice that you just have to visit


10 thoughts on “The Undrowned Child

  1. says:

    All her life Teodora has wanted to visit Venice but her adoptive parents have always resisted Now Venice is sinking faster than eve

  2. says:

    This is definitely a book bursting with invention and the prose style is perfect for the setting though I could have done without some of the winks to adult readers about the Biennial I'll be adding Teo to my Booki

  3. says:

    Take one adopted child call Teodora add a cursed city under siege from vindictive ghosts seeking revenge a huge monster s

  4. says:

    Back in March I ran into this book during a children's and YA book sale I won't lie this book has the most beautiful cover art of any book I've ever seen and that would be one hundred percent why I picked it up Even the end pages were gorgeousBut then I picked it up and read the blurb it was set in Venice One of my dream European cities Ok so the premise sounded like it had promise too but really I might hav

  5. says:

    MontanaLibrary2GoIt just wasn't very good Lots of good ideas not executed well Far too much crammed in Take Teo for example She's the Undrowned Child the Lost Daughter she can see people's words written above their heads read upside down and backward has a photographic memory can read people's hearts by touching their chests is able to learn new dialects and use unfamiliar languages near instantaneously et cete

  6. says:

    This was a disappointment Apparently all scientists are unimaginative rational and unable to appreciate art mood or atmosphere Being rational is

  7. says:

    Glorious depiction of a fantastical Venice I've been there in the floods and felt its dark undercurrents so this felt true in many ways Enjoyable read with lots of little details that will fascinate

  8. says:

    Overall Review What a lovely exciting and thorough story By the time I finished this book I felt like it could be possible

  9. says:

    At first glance this book seemed like it was written for me Magic mystery and mermaids in an alternate Venice of 1899 What could be better? Unfortunately there was simply too much going on in this book and at time

  10. says:

    At first it looked like this book had EVERYTHING I picked it up in the library saw the cover read it was about MERMAIDS and Venice

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