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Suitcase of Stars

av Pierdomenico Baccalario

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Serier: Enchanted Emporium (1)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner
224814,532 (3.5)Ingen/inga
Finley McPhee is an ordinary thirteen-year-old living outside a small town in northern Scotland--until he meets Aiby Lily and is caught up in the deadly, centuries-old fight for ownership of the Enchanted Emporium, where genuinely magical items are safely stored.

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Visar 4 av 4
So, I'd definitely target this to younger readers. Maybe readers who are moving their way on up from more wordy picture books, into the world of chapter books. Suitcase of Stars has a great premise, and a really quick moving plot. The downside, is that it's extremely simplistic. Which, again, is great for emerging readers! Just maybe not for the entire Middle Grade set.

This was a sweet story about Finley McPhee, a boy with his head in the clouds and penchant for unknowingly causing trouble. I admit, I wasn't 100% sold on the reasoning behind why Finley ended up in his magical situation. It almost had an air of "school isn't important" about it. I was willing to forgive it though, because Finley's opinion of school is fleeting and only sets him up to meet the people who will forever change his life.

I did enjoy the fact that there are riddles used copiously in this story, as well as references to magical items from well known fairy tales. I also loved the fact that Finley's dog, Patches, is such a big part of the story. A boy, and his dog. Getting caught up in all sorts of adventure. It's the type of story that a lot of young readers will really enjoy, especially because Patches is so brave. In fact, all the characters are pretty interesting. Maybe not as well fleshed out as they could be, but interesting just the same.

A solid three stars to this book. It's quite possible that the subsequent books in this series go more in depth on Finley and his friends. I might have to find out! In the meantime, I'd state once again that this seems like a great book for emerging readers. A little magic, a little mischief, and a quick moving plot. ( )
  roses7184 | Feb 5, 2019 |
Suitcase of Stars is the first in the Enchanted Emporium middle grade series and it is off to a great start. Using fairy tales and how they interact with the ‘real’ world while involving the reader with riddles and mystery made for an entertaining and fun experience reading this book.

Finley is a young boy who hates school and is failing due to not attending. He would rather spend his day fishing and imagining the lost treasures of days past. When he is told that he as to work for the summer by his father after a horrible confrontation with the schools superintendent, he finds himself learning about the Lily family and their strange ways – only to later find out that their lives are much more crazy than everyone knows.

This was an adorable read, it had elements of magic, fairy tales, and Scottish lore all rolled into a fun-filled mystery for young readers – so why not five stars? Well I had some issues with the book. First off, I never like a book that condones kids skipping school and disregarding its importance. Sadly Finley is like this and I do not think he is a good role model – yes later in the story he wants to alleviate his ignorance about the Emporium and he is a courageous kid, but for someone to not think that learning/school is important and then fall into this marvelous tale is saddening. I think that there could have been another way to write the book without giving school the big heave-ho.

Another item that maybe I just missed – why is the book called the Suitcase of Stars? Yes I know there is a suitcase and I know that it is interesting but it did not do anything for the plot of this story … so I was a little confused by that element.

I think that once I got passed the fact that Finley was a truant and the suitcase had no real significance to the plotline, I was more accepting of the overall story. I think that this series will keep young readers interested with its magic, riddles, and even pictures (Yup! There are pictures). ( )
  sszkutak | Jun 2, 2014 |
This is a great read for slightly younger children who like action packed books where the plot moves fairly quickly. The story is fun and never stops moving, and includes elements of sibling rivalry mixed with adventure.

The things I loved most about this book were the illustrations (absolutely wonderful!), the magical items, and the faithful dog as a sidekick. This book includes all the positive elements of childhood that we remember into adulthood, but these elements are woven into a story that includes magical objects, mystery adventure, and riddles. I expect that this book will appeal to younger boys, especially.

Spoiler alert: read no further if you don't want to know how the book ends.
The one element that I had an issue with was the fact that the bad guys had to collect the riddles from special bottles, but then later in the story the main character makes up his own riddles to do the same thing that the bottled riddles accomplished. This sort of a plot error makes me cringe, although the story itself was a fun read. I think there are a lot of readers who would gladly ignore this flaw and thoroughly enjoy the book.

Note: I received a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Neftzger | Jan 27, 2014 |
Before I get too immersed with this review, I want to ask one teeny tiny thing. Am I allowed to squeal? *looks around* Anyone objecting to that? No one? Ok, then. Please excuse me for a moment…

*squeals and jumps like the crazy fan girl she is*

Ahem! Enough of that – for now. Let’s get started, shall we?

Suitcase of Stars. A book full of cleverly hidden, humoristic jabs, of solving riddles, of providing a “bridge” – if you wish – between fairy tales and what we believe to be reality. In other words, a book that is quite typical of Pierdomenico Baccalario. It tells us the story of how Finley McPhee, a smart but academically uninterested boy living in a seemingly boring Scottish village – where nothing beyond the ordinary ever happens- meets and befriends Aiby Lily, the mysterious new girl in the village. Her and her father are the new owners to the Enchanted Emporium, a shop specializing in magical objects. But the Lilies are not the only newcomers to Applecross – danger seems to have followed them, a danger that is set to either destroy them, or make sure they don’t open their shop successfully. Will Finley and his new friend make it out of this mess alive? Or will Aiby’s secrets become enough of a burden to keep that from happening? Guess life in Applecross is about to become a whole less dull!

Reading this book proved to be an unforgettable experience. I’ve seen many stories of this genre, some with themes much more unique. And yet, Mr. Baccalario always manages to make me squirm in my seat with a desperate hunger for more! I should have known why that is by the 2nd book of his Ulysses Moore series, but I guess, when I’m excited about something, logic flees at the fastest pace possible. It took me almost half of this book to finally understand. Baccalario has a certain way to tell his stories. He starts out slow – that’s an understatement, scratch that and make it extremely slow – and keeps it that way till you reach the final third of the book or so. He makes you keep turning the pages with his light and funny storytelling, and then grabs your ear and tugs you to the finish line – where he proceeds to throw you off the cliff behind the treacherous bush labeled as “The End”, and leaves you hanging there. Meanwhile, he holds a stick with the promise for the next book tied to its end, dangling it in front of you to give you enough motivation in order to climb back up – though he’s likely to push you again, but, by that moment, you couldn’t care less, as long as he keeps “feeding you” with his amazing imagination and flow of words.

I am torn between cursing him for making yet another story that has me hooked and impatient and in a “oh-my-God-when-is-the-next-book-coming-out” state, and thanking him for making the time and obsession reading this actually caused so much worth it. Characters that are not always what they seem ( though I admit I had my suspicions about Meb ). Dialogues that always make sense and never bore us, no matter how much info one character dumps on another in some of them. A steady, solid plotline with no gaps and holes. And a writer who knows how to show and not just tell his story. Take all these, add the wonderful sceneries, legends and humoristic comebacks, along with Iacopo Bruno’s always helpful and cute illustrations, and you have a real page-turner that promises the best of times and adventures, should you decide to pick it up.

***I was given an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.*** ( )
  Lydia_Perversius | Dec 14, 2013 |
Visar 4 av 4
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Baccalario, Pierdomenicoprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Bruno, IacopoIllustratörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Neeb, BarbaraÜbersetzermedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Neiske, ChristinaHerausgebermedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Schmidt, KatharinaÜbersetzermedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat

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Wikipedia på engelska (1)

Finley McPhee is an ordinary thirteen-year-old living outside a small town in northern Scotland--until he meets Aiby Lily and is caught up in the deadly, centuries-old fight for ownership of the Enchanted Emporium, where genuinely magical items are safely stored.

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