The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

It all starts in the middle of the night at Christmas Eve. A mother wakes up her daughter and asks her to take care of her siblings and is rushed off into the night with no explanation. Ten years later that girl, Kate, tries to keep that promise. It's hard to do with a little sister like hers who always is defending herself and getting into fights. Her name is Emma and their brother name is Michael. Michael loves books and exploring caves. He loves caves because well... there is no other way to say this but he loves dwarves. They aren't all frilly like elves. They are hardworking and honorable. They don't really remember much about their parents. Kate remembers that conversation with their mother and they know that their last name starts with a P but that's about it.

They have tried the patience of many horrible orphanages and are going to get sent to Cambridge Falls which no one seems to know about except the people living there. They go to an orphanage that only contains three orphans. Them. There are bars on the windows and no children in the village. What happened to them you ask? Well get ready to go on an adventure of a lifetime. This book has lots of action, heartwarming moments, time travel, magic, and dwarves. You heard that last part correctly. I can hear Michael stammering when he meets them now.

I'm absolutely thrilled with this book. They time travel to the past plenty of times but there is one time in particular that they go back to for a while. There is a witch or Countess who is this 16 year old girl looking actually older woman who is keeping the villagers kids captive. She makes the men go looking for something that they don't know what. They are looking for a book. The book they used to come there. Aid will come in the form of Gabriel, a warrior, who Emma has a special place in her heart for. As well as a wizard who they happen to have met before. And finally some dwarves though it might take some time to convince them to help. The book isn't the only one. They are very important and can make the world cease to exist. Why would anyone want to do that? How am I supposed to know? They're crazy people everywhere. You can also do other things with it like say travel in time.

This was crazy good. Who would have thought that I would like book with dwarves in them? Fantasy that goes that far only catches my attention in movies but Kate, Michael, and Emma captured my heart. I think I ended up liking Kate best but I think it may have to do it with it being her show in this book. It'll probably resound around Michael and then Emma in the other books. I expect a trilogy because there is more than one book.

The Countess played the most evil villain. I loved her. Her evilness not her I'm going to kill all these children if you get in my way. You know you love your evil villains. There just so... evil. It's essential to a good adventure story like this one. Gabriel is this giant man who cares for Emma like she does him. Maybe because she's a fighter. You will have a bit of a moment in there where you will tear up or full out cry like me. There are a couple of moments but you'll know when you read it which one I'm talking about. Maybe. There are a couple. Now I have to compare this book to the Baudelaires. I had to in the beginning think of them because orphans, even if their parents maybe still be alive, three children, older sister, middle brother, and younger sister. But that is where the similarities end. This is more magic instead of woe. It's a lot more interesting in some ways because it has a wizard and time travel. It's exciting and enjoyable. It's a children's book that can be loved by everyone. It's the perfect middle school read.


  1. I have heard such fantastic things about this book. Now that I have read your review- I MUST read it soon! It has so many qualities that I love in a book. I enjoyed the extended trailer- it was awesome. Thanks for sharing!


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