Series: Enchanted Emporium #1
Publisher: Stone Arch Books
Publication Date: January 2014
Source: Capstone Young Readers and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this ebook did not affect my opinion of the book or this review.
Have you heard of Cinderella’s glass slipper? What about Sinbad the Sailor’s Flying Carpet? In this world, there are many magical items—but only one place where they’re safe: the Enchanted Emporium. For centuries, seven families have competed for ownership of the Emporium—and some of them are willing to do whatever it takes to get their hands on the powerful items housed within. Only Aiby Lily and her friend Finley have what it takes to stop the Emporium from falling into the wrong hands.
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).