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The Resource The crooked sixpence, by Jennifer Bell ; illustrated by Brett Helquist

The crooked sixpence, by Jennifer Bell ; illustrated by Brett Helquist

Label
The crooked sixpence
Title
The crooked sixpence
Statement of responsibility
by Jennifer Bell ; illustrated by Brett Helquist
Creator
Contributor
Author
Illustrator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Ivy Sparrow and her big brother Seb discover a city beneath London where ordinary objects have magical powers
Member of
Storyline
Writing style
Character
Review
  • Grades 5-8 When Ivy’s grandma Sylvia takes a tumble and ends up in the emergency room, it sets off a startling chain of events that leads Ivy and her brother, Seb, to a magical underground marketplace called Lundinor. There “uncommoners” barter seemingly everyday objects imbued with whimsical powers. It’s a dazzling discovery, but they’re more worried about the oddly dressed constables eager to lock them up for some unknown crime. More unsettling still is that their beloved grandmother is somehow connected to recent troubles in Lundinor, and the real culprits have kidnapped Ivy and Seb’s parents. With the help of an intrepid young uncommoner, Ivy and Seb use their smarts to rescue their parents and clear their family name. Bell infuses her debut novel with clever, pun-based magic—glasses look like spectacles, before transforming into goblets, for instance—and her world building and scene setting in Lundinor are particularly rich. While the plot sometimes relies on too-convenient occurrences, the slightly spooky atmosphere, well-paced action, and engaging mystery surrounding Ivy and Seb’s ancestors will appeal to middle-graders who love fantasy quest stories. -- Hunter, Sarah (Reviewed 11/15/2016) (Booklist, vol 113, number 6, p56)
  • Gr 4–6—Debut author Bell introduces Ivy Sparrow, 11, and her older brother, Seb. The children are staying with their grandmother, who is rushed to the hospital after a fall. Within hours, events start to spiral out of control, with kidnappings, death threats, creepy figures, and a race against time to solve an old mystery. Ivy and Seb are swept into a world of adventure, magic, and intrigue. As the story progresses, they discover that their grandmother is from a secret underground world called Lundinor, under the city of London. The city is filled with magical people and common objects used in uncommon ways. The characters are well-rounded and likable. The language is rich and detailed and helps illuminate the setting. Students will dive right into this journey and not want to come up for air. The illustrations add to the dark and scary tone. VERDICT Fans of classic fantasy with a dash of horror will enjoy this new series starter.—Megan McGinnis, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY --Megan McGinnis (Reviewed 11/01/2016) (School Library Journal, vol 62, issue 11, p86)
  • In this first book in the Uncommoners series, a portal inside a suitcase whisks Ivy Sparrow and her older brother, Seb, to the underground city of Ludinor. There, the siblings have two days to unravel their grandmother’s secret past and find a powerful “uncommon” object to save their parents, who are being held hostage by the nefarious Dirge. Everyday household goods get a whimsical overhaul in this fantastical world beneath the streets of London—colanders filter the air, paper clips serve as handcuffs, and a toilet brush is a formidable weapon—but kindness, friendship and loyalty still reign supreme. Bell, a British bookseller making her children’s book debut, has created a formidable, kindhearted, and keenly observant heroine in Ivy. After she saves a dented, “back-to-fronted”-talking bicycle bell named Scratch, it becomes an important ally, just one of many delightfully odd characters in a hodgepodge world that includes the walking dead, political intrigue, and grotesque physical punishment for misdeeds. Bell’s multifaceted plot comes together cohesively, creating a solid base for her series. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. Author’s agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary. (Jan.) --Staff (Reviewed 10/24/2016) (Publishers Weekly, vol 263, issue 43, p)
  • Eleven-year-old Ivy and her brother Seb, 14, discover a surprising parallel world of uncommon objects and people when their grandmother is injured just after Christmas. A serendipitous acquaintance, brown-skinned Valian, transports white Ivy and Seb to the cavernous under-London site of an annual “uncommon” market, Lundinor, a kind of enormous Diagon Alley. Here objects containing bits of souls behave in unusual, seemingly magical ways: lemon squeezers glow as lamps; the local police force zaps recalcitrant suspects with toilet brushes; belts can lift their holders aloft. The uncommoners are devoted to acquiring and trading in these phenomenal occurrences of otherwise quotidian objects. An often told family story about their grandmother’s girlhood car accident and amnesia takes on new meaning as Ivy and Seb’s parents are held for ransom until someone produces the Great Uncommon Good—an uncommon object of extraordinary value sought for its potential to wield power in the common world. The resident community of the dead, formerly in service to the dark ambition of a trading guild known as the Dirge, is filled with both good and nefarious sorts—ghouls, selkies, hobs, and multiple others. Bell’s worldbuilding is convincing and good-humored, full of detail and a rich variety of unusual manifestations and people. There’s plenty of exposition and back story to support the adventure promised to continue in subsequent volumes of this trilogy. An auspicious trilogy opener. (Fantasy. 9-12)(Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2016)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10547411
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1985-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Bell, Jennifer
Dewey number
[Fic]
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
no index present
Intended audience
700L
Intended audience source
Lexile
Interest level
MG
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 4
  • 6
Reading level
5.3
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Helquist, Brett
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
The Uncommoners
Series volume
1
Study program name
Accelerated Reader AR
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Magic
  • Brothers and sisters
  • Family secrets
  • Fantasy
  • Magic
  • Brothers and sisters
  • Family secrets
Target audience
pre adolescent
Label
The crooked sixpence, by Jennifer Bell ; illustrated by Brett Helquist
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1724097
Edition
First Edition.
Extent
1 volume.
Isbn
9780553498431
Lccn
2015035036
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780553498431
  • (OCoLC)945729521
Label
The crooked sixpence, by Jennifer Bell ; illustrated by Brett Helquist
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1724097
Edition
First Edition.
Extent
1 volume.
Isbn
9780553498431
Lccn
2015035036
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780553498431
  • (OCoLC)945729521

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
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      30.2982508 -97.7675915
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      30.2166039 -97.79733689999999
    • Old Quarry BranchBorrow it
      7051 Village Center Dr., Austin, TX, 78731, US
      30.3529975 -97.7551561
    • Willie Mae Kirk BranchBorrow it
      3101 Oak Springs Dr., Austin, TX, 78723, US
      30.2729762 -97.699748
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