A mysterious apothecary. A magic book. A missing scientist. An impossible plan.
It's 1952 and the Scott family has moved unexpectedly from Los Angeles to London. There, fourteen-year-old Janie gets a homesickness cure from the neighborhood apothecary and becomes fascinated by his defiant son, Benjamin Burrowsa boy struggling with his destiny, who isn't afraid to stand up to authority and who dreams of becoming a spy.
When Benjamin's father disappears, Janie and Benjamin must uncover the secrets of the apothecary's ancient book, the Pharmacopoeia, in order to find him, all while keeping those secrets out of the hands of Russian spies. Discovering transformative elixirs they never imagined could exist, Janie and Benjamin embark on a dangerous race to save the apothecary and prevent impending nuclear disaster.
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Reviews for The APOTHECARY
"A gem of historical fiction for the middle-school set, Meloy's children's debut is a pitch-perfect melding of postwar intrigue and ancient medicinal arts told from the perspective of a 14-year-old girl."
Los Angeles Times
"With evocative, confident prose and equally atmospheric spot art from Schoenherr, adult author Meloy’s first book for young readers is an auspicious one."
Publishers Weekly, STARRED review
"Think of a cross between Harry Potter and Nancy Drew... The magic of this book is dazzling."
New York Journal of Books
"Inventive, smart and fun, an absolute delight."
Rebecca Stead, author of Newbery Award-winning When You Reach Me
"An intriguing mix of history and mystery."
Two years have passed since Janie Scott last saw Benjamin Burrows, the mysterious apothecary's defiant son who stole her heart. On the other side of the world, Benjamin and his father are treating the sick and wounded in the war-torn jungles of Vietnam.
But Benjamin has also been experimenting with a magical new formula that allows him to communicate with Janie across the globe. When Benjamin discovers that she's in trouble, he calls on their friend Pip for help. The three friends are thrown into a desperate chase around the world to find one another, while unraveling the mystery of what threatens them all.
Praise for The Apprentices
"features the same fun, fast-moving formula as the first book, with charming characters and exciting intrigue mixed with a handful of magic … Schoenher's moody illustrations (not all seen by PW) add to the atmosphere of this magical (in multiple senses) story."
Publishers Weekly, starred review
"This… well-constructed adventure accurately conveys the geopolitical instability of the era and is leavened with just enough magic, chaste romance and humor to appeal to middle-grade readers through teens."
"Meloy boldly weaves the disparate strings of the story together in inventive-sometimes breathtaking-ways. More nuanced than the first book, this brings together a large and intriguing cast and explores their knotty relationships… the characters become more memorable as the pages fly by."
The After Room
It's 1955, and Benjamin Burrows and Janie Scott are trying to live a safe, normal life in America. It's not easy, when they have the power to prevent nuclear disaster, and sinister forces are circling. Soon the advice of a mysterious, unscrupulous magician propels Janie and Benjamin into danger, and toward the land of the dead.
Meanwhile, their friend Jin Lo washes up on a remote island where an American spy is stationed, and finds herself on the trail of a deadly threat in China. But she's on the other side of the world—how can Janie and Benjamin reach her?
The triumphant finale in the trilogy that began with Maile Meloy's bestselling, critically acclaimed The Apothecary, and continued in its captivating sequel, The Apprentices, The After-Room is full of enchantment and heart, with Ian Schoenherr's stunning illustrations throughout.
Praise for The After-Room
"This series finale wraps up most of its loose ends in a satisfying bow, leaving just enough room for imaginative middle-grade readers and teens to conjure up their own futures for Janie and Benjamin."
"A cerebral fantasy with enough action to keep readers on their toes."
School Library Journal