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Author: Larson, Hope
Book 1--After escaping the Black Hook Gang in 1860 New York City, twelve-year-old twins Alexander and Cleopatra flee to New Orleans, become separated, and try to find each other in San Francisco, while being followed by pirates who think they hold the key to treasure. In graphic novel format.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 2.40
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 181405
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 3.70
Points: 4.0 Quiz: 68612
School Library Journal (+) (00/06/16)
Booklist (+) (05/15/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/06/16)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 05/15/2016 *Starred Review* After finking on their gang leader and skipping town, redheaded twins Alex and Cleo plan to con a wealthy forty-niner in San Francisco who placed an ad in the paper looking for his long-lost ginger-haired twin boys. Alex and Cleo (after she gets a boyish haircut, naturally) think their plan is a piece of cake, until they meet another pair of red-haired twins—Edwin and Silas—on their way to San Francisco, hoping to pull the same hustle. But that’s the least of their problems: the gang leader is after them, with the help of some pirates interested in the heirlooms left to the twins by their mother. In their escape, the foursome get separated: Alex and Edwin get shanghaied on a ship headed around the Horn, while Cleo and Silas stow away on a boat headed to Panama. Mock’s luminous full-color artwork beautifully showcases the late-nineteenth-century locations, swashbuckling pirate battles, and jungle treks, all while effortlessly distinguishing among characters (no small feat, given the expansive, diverse cast and two sets of twins). Meanwhile, Larson, befitting the seafaring adventure, keeps the pace clipping along with frequent scene breaks and propulsive reveals. Thankfully, the twins all reunite in San Francisco, but a bevy of remaining mysteries guarantee a sequel. A gorgeously executed, lively caper. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2016 Two sets of red-headed twins-Alexander and Cleopatra Dodge, and Silas and Edwin Clement-are focused on bettering their parentless situations by claiming to be the long-lost children of well-to-do San Franciscan Jacob Kimball. Obviously there can only be hope for two of the four duplicitous claimants, and as they head westward from New York in 1860, the rival pairs collide and reconfigure, with Alex and Edwin shanghaied as crewmen and rounding the Horn aboard the Anita, and Cleo (now passing as a boy named Patrick) and Silas stowing away on a steamer connecting with ground transportation across the Isthmus of Panama. That’s just for starters. The Dodges are being pursued by Luther, youthful head of the Black Hook Gang, who wants the kids’ watch and pocket knife, which combine as a pirate treasure map. And then there are pirates. And a miraculous rescue by the mystical wife of a first mate. And a puma attack in the jungle. And kissing. And somehow Larson and Mock pull it all off, greatly aided by the graphic-novel format that allows viewers to track characters by their consistent clothing, and that also confers the license for over-the-top adventure. Rather than stranding her characters with a cliffhanger, Larson awards them a bit of respite, with a couple of loose ends tied up and the possibility of family stability that all four kids covet. This is just a brief lull, though, and the upcoming sequel, Knife’s Edge, will keep the adventure rolling. EB - Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 06/01/2016 Gr 4–8—In this fast-paced, high-energy tale, 12-year-old twins Alex and Cleo Dodge find adventure—and trouble—as they search for their father and, at times, each other. The siblings join the Black Hook Gang, but Alex is soon arrested for stealing. The twins leave town, yet there's still more excitement to come. Has the key to finding a lost pirate treasure been in their possession all along? Set in 1860, the story includes stops in Manhattan, New Orleans, and even a pirate ship on the high seas. Larson, best known for her graphic novel adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time, weaves a wonderful, vivid story, assisted beautifully by Mock's illustrations, which take the twins from murky back alleys to bright and vibrant ocean scenes. VERDICT A charming choice for elementary and middle school library graphic novel collections.—John Trischitti, Midland County Public Libraries, TX - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.