Yesterday I mentioned how much Blaine and I enjoyed The Glass Sentence, the first book in the Mapmakers Trilogy by S.E. Grove. It was a bit of a risky choice for us: a long novel with a female protagonist (13-year-old Sophia Tims), a historical setting (1891 Boston), and fantasy/steampunk elements (not our usual choice of genre). But we’re glad we took a chance on it.
This book starts with an intriguing question: What if the Great Disruption of 1799 had thrown all of the different parts of the world into different ages? And what if each of these ages had its own kind of map? Part of the fun of this book was entering into this imaginative world.
In addition, this book has a fun adventure story. Just as Sophia’s uncle, the famous cartologer Shadrack Elli, is teaching her to read maps so that they can go in search of her missing parents, he is kidnapped. Sophia and Theo, her new friend from the Baldlands, must travel by train, by pirate ship, by cart, and on foot through foreign ages to find him.
I will warn you that, as a read aloud, this book is a mouthful. It has longer, more complex sentences than the typical middle grade novel. But it’s a good book to read together because its unique world and complicated plot give you lots to wonder about and discuss with each other.
Blaine and I give this book four stars (out of five)—mainly because we did not love the ending. Maybe we will revise our opinion after we finish the whole trilogy. We’re halfway through the second book, The Golden Specific, now. We’ll keep you posted!