John Stephens' aptly-titled new fantasy trilogy begins auspiciously with a nimble, fast-paced tale of three siblings. Kate, Michael, and Emma have suffered through ten years of odious orphanage "care"; now they have slipped into the care of the eccentric, disturbingly mysterious Dr. Pym. While exploring their new home, the children discover a magical green book. With that discovery, a decade of tedium dissolves into cascades of dangerous time travel adventures and struggles with a beautiful witch and decidedly less attractive zombielike Screechers. High early reader marks for strong characterization and battle scenes.This is one of those fun children's books that can have an appeal to even the adult crowd. There is magic and wonderfully ridiculous names in which fans of English children's books will enjoy. In fact when we really get acquainted with the children at the Edgar Allan Poe Home for Hopeless and Incorrigible Orphans. This is the worst of the lot of orphanages; it's scraping the barrel. As all good English faerie tales go, they escape this horrible orphanage and land on the doorstep of the strangest orphanage of all. In fact, they are the only 3 children in residence at the edge of the strangest village they have seen. A village without any children at all. They explore the grounds and wander into a odd looking study where they find an empty book. Magically they are transported into the past and find out why the village had become so odd. A witch had the town under her thumb and the children were her prisoners. This is where the adventure truly begins.
Oh I will not give anything away from this point on *evil laugh* (sorry, the witch put a spell on me...yea, that's a good one...uh why I can't say). However, if you enjoy a good children's tale full of magic and adventure, I'd say try this book out. It is written simply for MG readers, but not so simply that YA or adults will lose interest. It has strong primary and secondary characters as well as good world building. It is also book 1 in a trilogy (yes, I read book 1 first... be prepared to hand out the smelling salts!). I give this book 4 stars.
There is a website for The Emerald Atlas. I received this ARC by the publisher, Knoff and no compensation for my review was given.