Recently I told you all about my journey of becoming part of the Usborne Book family. It has been so much fun for me and my kids. I love children’s books and I love having an official excuse for reading even more of them 🙂
While Usborne has an amazing selection for younger kids I was concerned upon joining about the selection for a bit older kids. Those concerns were washed away with the last big release of new titles. I have been so excited to read this big stack of books !! We have found many books that have made our homeschool days easier and more fun !
The Mystery of the clockwork sparrow is a really fun mystery for advanced readers, from about age 9 and up into middle school. It plays right in the heart of London in the Edwardian time era, so right before WWI . The book gives a beautiful impression of this time , it shows the difficulties many people faced and also gives you an idea how this time modernized their lifestyle. We meet several characters in this mystery but the main character Miss Sophie together with Miss Lilian Rose stand out with strong heroic character traits. Both girls meet when they start working at the newest Department Store London has to offer. It is one of the hottest, new places and the whole city is waiting anxiously for the big opening ceremony and all of London’s high society is invited. The whole store works nearly around the clock to have everything beyond perfect.
Our main character Miss Sophie starts her new l working life in the millinery department. While not everything is as easy as it might could be ,she is loving her job and also starts making friends throughout the big store. But even before the big event, the actual opening of the store, things take a bad turn. There is a huge break in, and Sophie and her new friends get caught in the middle of the mystery. Together with the help of her new found friends, they continue to find out the truth about the robbery, the mysterious clockwork sparrow, break secret codes, and also stumble right into the arms of one of London’s biggest gang and it’s leader ” THE BARON “.
The book is about 300 pages + long and only contains a few pictures here and there. Overall it is written in a fun and easy to follow way, but the plot does take a few turns which might make it harder for younger readers to follow through. While a good mystery is certainly for boys and girls, I think girls would possibly enjoy this quite a bit more since our main character works in the fashion department and a few fun facts about hats and other fashion attire is also shared in between.
I wished the book would contain even more details about the time era and London itself, but after all this is still a kids novel and too much info like that would take away from the story itself. Both my girls ( 7 and 10 ) love a good mystery and I am very excited for them to start reading this series. They both have read many stories from the Famous Five, Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys. This will be a refreshing book for my little detectives !
I love combining great books with real life time events and places , this book gives a great opportunity to dive deeper into this time era .They possibly have no idea that department stores originated in the UK ! So why not talk with your kids a little bit more about it and let them connect more real history to this fun fiction novel !!