Books Kids Fiction Facing the Hunchback of Notre Dame (The Enchanted Attic)

Facing the Hunchback of Notre Dame (The Enchanted Attic) Featured

http://www.yabookscentral.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x275s/6c/16/3e/_141483696_1329851304.jpg
 
3.5 (2)
 
5.0 (1)
907   0
Author(s)
Publisher
Genre(s)
Age Range
8+
Release Date
May 08, 2012
ISBN
978-0310727958
Buy This Book
      

A hidden attic. A classic story. A very unexpected twist. Twin twelve-year-old bookworms Ophelia and Linus Easterday discover a hidden attic that once belonged to a mad scientist. While relaxing in the attic and enjoying her latest book, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Ophelia dozes off, and within moments finds herself facing a fully alive and completely bewildered Quasimodo. Ophelia and Linus team up with a clever neighbor, a hippy priest, and a college custodian, learning Quasimodo's story while searching for some way to get him back home---if he can survive long enough in the modern world.

Editor reviews

Average editor rating from: 2 user(s)

Overall rating 
 
3.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.5  (2)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A  (0)

First of all, let me just say, I'm not a huge fan of middle grade. However, I've been reading more of them because my oldest son is 7 years old and is an avid reader. So, I want to read books that he might be interested in as he gets older. And boy was I -pleased with this series!

Not only is the book witty, imaginative, and adventurous, it also incorporates friendship, treating everyone with respect and a background in older literature. I actually enjoyed reading it, a 30 year old woman! I really enjoyed how Ophelia, Walter & Linus treated Quasimodo with respect and human decency, something he did not get in his time. I also enjoyed reading about how they worked as a team to get Quasi back to his own time without harming him. I also loved how the book raises poignant questions such as; Can Quasi change his fate back in his time, by what he's learned in our time? Not only is this a great lesson in teaching young children that we can make our own decisions, but whether or not we make the right ones, and how to go about doing that.

The other point I really enjoyed was the narrator. A grown up janitor who is both witty, informative & makes for a very fun read! I highly recommend this book for any middle school classroom and/or library and for middle grade readers. Also, this is a series! I can't wait to read the next one and I absolutely cannot wait to share these books with my children (they are a bit too young now, but soon won't be!)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

Great read for Middle Grade!

First of all, let me just say, I'm not a huge fan of middle grade. However, I've been reading more of them because my oldest son is 7 years old and is an avid reader. So, I want to read books that he might be interested in as he gets older. And boy was I -pleased with this series!

Not only is the book witty, imaginative, and adventurous, it also incorporates friendship, treating everyone with respect and a background in older literature. I actually enjoyed reading it, a 30 year old woman! I really enjoyed how Ophelia, Walter & Linus treated Quasimodo with respect and human decency, something he did not get in his time. I also enjoyed reading about how they worked as a team to get Quasi back to his own time without harming him. I also loved how the book raises poignant questions such as; Can Quasi change his fate back in his time, by what he's learned in our time? Not only is this a great lesson in teaching young children that we can make our own decisions, but whether or not we make the right ones, and how to go about doing that.

The other point I really enjoyed was the narrator. A grown up janitor who is both witty, informative & makes for a very fun read! I highly recommend this book for any middle school classroom and/or library and for middle grade readers. Also, this is a series! I can't wait to read the next one and I absolutely cannot wait to share these books with my children (they are a bit too young now, but soon won't be!)

Was this review helpful to you? 
As an adult reader of books for children, I spend a fair amount of time thinking about voice and audience. I don’t want to read a middle-grade book written for me, the adult who has learned to be cynical, grumpy and analytical. I don’t want to read a middle-grade book that winks at me about how poorly educated modern children are. I want to read a book that doesn’t give a darn about the grown-up who might be reading it. I want to read a book aimed at the heart, soul and mind of a child, a book splashing in puddles without worrying about wet socks, a book sneaking up the attic stairs to find the ghosts, a book utterly certain that the world will end if the boy falls in love with the wrong girl.

FACING THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME is narrated by a very grown-up grown-up: a peevish, intelligent, germaphobic janitor at Kingscross University. His frequent asides include vocabulary-building definitions of the more complex words used in the text, critical comments upon the characters and story, advice and insight about how to write a book, and expressions of disgust about dirt and germs. He is a character-narrator, rather than an authorial voice from outside the fictional world created in the book, but even still, his intrusions were so terribly adult and finicky-maiden-auntish that they served only to distance me from the story. They were an insulating layer between the reader and the story, and kept me from growing attached to the twins, or any other character.

The narrative itself however (as distinct from the narrator) is quite good fun. When Quasimodo suddenly appears in their uncle’s abandoned attic lab, twins Olivia and Linus realize they have discovered a magical portal that allows fictional characters to enter the real world. The remainder of the book is about what happens in the few days Quasi (as they decide to call him) is in Kingscross, and the obstacles they face when they try to send him back.

The central idea - bringing characters to life - is a truly intriguing one, especially for those of us who live half our lives in fictional worlds. Who wouldn’t want to meet Lucy Pevensie, Ozma of Oz, Bilbo Baggins or Katness? I certainly would. I’m not sure I would be quite so interested in Quasimodo or Ishmael (from Moby Dick, which is apparently what the next book will focus on). On the other hand, that could be an admission of my limited tastes.

Also, the book raises questions about narrative fate: must Quasimodo, for example, love the unworthy Esmerelda, or can he learn enough in our world to change his future? These are serious questions, about self-determination, fate and character, but they are not probed. Olivia wants Quasi to make a better future for himself, but doesn’t stop to reflect on what that might mean to the story as Hugo wrote it, or all the books ever written which reference that text, or all the thousands of readers who learned to love the innocent, desperate, loving hunchback just as he was written, tragedy and all.

FACING THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME has a lot to recommend it, but I am not sure a younger reader would go to the trouble of working past the narration to find the story.
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Francesca	Amendolia Reviewed by Francesca Amendolia May 11, 2012
Last updated: May 11, 2012
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (66)

Making the Hunchback PB&J sandwiches

As an adult reader of books for children, I spend a fair amount of time thinking about voice and audience. I don’t want to read a middle-grade book written for me, the adult who has learned to be cynical, grumpy and analytical. I don’t want to read a middle-grade book that winks at me about how poorly educated modern children are. I want to read a book that doesn’t give a darn about the grown-up who might be reading it. I want to read a book aimed at the heart, soul and mind of a child, a book splashing in puddles without worrying about wet socks, a book sneaking up the attic stairs to find the ghosts, a book utterly certain that the world will end if the boy falls in love with the wrong girl.

FACING THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME is narrated by a very grown-up grown-up: a peevish, intelligent, germaphobic janitor at Kingscross University. His frequent asides include vocabulary-building definitions of the more complex words used in the text, critical comments upon the characters and story, advice and insight about how to write a book, and expressions of disgust about dirt and germs. He is a character-narrator, rather than an authorial voice from outside the fictional world created in the book, but even still, his intrusions were so terribly adult and finicky-maiden-auntish that they served only to distance me from the story. They were an insulating layer between the reader and the story, and kept me from growing attached to the twins, or any other character.

The narrative itself however (as distinct from the narrator) is quite good fun. When Quasimodo suddenly appears in their uncle’s abandoned attic lab, twins Olivia and Linus realize they have discovered a magical portal that allows fictional characters to enter the real world. The remainder of the book is about what happens in the few days Quasi (as they decide to call him) is in Kingscross, and the obstacles they face when they try to send him back.

The central idea - bringing characters to life - is a truly intriguing one, especially for those of us who live half our lives in fictional worlds. Who wouldn’t want to meet Lucy Pevensie, Ozma of Oz, Bilbo Baggins or Katness? I certainly would. I’m not sure I would be quite so interested in Quasimodo or Ishmael (from Moby Dick, which is apparently what the next book will focus on). On the other hand, that could be an admission of my limited tastes.

Also, the book raises questions about narrative fate: must Quasimodo, for example, love the unworthy Esmerelda, or can he learn enough in our world to change his future? These are serious questions, about self-determination, fate and character, but they are not probed. Olivia wants Quasi to make a better future for himself, but doesn’t stop to reflect on what that might mean to the story as Hugo wrote it, or all the books ever written which reference that text, or all the thousands of readers who learned to love the innocent, desperate, loving hunchback just as he was written, tragedy and all.

FACING THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME has a lot to recommend it, but I am not sure a younger reader would go to the trouble of working past the narration to find the story.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 

User reviews

Average user rating from: 1 user(s)

Already have an account? or Create an account
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0  (1)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A  (0)
Sometimes, a book that is so very well written and entertaining, needs no introduction nor words... every kid out there should read this book! This book, and eventually series, should be in every classroom/school!

The story is narrated by a disgruntled janitor from Kingscross University; the storyteller is full of humor and insight. I really did enjoy having him jump in at times and give us his two cents and would explain words and phrases that a middle grader may not fully understand the meanings to them yet.

The story begins with twins, Ophelia and Linus, having to go stay with their Aunt and Uncle while their parents go off for 5 years to a remote island to study rare insects and butterflies. In their boredom, they venture around and explore their new 3 story-home - down the stairs is their Aunt's used book shop, the basement is where their Uncle's old collection of costumes and antiques are stored... and then one day, they go upstairs and find a hidden door that leads them to the enchanted attic!
Upon finding the attic, they unearth many trivial bottles filled with unknown powders and liquids, curious books and unique drawings on the floor. All of these things that once belonged to the previous owner - a mad magician that practiced apothecary, who had disappeared a few years ago.
One night while Ophelia was reading her book in the attic, she got curious with her surroundings, and while looking around, she dropped her book onto the floor at the exact moment that something magical was aligning up! In the next moment, Quasimodo appears!
How did Quasimodo come out of the book???

The rest of the story is about getting to know people, trying to do the right thing and standing up for what you believe in and not being afraid.

How will they help Quasimodo get back into his world???
And will they be able to help Quasimodo and change his story for the better???

My only issue with this book is probably just a typographical error - the summary states that the twins are twelve years old, but as you read the story, it continuously says that they are fourteen. Since this is an ARC, I believe that it may just be a typo. The children in this book do seem to be mature, so I am going to say that they are fourteen, it just makes better sense to me...

I highly recommend this book! Especially for advancing middle graders that are taking the leap from beginner chapter books to those thicker ones, and for those who have an early interest in writing.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Margie Cortina Reviewed by Margie Cortina May 08, 2012
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (64)

This book should be in every classroom/school!

Sometimes, a book that is so very well written and entertaining, needs no introduction nor words... every kid out there should read this book! This book, and eventually series, should be in every classroom/school!

The story is narrated by a disgruntled janitor from Kingscross University; the storyteller is full of humor and insight. I really did enjoy having him jump in at times and give us his two cents and would explain words and phrases that a middle grader may not fully understand the meanings to them yet.

The story begins with twins, Ophelia and Linus, having to go stay with their Aunt and Uncle while their parents go off for 5 years to a remote island to study rare insects and butterflies. In their boredom, they venture around and explore their new 3 story-home - down the stairs is their Aunt's used book shop, the basement is where their Uncle's old collection of costumes and antiques are stored... and then one day, they go upstairs and find a hidden door that leads them to the enchanted attic!
Upon finding the attic, they unearth many trivial bottles filled with unknown powders and liquids, curious books and unique drawings on the floor. All of these things that once belonged to the previous owner - a mad magician that practiced apothecary, who had disappeared a few years ago.
One night while Ophelia was reading her book in the attic, she got curious with her surroundings, and while looking around, she dropped her book onto the floor at the exact moment that something magical was aligning up! In the next moment, Quasimodo appears!
How did Quasimodo come out of the book???

The rest of the story is about getting to know people, trying to do the right thing and standing up for what you believe in and not being afraid.

How will they help Quasimodo get back into his world???
And will they be able to help Quasimodo and change his story for the better???

My only issue with this book is probably just a typographical error - the summary states that the twins are twelve years old, but as you read the story, it continuously says that they are fourteen. Since this is an ARC, I believe that it may just be a typo. The children in this book do seem to be mature, so I am going to say that they are fourteen, it just makes better sense to me...

I highly recommend this book! Especially for advancing middle graders that are taking the leap from beginner chapter books to those thicker ones, and for those who have an early interest in writing.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 
Powered by JReviews

LATEST YABC BLOG POSTS - BLOG TOURS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, AND GIVEAWAYS

  • Author Top 5 with Jenny Martin

      Today we welcome Jenny Martin to YABC! Martin's soon to be released debut novel, Tracked, is sure to appeal to fans of The Fast and the Furious and Firely along with Marie Lu's Legend and Veronica Roth's Divergent. This book will be racing across the finis ...

  • Chapter Reveal: The Ark by Laura Liddell Nolen + Giveaway (International)

    The Ark by Laura Liddell Nolen Release Date: March 26, 2015 Before we get to the chapter, here's a note from Laura:   Hi, YABC! I’m fired up about sharing my first chapter with you today. The Ark is about a young convict trapped in prison on the last day of ...

  • Author Top 5 with Django Wexler

      Today we welcome Django Wexler to YABC! Wexler's newly released sequel to The Forbidden Library, The Mad Apprentice: The Forbidden Library: Volume 2, is a fantasy adventure sure to appeal to fans of Harry Potter, Coroline, and Inkheart! Django has given us a list of the ...

  • April 2015 Book Haul!

    Hey YABCers!  Our office was innundated with fabulous kidlit, middle grade, and YA books this month! (Including an audio book and a graphic novel.) Check out our book haul below and tell us which books look the most interesting to you!    ...

  • Giveaway: Twintuition - Double Vision by Tia & Tamera Mowry (US Only)

    TWINTUITION: DOUBLE VISION by Tia & Tamera Mowry Release Date: April 21, 2015   About the Book Cassie and Caitlyn Waters may be identical twins, but everything else about them is completely different. The only thing they can agree on is that neither of them is happy th ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: The Complete Blooming Goddess Trilogy by Tellulah Darling + Giveaway (International)

    Hi, YABCers! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for THE COMPLETE BLOOMING GODDESS TRILOGY by Tellulah Darling, releasing April 30, 2015 from Te Da Media. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Tellulah:   Hey YABC! I’ve basically been in sque ...

  • What's New in YA

      Are you wondering what's new in YA today? Check out these wonderful new releases!       From the acclaimed author of How to Love comes another stunning contemporary novel, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen.   Molly Barlow is facing on ...

  • The Librarian's Corner

        I am happy to share with the YABC community the brand new Librarian's Corner column! This column features three themed book recommendations from a Teen Librarian each month. My name is Eden Grey, and I'll be doing the column each month. I am a Teen Librarian, and I absolutel ...

  • Chapter Reveal: Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca

    Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca Release Date: June 9, 2015 Before we get to the chapter, here's a note from Gina:   I’m so excited to share the first chapter of LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE with all of you! I’ve written this opening many different ways, and I lov ...

  • Giveaway: The Ark by Laura Liddell (International)

    The Ark By Laura Liddell Nolen    Release Date: March 26, 2015   About the Book It’s the final days of earth, and sixteen-year-old Char is right where she belongs: in prison. With her criminal record, she doesn’t qualify for a place on an Ark, one of the five ...

  • Giveaway: 5 To 1 by Holly Bodger (US & Canada Only)

    5 to1 By Holly Bodger Release Date: 5/12/15   About the Book Sudasa doesn't want to be a wife and Kiran, a boy forced to compete in the test to become her husband, has other plans as well. Sudasa's family wants nothing more than for their daughter to do the right thing and p ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: Tor Maddox: Unleashed by Liz Coley + Giveaway (International)

    Hi, YABCers, and welcome to today's cover reveal! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for TOR MADDOX: UNLEASHED by Liz Coley, releasing May 1, 2015 from LCTeen. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Liz:   Hi YABC! I’m thrilled to int ...

View more blog entries

Latest Book Listings Added

Category: Kids Fiction
Fans of How to Train Your Dragon will love this whimsical tale, the first in a series, by a Newbery...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fortune favors the bold in this adventurous tale of broken friendships, forbidden love, and a fiery heroine’s journey to escape...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Alex Myers is a quarterback, but from the first day of football practice, it’s clear that that position is very...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
flora and ulysses.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
Winner of the 2014 Newbery Medal Holy unanticipated occurrences! A cynic meets an unlikely superhero in a genre-breaking new novel...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Some endings are inevitable, but so are some stories. Cora Matthews, the principal’s gloomy goth daughter, is not exactly...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In End Times, Daphne lost herself in love with Owen, only to discover the dark secret that puts Carbon County...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
A return to the world of THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB -- in a novel that gets to the heart of...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
The most mysterious Bronte sister steps into the light in this must-read novel for fans of Wuthering Heights and Jane...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Wisdom is a journey across the Orion Arm of our galaxy and into the dreams, fears, and frailties of four...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ingrid and Gabby survived the Underneath. They saved their brother, Grayson, from a future of dark servitude and exposed a...
 
0.0
 
3.7 (1)
Rorke Denver trains the men who become Navy SEALs--the most creative problem solvers on the modern battlefield, ideal warriors for...
 
0.0
 
4.5 (1)
The remarkable third novel in Sara B. Larson's bestselling Defy series! At last, Alexa and King Damian are engaged to...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
After risking her life in the mortal world, the faerie princess Elora returns home to incite a revolution. Allied with...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Wasp’s job is simple. Hunt ghosts. And every year she has to fight to remain Archivist. Desperate and alone, she...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
An action-packed, romantic, and suspenseful third book in the Altered series. The Branch is in shambles, but Anna, Sam, Cas,...
 
0.0
 
3.7 (1)
The Shakespeare Book brings the work of William Shakespeare to life with full-color photography, images, idea webs, timelines, and quotes...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Louisa May Alcott can't believe it—her mother is leaving for the summer to earn money for the family and Louisa...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fan-favorite author Bree Despain continues her modern-day romance trilogy inspired by the Greek myth of Persephone and Hades with this...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In critically acclaimed author Sarah Darer Littman's gripping new novel what happens online doesn't always stay online . . ....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins, Lauren Barnholdt, and Susane Colasanti, The Boyfriend Project is a romantic read about a...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)