New Middle Grade Fiction: The Whatnot – Stefan Bachmann

I’m not sure if Stefan Bachmann is old enough to vote yet but he’s already a musician, composer—and a very accomplished writer. Of his first book, The Peculiar, the LA Times offered this lush praise: “Bachmann’s steampunk fairy tale [is] set in an alternate Victorian-era London — a book that, at times, recalls Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities and more recent classics, such as J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.”  (No pressure, Stefan. :-) )

No less a young prodigy than Christopher Paolini said that Bachmann’s work is “swift, strong and entertaining. Highly recommended.” And from Rick Riordan: “Bachmann breathes fresh life into ancient magic.”

So what’s it about? With a laugh, Bachmann himself describes the books as a “Gothic, steampunk, fairytale murder mystery.” You can hear him discuss this story on the book’s website.

And here:

Along with universally great reviews, the first book was also a Top Ten Indie Next Pick so the fans will be waiting for this one. One of them is Liesl Freudenstein, the children’s book buyer at Boulder Book Store in Boulder, CO:

Can I use the word “fantastic more then once?, cause this is really fantastic. I loved the first one and I might love this one even more. The world building was so utterly and completely real and incredibly weird. Like all good fantasy, The Whatnot, has the seamless introduction of new characters, exploration of new settings and the expansion of previously introduced ideas. Even in this deeply imagined world, the basic coming of age story was in no way lost, and the ending was very satisfying. Now that’s fantastic!”

“Exhilarating…Readers will want to start with The Peculiar, and immediately dive into this fine tale.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Bachmann unleashes his boundless imagination…[a] breathless read…” — Kirkus Reviews

“This sequel to The Peculiar is an enthralling read in its own right, but even better for those acquainted with the first book. The breathtaking beauty of [Bachmann’s] prose is coupled with a plot that also leaves his audience breathless.” —School Library Journal

The Whatnot (9780062195210) by Stefan Bachmann. $16.99 hardcover. 9/24/13 on sale.

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