Ian Baucom’s ‘Through the Skylight’ is an entertaining adventure


Through the Skylight“THROUGH THE SKYLIGHT,” by Ian Baucom and Justin Gerard, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, March 19, 2013, Hardcover, $17.99 (ages 9 and up)

Jared, Shireen and Miranda live in Venice with their parents. You’d think that living in Italy would never get old, but the children have grown restless with their surroundings. But everything changes when an old Venetian shopkeeper secretly gives them each a gift — rings for the girls and an old dice for Jared.

At first, the gifts seem like tourist items from a nice old man. The siblings don’t know what power each item actually holds, but they’re about to find out.

A stone lion roars. …
A sleek black cat speaks. …
A faun leaps from the canvas of a painting. …
And the adventure begins. …

The siblings aren’t the only ones destined for adventure, though. Travel back to another time and another trio — Rashid, Maria and Francesca. The three children have witnessed magic under terrible circumstances. All they want to do is put things right and return home, but their fate is linked to that of three siblings far into the future.

“Through the Skylight” is a time-traveling adventure, featuring mystical creatures, magic beyond imagination and a lot of ingenuity.

While there are two sets of children featured in the book Jared, Shireen and Miranda are heavily favored. That’s a good thing. They are immediately relatable across a number of spheres. They set the tone for the book and their antics and individual fears and triumphs help the story move forward at a good pace.

“Through the Skylight” is one of those books that would be good to read in a classroom or as a family. That’s because even though there are fantastical moments, the book is also filled with real elements that can be studied. The history, art and architecture of Venice come alive here and are perfectly suited for further exploration. Readers will discover the magic that is Venice without ever leaving the comfort of their home.

Above all, “Through the Skylight” is an entertaining read that will appeal to boys, girls and their parents.

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About Author

Jessica Harrison is the main reviewer behind Cracking the Cover. Prior to creating Cracking the Cover, Jessica worked as the in-house book critic for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. Jessica also worked as a copy editor and general features writer for the paper. Following that, Jessica spent two years with an international company as a social media specialist. She is currently a freelance writer/editor. She is passionate about reading and giving people the tools to make informed decisions in their own book choices.

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