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The Clockwork Three

The Clockwork Three

Written by Matthew Kirby

Narrated by Marc Thompson


The Clockwork Three

Written by Matthew Kirby

Narrated by Marc Thompson

ratings:
4.5/5 (49 ratings)
Length:
12 hours
Released:
Oct 1, 2010
ISBN:
9780545285360
Format:
Audiobook

Description

A team of unlikely friends—an orphaned street musician, a hard-working girl from the tenements, and a talented clockmaker's apprentice—discover that together they can overcome even the darkest of fears.

Released:
Oct 1, 2010
ISBN:
9780545285360
Format:
Audiobook


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Reviews

What people think about The Clockwork Three

4.3
49 ratings / 26 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    The clockwork three , is about three children and how their stories come together. Hannah is a girl who works as a maid ,at a grand hotel, after her father had a stroke. she has to support her whole family because of her fathers sickness. When Hannah gets offered a job as Madame Pomerys assistant, she takes it eagerly hoping she can make some extra money for her family. Fredrick , a orphan who works as a clock makers apprentice , is working on a automan that he is sure will make him a journey man , but there is just on missing piece..... its head. When he finds the magnus head it seems like a dream come true. Giuseppe is a boy who works for a cruel master, Stephano. when he finds the green violin floating in the harbor, he discover the violin has a special ''power'' to move people with its music. The green violin might just be his ticket home back to Italy. Slowly their stories come together, and in the end its their friendship that gets them what they need. The clockwork three, is written by Matthew J. Kirby. The book is about three children named Hannah, Fredrick, and Giuseppe. each of the characters has a wish or need, Hannah wishes for her fathers health, Fredrick to make journeyman, and Giuseppe wants to get back to his family in Italy, and escape from the hands of his cruel master. Overall I enjoyed this book , the author made the story seem real, made it come alive. The only criticism I have is the change of characters. I like the fact that the book was written in each characters point of view , but it also made it confusing to read. Other than that I enjoyed it, and recommend it to those who like a good adventure. I gave this book a four because it had all the write qualitys a book needed , even though it was sometimes confusing with the change of characters I still liked it.
  • (3/5)
    Set in a fictional Dickensian American city. Three children who cannot depend on the adults around them but do depend on each other. A little bit steampunk with a clockwork man. A good read as the three children help each other to solve their individual problems.
  • (4/5)
    Starts off well, with three appealing characters in an imaginary city like turn of the century New York -- an Italian street musician, a clockmaker's apprentice, and a maid at a swanky hotel. They meet and become interested in each other's lives. Add into the mix a violin that, when played, makes people happy, a mechanical man, and a hidden treasure, and things looked pretty good there for a while. But then these things take a back seat to character development, and everything slows down. And then when I start to see the author setting up charaters to take a fall, I really lose interest. I think that girls may not find this book as appealing as boys because the centeral female character is more superficial and manipulated by the author than the others.
  • (3/5)
    This is a fun adventure for late elementary school children. While the pacing had a few slow points, the characters were strong and the plot was intriguing. The underlying resilience of all three main characters made it worth sharing with younger readers.
  • (5/5)
    Reason for Reading: This book came unsolicited but I enjoy steampunk as well as stories set in Victorian-like eras, especially from the lower class point of view.This is a tough book to categorize. It centres around clockmakers, clockworks and an automaton within a Victorian (or Victorian-like) society and is obviously steampunk but from there it defies generalization. There is a mystery; this is mostly realistic fiction but there is just that tiny hint of fantasy; the author's note let's us know that some of the events are a compilation from actual events in history, though no dates or name places are given to let us know whether this is happening on our Earth or an alternate Earth. None of this really matters. What the story is, is adventure at top-speed, unique plotline and a page turner.I was hooked at the first chapter and was held in this book's grip until the wonderful satisfying end. The three child characters are each fantastic as we get to know them and beautifully written. They are all similar in age and yet they go gradually from eldest to youngest. Each has a wounded soul and a problem in their lower class life that seems insurmountable. As pairs of the three meet each other and start helping each other it isn't until the three finally all meet together they realize that each one holds the key to another's problem and as such sets forth the tale that will change each of their lives forever.The book has a Dickensian feel to it. Of course, starting with the Oliver Twist-like story of orphan Giuseppe and the buskers under the abusive thumb of Stephano. Then with the motley cast of characters with names such as Mrs. Treeless, Mr. Grumholdt and Mr. Stroop. A fantastic story that both readers of Victorian historical fiction and those of steampunk or sure to enjoy. A brilliant first novel, full of characterization and a plot that doesn't let up until the end. Very satisfying and recommended. I'll be reading this author again!
  • (4/5)
    Desperate to escape from his cruel master and make his way back to his home in Italy, Giuseppe is excited to find a green violin that is like new. Playing it every day in the streets, he is able to make large amounts of money for his escape each day. Storing it in a crypt of a man by the name of Stroop, he dreams of the day he will be able to buy his passage. His cruel master, Stephano, however, grows suspicious of Giuseppe and begins watching him like a hawk. Once a great stonemanson, Hannah’s father has become an invalid after having a bad stroke. Her mother is forced to stay home and care for him as well as the two youngest children. Forced to work in a hotel as a maid, Hannah longs to be able to go back to school and move out of the tenement housing they live in. When her father gets seriously ill from a bedsore, Hannah’s desperate attempts to get money for the medicine her father needs fail. Her only hope is to find the missing treasure of Mr. Stroop, a once wealthy, prominent, living person in society. Apprenticed to a clockmaker, Frederick was lucky enough to escape the orphanage life. Curious to a fault, Frederick seeks unique ways to becoming a journeyman in his field. When he gets the idea to make a clockwork man, he begins saving pieces of scrap metal from around the shop and starts forming them into the form of a man. All he needs is a head. Their lives spun together like clockwork, these three’s paths become entwined for better or worse. Working together to try and meet all three goals, they are able to find a way into Mr. Stroop’s old hidden room above the hotel, find a clockwork head for Frederick, and help Giuseppe get out from under his oppression. Their plans, however, soon back fire and make matters worse. Now Giuseppe is on the run for his life from his cruel master, Frederick has mysterious men from the town museum after him for stealing their clockwork head, and Hannah is on the run from the police for theft and burglary at the hotel she was working at. Now the three's only hope is to find the treasure. Will they succeed?A unique historical adventure. The main characters are well-developed. The plot holds the reader's interest. The ending was a tad disappointing, but fitting for the story. Readers who like fantasy, adventure, historical fiction, and gadget will enjoy reading this book.
  • (3/5)
    Two boys and a girl are the hero AGAIN. Too long, but clockwork and child labor aspects are intriguing.
  • (5/5)
    Frederick is an apprentice watchmaker trying to finish a clockwork man so he can become a journeyman, Hannah is supporting her family with her wages as a hotel maid and dreams of finding treasure and Giuseppe wants to earn enough money to escape from his cruel master and go back to his family in Italy. Circumstances draw the three of them together and they become friends and help each other in their quests.Set in the Victorian period, this book is the perfect mixture of adventure and mystery with satisfyingly real characters and just a hint of magic. Highly recommended for readers aged 9 and up.
  • (5/5)
    I got an advanced reading copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program. It was a fantastic read, I really enjoyed it. Extremely well written, I loved the writing style and enjoyed how the stories of three children were woven together.Giuseppe is an orphan who is living as a busker and trying to survive under a brutal padrone named Stephano. When he finds a green violin that seems magical when he plays it he thinks it may help him escape back to his home in Italy. Frederick is a clockmaker's apprentice who wants to make something spectacular so that he can make journeyman and set up his own shop. If only he could find a way to build the head for his clockwork man. Hannah is a maid at a hotel; she works long hours to support her father who is paralyzed, her mother who cares for him, and her two younger sisters. When she finds out about a treasure hidden somewhere in the hotel she is desperate to find it. These three teenagers find their mysteries and stories entwine.I absolutely loved this story. It takes place in London in the Victorian time period. It is more about magical realism than any straight out magic. There is a steampunk theme throughout because of all of the automatons and clockwork that Frederick does. The writing is just absolutely beautiful; it flows wonderfully, is descriptive, and easy to read. I really enjoyed the writing style a lot.The characters are absolutely wonderful, they all strive to be the best they can and are hopeful despite their dank surroundings. Each of the children has mysteries from the past that they need to solve and are striving to create better futures for themselves and those around them. These characters were absolutely engaging and lots of fun to read about.In the beginning of the book each chapter is from a different characters' perspective, but occasionally the characters cross paths. Then as the book goes on the three characters' stories become increasingly dependent on each other and more and more entangled.The plot was full of twists and turns and surprises. You never knew exactly how anything was going to end up. There are so many mysteries in this book and it was such fun to read how these mysteries were solved and there outcomes.There is magic in this book but it is subtle. In this case it is the magic's subtley that make it feel even more magical. Guiseppe's violin playing is magical, Frederick's automaton are magical, and Hannah's search for the treasure is too.I loved how nicely everything was wrapped up in the end. This is a book suitable for all ages. The story-telling is very well done and just expertly told.Overall just a wonderful book. I highly recommend it to readers of all ages. Readers who love mystery in a Victorian setting and with a touch of magic will love this. The writing quality and story telling ability of the author are exceptional. The characters struggle, but are hopeful and I love the way things end. Just a wonderfully told story, I will definitely check out Kirby's future books.
  • (5/5)
    This story had a lot of suspense and twists. Had a great story line that fits the three characters lifes together. Would recommend this story to anyone
  • (4/5)
    This historical fantasy novel intertwines the lives of three different children. Giuseppe, who is an orphan, was sold in Italy by his uncle to a ruthless master. He was taken to the U.S where he works as a street musician, all the while longing to escape and return home. Apprentice clockmaker Frederick was raised in a sweatshop orphanage and secretly plans to build a clockwork man as well as find out why his mother abandoned him. Hannah’s life is the endless drudgery of a hotel maid working to support her dying father and destitute family. She has overheard a conversation about treasure hidden in the hotel and hopes to find it in order to buy her father medicine. The pivotal moment is when Giuseppe discovers an enchanted green violin whose magical music is one of the elements that bring the three children together. For it is only by working together that they can help solve each others problems and fulfil their own aspirations. This is a riveting adventure in which each child’s perspective is explored. The characters are easy to empathise with and the historical detail given provides an insight into the often trying lives of children in Victorian times. Highly recommended.
  • (4/5)
    this book is mostly boring, it hardly has anything going on in it exept for at the very end, where everything finaly happens.
  • (5/5)
    Who knows what will happen next? There are many twists and turns throughout the story.
  • (5/5)
    This was a fun, engaging read. Hannah, Frederick, and Guiseppe were all realistic, lovable young characters, and I was very interested in the lives they lead. I loved the victorian/steampunk flavor to the setting and it was easy to picture all the details that Kirby mentions. The setting really came to life, as well as all the characters. I will say that I definitely want to know more about Madame Pomeroy, and I think much more could have been said about the clockwork man. I did think that the three children were slow to meet up, but once their paths finally met, the book was even better. I think this is great for younger kids, maybe 10-15, as well as anyone else interested in young adult fiction.And I have to add that the cover art is fantastic.
  • (4/5)
    The Good Stuff Absolutely, positively delightful historical fantasy fiction for the 8-14 range Both girls and boys will adore Absorbing and addictive, I got lost in the story many a time Wonderfully descriptive - you can almost smell and touch your surroundings Intriguing characters introduced one by one so you really get a sense of their personality and their place in the story Heartrendingly sad at times, but also very hopeful Has a bit of Steampunk, fantasy and history all wrapped up into one, even at times a little reminiscent of Oliver Twist Really enjoyed the characters of Madame Pomeroy and Yakov The Not so Good StuffCould have taken out maybe 50 pages, but that is only the opinion of an scattered brain 40 year old mom Also the part with the clockwork man should have been left out or developed more - it just didn't fit in, in my opinion Favorite Quotes/Passages"Stacks and stacks of books lined the walls and stood ready as if they hoped to be on shelves one day.""But I've learned that in most cases it's best to just keep my opinions to myself." The women laughed, a tinkling, trembling laugh. "Would that everyone were as wise as you.""But the old fiddle sang so true, so tender, he gave it more life, and more still, until it did not feel like he was playing it at all. And in that moment, it did not matter which instrument he held in his hands." What I LearnedThat I am lucky to have been born in this era, to the parents I was born to. Who should/shouldn't readYA's who prefer a more substantial story Not for those YA's who prefer a lighter story, this is a heavy one A good starter steampunk for the younger set 4 Dewey'sI received this book from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review
  • (5/5)
    Three kids with separate lives--a hotel maid, an orphaned clockmaker's apprentice, and a street musician--all with desperate troubles come together in this riveting story. This book has everything: wonderful characters, an engrossing plot, lots of suspense, and even some moments that made me tear up. I literally could not stop reading it. I cannot wait to recommend this to my upper grade elementary school students.
  • (5/5)
    It was a great story, we loved it! ? 10 yr old
  • (5/5)
    The clockwork three is an outstanding book, full of twists and turns. Matthew Kirby makes you feel the characters emotion, the happiness, the sorrow, the fear. Truly amazing.
  • (4/5)
    Guiseppe is an orphaned street musician who sees no way to escape, until the day he finds an enchanted green violin. Frederick, an apprentice clockmaker with a past he cannot remember, secretly works at night to build the most magnificent clockwork man the world has every seen. Hannah is a maid in a grand hotel, whose life is one of endless drudgery until she encounters a mystifying new guest and learns of a hidden treasure. As mysterious circumstances bring them together, the lives of these three children soon interlock, like the turning gears of a clock, and they realize that each one holds a key to solving the others' mysteries.
  • (5/5)
    This is a satisfying story of friendship, adventure, magic, and hope set in a 19th century industrial America with steampunk-clockwork-fantasy elements.The Clockwork Three tells the story of three children, each in struggling or desperate situations, whose efforts to improve their lots intertwine in unexpected ways. Giuseppe is an orphaned street busker, trapped in a vicious, exploitative situation with his padrone, who finds a magical green violin that may help him find freedom. Frederick is an apprentice clockmaker with a tortured past but a promising future as he secretly creates a fantastic, but possibly dangerous, clockwork automaton. Hannah is a poor maid at a fancy hotel, trying to save her family from poverty and her father from debilitating illness, who meets a mysterious woman with supernatural powers.Matthew Kirby effortlessly weaves these stories together, throwing in a treasure hunt, suspense and action, and the developing bonds of friendship and love among children unused to allies or help.
  • (3/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Three children of very different backgrounds, but all in difficult circumstances meet and find their lives intertwined like the clockwork man created by one of them. Giuseppe is a busker, controlled by an evil patrone he can't escape. Frederick is an orphan, apprentice to a kindly clockmaker. Hannah is working as a maid to support her family since her father is ill. With help from each other and some kindly adults, all their lives are improved.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (3/5)
    Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.Quick & Dirty: This book was written with a younger audience in mind, but would be entertaining for anyone to read. Elements of history combined with fantasy make it a good escape.Opening Sentence: When Guiseppe found the green violin, he did not think it would help him escape.The Review:This book was definitely one that was hard to put down. The rhythm of it was fast-paced the entire time, which would make it more entertaining for the younger audience for whom it was written, but a quick, fun read for teens or adults as well. It was almost like a book of three short stories that combines at the end to become one story, so there is always something going on.In case the reader misses this point, like I did, I would like to point out that the history behind the book’s storyline is shared in the About the Author section at the end of the book, and I think knowing that a main portion of the book is based on a true story really adds to the emotion and the drama of the storyline. But I’ll let you check that out yourself if you would like.As it is set in a historical time period, the children are all carrying much more responsibility than we are used to for children today. They are basically children who work as adults, but with adults still controlling their lives. This book has quite dark undertones, and at some point I was questioning whether it was really appropriate for children in the audience for which is was written. Since it is based in a real historical time period, many of the dark elements were actual real fears that children in that age range would have had to face. I think it would be important to discuss that if reading this in a school or family setting.Each of the children characters has largely different circumstances, but is at a turning point with the obstacle they are facing where they will either succumb to the weight they are carrying or rise above it. Although they are hesitant to do so, they must learn to trust other people to even give them a hope of overcoming the tremendous burdens that they have been faced with. In doing so, they must not only decide whom to trust, but must also fight back by attempting some not so commendable acts themselves. The children all end up admitting each of their follies at the appropriate time, however, showing that they too are trustworthy, just desperate enough to go against their inherently innocent nature.The character progression is one of the most intriguing things about this book. It is definitely a coming-of-age story for the three main characters. I struggle with one aspect of the book, and that is that many of the problems are solved through somewhat mysterious means. Most of the events can be explained scientifically, but there are a few instances that are attributed to magic of some sort. I wish that the author would have found a more realistic way for the children to overcome their obstacles, since I feel that the overall purpose of the book is to show that children are certainly capable of something more than we credit them for.Even with an Epilogue, this book definitely would have made an excellent series. The characters and plot are so well-developed by the end of the book that there definitely could have been more, but I suppose it’s that way with any good story. This one is definitely that enjoyable and the reader definitely becomes that close to the characters, wanting to step into the book and help somehow, to make sure that each child makes it safely to adulthood.Notable Scene:“You poor thing,” Alice said. “I wish there was something I could do.”It seemed as though that was just something adults said. Adults like Reverend Grey. But Guiseppe felt that they were saying it more to themselves, so they felt less guilty about doing nothing. But he did not blame them. What they could do for him, they had done.FTC Advisory: Scholastic Press provided me with a copy of The Clockwork Three. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
  • (3/5)
    Three children of very different backgrounds, but all in difficult circumstances meet and find their lives intertwined like the clockwork man created by one of them. Giuseppe is a busker, controlled by an evil patrone he can't escape. Frederick is an orphan, apprentice to a kindly clockmaker. Hannah is working as a maid to support her family since her father is ill. With help from each other and some kindly adults, all their lives are improved.
  • (4/5)
    Hannah is a young girl working hard to provide for her family who is in desperate need of money and provision. When a rich woman named Madame Pomeroy hires Hannah, she thinks her and her family’s problems might just be solved. Will they? Giuseppe is a young boy who lives in an orphanage under the wicked Stephano. He plays the fiddle in the streets to make money to give to Stephano. But when he finds a beautiful green violin, he believes his life could be permanently altered…that he could someday go home to Italy again. Can he? Frederick doesn’t want to be reminded of the orphanage he was once a part of – or that he doesn’t know where his family is. He works as a clockmaker for Master Branch, and is currently pulling together an automaton he believes can make him rich and solve all his problems. Will it? As these three young peoples’ lives are pulled together, this story unfolds in a way that Hannah, Giuseppe, and Frederick would have never imagined. ____________________________________________ I was quite intrigued by this book, more than I was expecting when I bought it. While it isn’t a favorite, I will definitely read it again. Hannah, Frederick, and Giuseppe were great leading roles, and the side characters helped move the story along very smoothly. They needed to be there. I can’t imagine the story without a single one of them – and that’s why I can’t pick a favorite. The three leads were amazing, each in his/her own way. And Alice, Mister Branch, Miss Wool, and the Magnus head were phenomenal. If I had to pick between them all, I would only be able to get down to two – Frederick and the Magnus head. But even they are so tied with the rest… One word I’d use to sum up this book would be precious. It is a precious story, full of love, hope, friendship, and the gifts of a few young people put into action to better the lives of those around them. My favorite aspect of the story is how perfectly it all falls together, the way the characters meet each other and interact. The writing in this story is really well done. It is just purely solid. No fluff, in the best possible way. There’s really no way to describe it – you’ll just have to read the story. It’s definitely a one-of-a-kind novel. It could be categorized as steampunk – or fantasy – or even sci-fi – and yet it can also be categorized as a good old fashioned, adventurous fiction novel. Do I have anything bad to say about this book? Well, not necessarily bad, if you will, just some cautions. There is a seance toward the beginning of the book, and while it moves the story along really well, it isn’t developed any further (the woman performing the seance is said to be able to speak with spirits). The book takes a turn for the creepy about half-way through, but that lasts for no more than 50 pages. And the last thought I have is that about half-way through, the really important things stopped happening. I mean, every event, word, and scene in this book is important, but it wasn’t as adventurous as the first or second half. So if you start getting bored – DON’T put the book down. You’ll be so so so so happy you read it when it’s over. (I wasn’t exactly bored with these few scenes, though, in case you’re wondering…it’s really hard to explain.) This book is recommended to ages 12 and up (if you get scared really easily, don’t read it at night because of the bits and pieces of creepy; otherwise, you’re fine). And while I think young readers will love this book, I believe adult readers will find it fascinating as well. It’s a solid piece of fiction and I can’t wait to read more of Matthew J. Kirby’s books! P.S. The Cover of this book is just as intriguing as the story, because its complexity matches the story within. And the layout…well, it was so clean and easy to understand and read. And I just LOVED that it had chapter names, and that the names actually caught my attention.
  • (4/5)
    Desperate to escape from his cruel master and make his way back to his home in Italy, Giuseppe is excited to find a green violin that is like new. Playing it every day in the streets, he is able to make large amounts of money for his escape each day. Storing it in a crypt of a man by the name of Stroop, he dreams of the day he will be able to buy his passage. His cruel master, Stephano, however, grows suspicious of Giuseppe and begins watching him like a hawk. Once a great stonemanson, Hannah’s father has become an invalid after having a bad stroke. Her mother is forced to stay home and care for him as well as the two youngest children. Forced to work in a hotel as a maid, Hannah longs to be able to go back to school and move out of the tenement housing they live in. When her father gets seriously ill from a bedsore, Hannah’s desperate attempts to get money for the medicine her father needs fail. Her only hope is to find the missing treasure of Mr. Stroop, a once wealthy, prominent, living person in society. Apprenticed to a clockmaker, Frederick was lucky enough to escape the orphanage life. Curious to a fault, Frederick seeks unique ways to becoming a journeyman in his field. When he gets the idea to make a clockwork man, he begins saving pieces of scrap metal from around the shop and starts forming them into the form of a man. All he needs is a head. Their lives spun together like clockwork, these three’s paths become entwined for better or worse. Working together to try and meet all three goals, they are able to find a way into Mr. Stroop’s old hidden room above the hotel, find a clockwork head for Frederick, and help Giuseppe get out from under his oppression. Their plans, however, soon back fire and make matters worse. Now Giuseppe is on the run for his life from his cruel master, Frederick has mysterious men from the town museum after him for stealing their clockwork head, and Hannah is on the run from the police for theft and burglary at the hotel she was working at. Now the three's only hope is to find the treasure. Will they succeed?A unique historical adventure. The main characters are well-developed. The plot holds the reader's interest. The ending was a tad disappointing, but fitting for the story. Readers who like fantasy, adventure, historical fiction, and gadget will enjoy reading this book.
  • (4/5)
    This historical fantasy novel intertwines the lives of three different children. Giuseppe, who is an orphan, was sold in Italy by his uncle to a ruthless master. He was taken to the U.S where he works as a street musician, all the while longing to escape and return home. Apprentice clockmaker Frederick was raised in a sweatshop orphanage and secretly plans to build a clockwork man as well as find out why his mother abandoned him. Hannah’s life is the endless drudgery of a hotel maid working to support her dying father and destitute family. She has overheard a conversation about treasure hidden in the hotel and hopes to find it in order to buy her father medicine. The pivotal moment is when Giuseppe discovers an enchanted green violin whose magical music is one of the elements that bring the three children together. For it is only by working together that they can help solve each others problems and fulfil their own aspirations. This is a riveting adventure in which each child’s perspective is explored. The characters are easy to empathise with and the historical detail given provides an insight into the often trying lives of children in Victorian times. Highly recommended.