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The Fire Chronicle (Books of Beginning) (edition 2012)

by John Stephens

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2481446,284 (4.01)18
Member:swanack
Title:The Fire Chronicle (Books of Beginning)
Authors:John Stephens
Info:Knopf Books for Young Readers (2012), Hardcover, 448 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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The Fire Chronicle by John Stephens

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The Fire Chronicle is the second book in his Books of Beginning trilogy. In this book the children Kate, Michael, and Emma have been separated-Kate, with the Emerald Atlas, has been sent back in time-to a time when the magic and the ordinary worlds are about to be separated. In the meantime, Michael and Emma go to the South Pole and discover a strange world hidden underground. Michael rescues a princess, discovers that elves can be annoying but make useful allies, faces a dragon, and finds himself the master of the Book of Life. This enables him to perform acts of mercy and magic, but at a tremendous personal cost. As with the first book, I enjoyed this second one as well—in particular because I listened to the audio version with Jim Dale as narrator. It was nice to see the growth and maturity of all the children, particularly Michael. A good series for families to enjoy together. 4 out of 5 stars. ( )
  marsap | Jun 5, 2017 |
Great second installment in this series. Well plotted, and Stephens takes the time to develop his characters to impressive depth for a YA fantasy series. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 10, 2017 |
Continuing on from "The Emerald Atlas", Kate has claimed the Emerald Atlas but the other two Books of Beginning are still lost, the children (Kate, Michael and Emma) are still in danger and their parents are still missing so, as [The Fire Chronicle] opens, they are back in an orphanage (a particularly horrible one) and it feels like nothing has changed. Until Screechers attack the orphanage, so Kate flings herself back into the past using the power of the Atlas to get rid of the Screecher that has seized her and Dr Stanislaus Pym rescues the other two in the nick of time.

Kate finds herself in New York at the turn of the 19th century's in the hours counting down to the Separation, when the magical world split from the mundane world to protect non-humans and humans with magical powers - but she no longer has the Atlas and does not know how to get back to her siblings. She discovers unexpected allies, but they have their own agenda too, and enemies - because the Dire Magnus is also in New York.

In the meantime, Dr Pym is searching for the location of the Fire Chronicle and jumps Michael and Emma across the world looking for clues. When they discover its location, Dr Pym helps the children barely evade capture by the Dire Magnus's minions and though he is left behind, they are reunited with their old friend Gabriel.

Now it's up to Kate to find her way back to the present and for Michael to take on the responsibilities of the elder sibling and to find the Fire Chronicle. But the Dire Magnus has his own game to play out, too.

I have had this book out from the library for quite a while and my reading has been rather fragmented because I've been reading it while waiting for the boys to finish their football lessons and so on; but despite the length of time it has taken me (my fault) and my erratic memory, the story has held up well and kept my attention. I confess, though, that I may be starting to be boggled by the time traveling as a consequence. The story is well written, with enough action and adventure to keep young readers' attention, and it doesn't talk down to them. It also highlights the deep sibling bond that I see in my children and I remember from my own childhood.

Give this one a go (but you do have to read "The Emerald Atlas" first).

4**** ( )
  humouress | Sep 12, 2016 |
Kate, Michael, and Emma have been sent back to the orphanage in Baltimore but Kate realizes that they are still in danger and when the storm comes, Kate is separated from Michael and Emma leaving Michael promising to watch over his little sister until Kate returns. Kate is thrown back into time by the Atlas until just before the magical world separates itself in 1899 while Michael and Emma connect with Dr. Pym and start out on a search for the second book - the Fire Chronicle.

Michael and Emma are taken on an adventure to the bowels of the earth starting in Antarctica and ending in an area far beneath the ice mass warmed by a volcano which guards the Chronicle. Meanwhile, Kate is without the Atlas and struggles in the past to find a way back to her siblings.

Loved the adventure and the children's resolve when faced with danger. ( )
  cyderry | Apr 22, 2015 |
The second book in this series is just as magical, fantastical, and amazingly well-written as the first. It is a fantasy series that does not talk down to children, and has good times and bad for the heroes. In this book the Wibberly children face all kinds of adversity, and get beaten and wounded. In short, they learn that life doesn't always have a happy ending. Great stuff for children of all ages. This is also a great read aloud - a quality that parents and teachers the world over will be grateful to put to use. So far this series is as nearly perfect as a children's series can be. Read these books and spread the word to other readers. ( )
  benitastrnad | Oct 3, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Stephensprimary authorall editionscalculated
Foster, JonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Prologue: The boy was small, and new to the orphanage, which meant he had the worst bed in the dormitory, the most uneven, the saggiest, the strangest-smelling; it was little more than a cot, jammed into an alcove at the back of the room.
Chapter One: The Letter in the Tree: Kate finished writing the letter, sealed it in an envelope, then walked over and dropped it into the hollow of an old tree.
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"In the second book in the Books of Beginning Trilogy, Michael and Emma must track down the Chronicle of Life, while Kate must find a way back to present day from the year 1899"--

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