The Mourning Emporium by Michelle Lovric. A Companion to The Undrowned Child.
Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 2012
List Price: $17.99
Review: "There will be danger. We may be fighting for our lives, For Venice. For London, for our world if necessary." says eleven-year-old Teodora Gasperin, in The Mourning Emporium Review, the thrilling novel by Michelle Lovric, the second book in the Undrowned Child Series.
The Mourning Emporium Review begins with Venice being completely destroyed by an ice flood. Many people have died, and Teodora's or Teo's adoptive parents are missing. Teo immediately suggests that the evil Bajamonte Tiepolo is trying to once again destroy Venice just as in the last book. Then the reader is introduced to Teo's sidekick, Renzo, who is the Studious Son. Teo is the Undrowned Child; Renzo and he are both protectors of Venice. You will need to read the book to find out what happens to these boys who are left with no parents.
In my opinion, The Mourning Emporium is a great book because I love the setting, gritty London in the 1900's. Of course that might not appeal to everyone, but for me, the setting really enhanced the story. At some points during the book, the dialect does detract from the story. For example, when the boys are in London, the accents are extremely thick and the grammar is not proper. So it is difficult to understand some of the dialogue. In the book, a new character called Turtledove grabs Renzo and yells at him. Later in the dialogue, I find that Turtledove is a dog, which I didn't understand initially. Since Turtledove was doing very strange things, I needed to go back to see why that was happening. The dialect and grammar didn't detract in a major way, but I would've preferred that the characters speak more clearly. Unfortunately, the plot was very predictable and overused. Two kids save the world! We've all seen it. For example, the cruel captor on the Scilla Miss Uish is overthrown by the orphans. They throw her into the water butÉoh, surprise surprise! She gets away and joins Bajamonte Tiepolo in a boat full of ghost convicts.
On a positive note, Michelle Lovric does a great job with mystery. Because when a new mystery is introduced I feel fully engaged. In addition, parts of the book are very funny. The prime example for me is, "Despite being fully twelve years old, Teo could not resist sticking out her tongue at her captors." I feel that the characters always stay the same, no matter what. So the characters are static which makes it very frustrating reading sometimes. Overall, balancing the positives and the negatives, The Mourning Emporium is a good book, and I would recommend it for Grades 6-8 because of some gruesome and graphic scenes. I would give this book three out of five stars.
Review written by Luc (6th grade student).
We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of The Mourning Emporium for this review.
Have you read The Mourning Emporium? How would you rate it?