Book Review of The Gravity Thief
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The Children’s Book Review
The Gravity Thief
Written by Nancy Kunhardt Lodge
Illustrated by Christopher Hilaire
Ages 8-12 | 168 Pages
Publisher: Wilwahren Press | ISBN: 9780996088572
What to expect: Science fiction, mystery, time travels, Renaissance art
The Gravity Thief is the third installment of the zany adventures of Lucy Nightingale. Lucy is on a school trip to the Emily Sears Museum when she learns that a famous painting, Music Lesson by Jan Vermeer, has been stolen. The story gets increasingly more complicated when Lucy discovers that several Vermeers have been stolen and then abandoned. The thief is looking for something particular and Lucy is determined to find out what that might be.
Lucy enlists the help of her best friend Sam and together the pair begin to test out their theories of what the thief might be looking for. Sam is a genius inventor who always finds a way to put his gadgets to good use. His inventions include a superphone that has a tool kit, goggles, a shapeshifting key, and a flashlight, among other gadgets—practical and fantastic all in one! Lucy sets off to investigate and what at first seems to be a simple crime has actually turned into a mystery involving multiple realities and time travel. With the help of some of the characters from famous Renaissance paintings—such as a princess from Diego Velasquez’s painting The Maids of Honor—and Jan Vermeer himself, Lucy begins to unravel the mystery.
Filled with interesting bits of information—ranging from different painting techniques to the importance of polygons and magic triangles and all compiled in a handy appendix—The Gravity Thief is sure to fascinate readers with many varied interests. The well-rounded characters and the fast-paced story are a fitting third installment to the series.
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About the Author
Nancy Kunhardt Lodge has a Masters Degree in Classics and a Ph.D. in Renaissance Art History and has taught at Universities in Massachusetts and Washington, DC. She has written scholarly articles and delivered papers at Renaissance conferences in Italy and the U.S. She is the granddaughter of famed children’s book writer Dorothy Kunhardt, author of Pat the Bunny and US Senator, Ambassador, and diplomat, Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. Dr.Lodge is a member of SCBWI, the College Art Association, and the American Library Association.
Her first Middle Grade Children’s book, THE CRYSTAL NAVIGATOR is recommended by the American Educational Association and received praise from Kirkus and other reviewers. Her second book, MONA LISA’S GHOST won an Eric Hoffer Book Award and a Mom’s Choice Gold Award, as well as strong editorial reviews. Both books were published in Spanish by Editorial Kolima. The Gravity Thief, the third book in the series, is a fast-paced fantasy/SciFi thriller that begins as a quest to rescue a child who has fallen out of Vermeer’s Music Lesson and quickly becomes a race against time to thwart an evil mastermind’s plan to suck the world into a Black Hole with a powerful machine. She lives on the north shore of Boston with her husband/editor and Corgi, Neville.
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I would like to thank Luisa La Fleur, first for slogging through Mona Lisa’s Ghost and The Gravity Thief, second for understanding them, and third for her beautifully-written reviews.
Nancy Kunhardt Lodge