The Children’s Book Review
Published: February 26, 2012
Olivia Brophie and the Pearl of Tagelus
by Christopher Tozier
Cover Artist: Steve Weaver
Publisher: Pineapple Press
Ages: 8 and up
Olivia Brophie feels betrayed. She hasn’t heard from her mom who’s serving in the army in Iraq. And for no reason, her dad sent her to live with her crazy aunt and uncle in the middle of nowhere—the Florida scrub. It seems boring until bears follow her to school, coral snakes leave her gifts, and tree frogs start writing cryptic messages on her bedroom window. All of nature seems to be pushing her toward something important.
Olivia is fascinated by the giant insect walkingsticks that her uncle tenderly protects. He turns out to be crazier than she thought with wild ideas about magnetic currents, cosmic rays, and a mysterious device that controls the laws of the universe. He doesn’t know the half of it.
Along with Doug, a local eco-nerd genius, and Gnat, her videogame-obsessed little brother, Olivia discovers a vast underworld city lost in history but hiding the secret to the future. With the forces of evil at her heels, she finds a brilliant pearl and must use its power to discover her life’s ultimate destiny.
Olivia Brophie and the Pearl of Tagelus is the first in a series of middle-grade fantasy novels. This adventure features plenty of magic and action, but also remains grounded in unique natural history. Readers will be introduced to monstrous tardigrades, echinoids, anaspideans, and geologic aquifers. The environmental message and natural history are subtle lessons resulting from an exciting story and a shocking ending that will leave readers wanting more.
Christopher Tozier was awarded a 2011 Individual Artist Fellowship from the State of Florida. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He lives in an unnamed Florida scrub where he often sees bears, coral snakes, and giant walkingsticks.
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