Book Review: The Apothecary by Maile Meloy

The ApothecaryThe Apothecary by Maile Meloy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was recommended to me for an 11-year old girl. I'm not comfortable extending that same recommendation. There are aspects of the book which I did not find appropriate for her age. Perhaps I would recommend this to a 13-14 year old, maybe a mature 12-13.

There are hints of His Dark Materials in the book, which enriched the book for me. The main character of the story is Janie Scott, a 14-year old girl who's family flees California to live in London. The story takes place in the 1950's, after the end of WWII. Janie's family leaves the States as they are under suspicion of being communist supporters.

Janie hates the idea of leaving California, her school, her friends. She finds herself not only as the new girl, she is the new American girl.

On her first day of school, there is a bomb drill, this is where she first sets eyes on Benjamin Burrows. The only student who refuses to hide under a table. The only student who stands up and asks to be treated as an adult.

The story surrounding Benjamin and Janie is filled with magic, mystery and adventure.

The illustrations at the beginning of every chapter make you want to read just one more before bed. Then another. Then another.

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