The Emerald Atlas (Books of Beginning Series #1)

The Emerald Atlas (Books of Beginning Series #1)

by John Stephens


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"A strong . . . new trilogy, invoking just a little Harry Potter and Series of Unfortunate Events along the way."—Realms of Fantasy

Siblings Kate, Michael, and Emma have been in one orphanage after another for the last ten years, passed along like lost baggage.
Yet these unwanted children are more remarkable than they could possibly imagine. Ripped from their parents as babies, they are being protected from a horrible evil of devastating power, an evil they know nothing about.
Until now.
Before long, Kate, Michael, and Emma are on a journey through time to dangerous and secret corners of the world . . . a journey of allies and enemies, of magic and mayhem. And—if an ancient prophesy is true—what they do can change history, and it's up to them to set things right.

"A new Narnia for the tween set."—The New York Times

"[A] fast-paced, fully imagined fantasy."—Publishers Weekly

"Echoes of other popular fantasy series, from "Harry Potter" to the "Narnia" books, are easily found, but debut author Stephens has created a new and appealing read . . ."—School Library Journal, Starred Review

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375872716
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 04/24/2012
Series: Books of Beginning Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 147,899
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile: 720L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

John Stephens is also the author of The Fire Chronicle, the second installment in the Books of Beginning trilogy.  John received his MFA from the University of Virginia, and went on to write and produce television for ten years.  During this time, he read His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman and fell in love with fantasy for young readers.  He spent the next several years waking at 4 AM every morning to write The Emerald Atlas before heading to work for the day.
John lives in Los Angeles with his wife and sons and their dog, Bug. Visit to find out more about The Emerald Atlas, the Books of Beginning, and John.

Read an Excerpt

The hat in question was owned by Mrs. Constance Lovestock. Mrs. Lovestock was a woman of some years, even greater means, and no children. She was not a woman who did things by half measures. Take her position on swans. She thought them the most beautiful, graceful creatures in the world.

Excerpted from "The Emerald Atlas"
by .
Copyright © 2012 John Stephens.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Children's Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

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The Emerald Atlas (Books of Beginning Series #1) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 309 reviews.
irishbookworm21 More than 1 year ago
One Christmas Eve, Kate is shaken awake by her mother. Kate, the oldest of three children, is implored by her mother to look after the younger two, Michael and Emma. The three children are spirited away in the middle of the night to keep them safe. For the next ten years, these siblings will find themselves shuffled from foster home to foster home, until one disastrous meeting with a potential adoptive parent lands them in the "orphanage" of Dr. Stanislaus Pym. It is a strange sort of orphanage, made so because of the enigmatic owner of the house, Dr. Pym, the old caretaker, Abraham, and the housekeeper who insists on speaking to the children in address of royalty, Miss Sallow. Oh, and the fact that Kate, Michael, and Emma are the only children in the orphanage. Upon their first investigation of the house, the children find a book bound in green leather. Purely by accident, they stick a picture in the book and are transported back in time. It is here they meet the Countess, an evil witch in search of the book that the children themselves have found. When they try to get back to their time, Michael is left behind. The girls then return to find Michael, sending them on the adventure of a lifetime. The children seems to be on one adventure after another trying to right the wrongs of the past. When I first started this book, I was not sure if I would finish it. The Emerald Atlas contains characters reminiscent of Harry Potter's Albus Dumbledore and Rubius Hagrid, a story line about children entering another time (world) in order to save it as in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, and a seemingly never-ending abundance of dismal situations a la A Series of Unfortunate Events. I was concerned that John Stephens would not find his own voice. I am glad I kept reading. While the aforementioned nods to other great children's literature do exist, Stephens begins to weave his own tale. The characters are ones for whom you can champion. I am a major fan of books that incorporate strong female characters, and Stephens does this twice with both Kate and Emma. He also manages to do so while keeping in consideration the fact that they are still children. As with any book, I rate it based on its repeat readability (yep, making up words now). Stephens gets a solid yes. Stephens' novel is great for young readers, rich in folklore and vivid imagery. I am looking forward to the next two books in this trilogy, even knowing I will have to wait quite some time (as Atlas is not slated for release until April 2011). Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am 11 years old and I love this book probably the best book i've read!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Balina More than 1 year ago
The book is definitely a must read. Hard to put down
Ronrose More than 1 year ago
This is an entertaining story of magic and imagination. Very fast paced and full of interesting twists and surprises. If you enjoyed the Harry Potter series, you will be right at home with this book. It is the first book of a trilogy chronicling the adventures of three children, who one night are mysteriously abandoned by their parents. Although they never lose hope of seeing their parents again, ten years pass as they are shuffled from one orphanage to another. They finally land in Cambridge Falls in the care of Dr. Stanislaus Pym. The magic begins while the children, Kate, Michael, and Emma, are exploring the new orphanage. They find a secret room, which contains an emerald green book with blank pages. They place a photograph in the book and are inexplicably transported to the location and time that the photo was taken. Thus begins a nonstop adventure back and forth through time, vying with a sorceress and her evil minions, while trying to find out the truth about the children's parents.
ChelseaW More than 1 year ago
Kate, Michael and Emma are orphaned, after a mysterious night when their parents send them away and disappear. Kate is the only one with any sort of memory of their life with their mother and father. As the children grow, they are bounced around through various orphanages, until landing at the strange house of Dr. Stanislaus Pym. While exploring one night, the three stumble upon an old book hidden deep within the basement. They quickly learn this book is very powerful. As the children set off on an adventure to discover more of the book, they will meet evil witches, angry dwarves, and the most terrifying creatures - Screechers! The Emerald Atlas was exactly what I expected it to be: a fun adventure, if not a little tedious at times. John Stephens' vision of the magical book is well-executed, though I personally wanted to do more traveling through it. Kate is by far the most interesting character, as she seems to be the one holding all of the powers. But Emma is also oh-so-adorable, and extremely courageous. Some characters are silly and overdone, but this is a good thing, especially in the mean old Miss Sallow. A few scenes are chuckle-out-loud funny, thanks in part to Stephens' exceptional dialog between the children. As an exciting tale with twists and danger at every turn, I think this new series will appeal more to fans of Fablehaven over those of Harry Potter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I read the description of The Emerald Atlas, my first thought was "ummm, did this author miss the whole Harry Potter phenomenon?" Children whisked away from their parents in the middle of the night and hidden away in orphanages only to discover they are instrumental in saving humanity? Magical creatures and time travel? Hmmm, ok. But loving the genre as I do, I downloaded it anyway. Reading through the first chapter, my first impression served me well. Originality, anyone? But then something unexpected I read I found that I absolutely could not put it down and even ended up bringing my Nook into the bathtub (something I swore I'd never do!). For all that it's not the first of its type ever penned, it is very well written in terms of vivid dialogue between the characters and description of scenery. The characters, both human and unhuman, were genuine. A great read if you're ok with another of this genre! Was disappointed to see how new it was and that there's not a sequel waiting for me to read tonight!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was marvelous. I would read it 100 times if i could. It was filled with tons of emotion. I cried and laughed. The characters felt so real, i can't even find the words to say how alive they felt. I literally felt as if i was in the book. After i had read it, i hoped there was a movie about it, so i looked up the name and put movie after it and turns out, there was! Although, i looked everywhere for the movie, stores and online buying sites. No luck. I couldn't even see it on t.v. because they never showed it when i was around! Anyway, i found out there was a series when i looked more in my book so, i checked on my Nook color and at Barnes and Noble¿, but i found out the next book wasn,t going to come out in about 6 months! Now im just waiting 4months. I can't wait to read the next books! I honestly didn't really think i was going to finish the book but still told my parents i was going to because it looked good and because i was confident i could finish it and i did! I RECOMEND THIS BOOK FOR YOU!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi i love this book!!so great!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book pulls you right in. I would highly reccomend it to readers young as well as old. The tension and adventure never end. I could go on and on and never stop but instead I will let you actually read the book instead of my tiresome old review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is tremendous. Combining fantasy with modern day adventure. A great read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good i cant wait till the next one comes out
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A really good book so far! I recommend it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like the book alot
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could not put this book down it was awesome and if you like books like this or you want to get a good book to read check out "the lost children" its really good This book is on ar "accelarated Reader for 15 points and the lost children book is 8 points HAVE FUN READING!!!!!!!!!! MUST READ!!!!!!! CHECK LIST....... READ THIS BOOK ___________________________
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Emma is my favorite character she is soooooo sweet
Marcie77 More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books that sucks you in from the first paragraph. There is quite a bit of mystery to it that keeps you on the edge of your seat. The story is centered around three orphans, Kate, Michael and Emma. Their parents gave them up for adoption at a very young age. You don't know why but you know that it's for their own good. The children grow up in several different orphanages over the years. I really liked the children's characters. They each have their own distinct personalities that add charm into this story. Kate is the eldest. She's a leader but she's still young with lots of insecurities. Michael is the middle child. He's bookish with a fascination for dwarfs that boarders on obsession. Emma is the youngest and the girl has gumption. I think she's my favorite of the three. Emma is a brave and tough cookie but at times you see her vulnerabilities come through. I love the dialog between the three children. Several times I laughed out loud because of it. John Stephens captured the art of sibling rivalry perfectly. The children are placed in a new orphanage where they are the only children. This is where the adventure begins. They are led through a time traveling journey full of magic and impossibilities. Along the way they find friendship and make enemies. They unlock secrets that have been forgotten and awaken mystical forces. The children find out that they are more important than they could ever imagine. I like how John Stephens slowly unravels the children's personalities. He shows you their strengths and weaknesses that help to form them. He pulls back their layers as the children are tested in all sorts of ways. I really like this book. The characters are great although some of the characters reminded me of others. For instance, Granny reminded my a little bit of Yoda and the secretary reminded me of Gollum from Lord of the Rings. It's not that they were exact copies but there was something about their characters that brought these others to mind. This did not take away from the story at all. This is the first book in the series and I can't wait to see what happens next. I really enjoyed getting to know these characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVE THIS BOOK SOOOOOOOO MUCH PLEASE READ IT ITS AMAZING!! WOW WOW WOW WO WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book kept me on the edge of my seat! I loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you put this book down the only thing you want to do is pick it back up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read a least 75 books this year and this by far the best. I read it all the time! I love ur books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Realy realy good book peace out from the (.)(.) — :p
TeachingmomNY More than 1 year ago
My son was blown away by this book. He told me over and over how the book continued to make him wonder what was going to happen next. He loved how the book went from present time to past. I asked him if it was confusing and he said it wasn't. He can't wait to buy the next book. Thanks for writing such an awesome story for my son!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great, well written book for kids of all ages.