for Cogheart by Peter Bunzl
Lily is the daughter of a famous maker of mechanicals; when her dad’s airship crashes and he’s presumed dead, her father’s housekeeper, Madame Verdigris, takes control of Lily’s life. Robert is son of a clockmaker in the village where Lily lives. When he sees two men pursuing an injured fox, he helps the fox, Malkin, a mechanical with a message for Lily from her father. It quickly becomes clear Madame has no interest in Lily and keen interest in something Lily’s father is rumored to have invented: a perpetual motion machine. The two children, both white, join forces with reporter Anna Quinn, who rescues them in her air ship when they’re escaping the two men who’d been pursuing Malkin. The duo, also mechanicals, were sent by Madame Verdigris. Steampunk meets orphan story in this captivating tale, first in a series, that has hair-raising moments yet an overall cozy feel. From bold Lily to less confident Robert, fearless Anna to surly yet stalwart Malkin, appealing characters abound, as do moral questions about the perception and treatment of mechanicals. (Ages 8–11)
CCBC Choices 2020. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2020. Used with permission.
Thirteen-year-old Lily Hartman always dreamed of adventure. A strong-willed girl, Lily felt trapped in a life of Victorian stuffiness at her prim boarding school. But after her father-a famous inventor-disappears on a routine zeppelin flight, Lily's life gets turned upside down. Now cared for by her guardian, the heartless Madame Verdigris, Lily is quite certain that she's being watched. Mysterious, silver-eyed men are lurking in the shadows, just waiting for their chance to strike. But what could they possibly want from her? There are rumors, Lily learns, that her father had invented the most valuable invention ever made-a perpetual motion machine. But if he made such a miraculous discovery, he certainly never told Lily. And all he left behind is a small box-with no key, no hinges. With the help of a clockmaker's son, Robert, and her mechanimal fox, Malkin, Lily escapes London in search of the one person who might know something about her father's disappearance-and what he left behind.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.