First of all, let me say that this book should have a subtitle: THE GREEN VIOLIN, for it is this very object which brings the three main characters together in the first place. Without that, and some genius musical talent behind it, this story would not need to be told, let alone would it even exist.
Each character introduced to us in this story, Giuseppe, Hannah, and Frederick, has some sort of background or past haunting them. One was taken from his homeland by his menacing padrone to play for change in the streets of another, one's father became desperately ill and disabled causing her to stop schooling and work to help her family, and the other lived in an orphanage with a terrible woman named Mrs. Treeless who cared for no one but herself and her own well-being.
These characters' pasts play some sort of part for what they do throughout the book. They at times reflect on their pasts in the story, and their goodness and kindness is influenced by their reflections on what has been and what they hope will be.
The story is written very well. It keeps the reader engaged throughout the reading, and I, personally, could not put it down. There were a few twists and turns, and I became excited at times to find out, along with the characters, certain bits of information not known before in the storyline. I was definitely intrigued by how the characters lives kind of became intertwined with one another's.
This story is one of friendship, of dreams of the past, and of people helping one another to reach eachother's goals. It is a magical ride of treasure, holly leaves, music, nature, and clockwork men. It becomes very Hugo-esque near the ending, or so it reminded me. I love the incorporation of automatons in the book. It fits well and flows neatly with the storyline.
This book is not just for readers with a 4.5 reading level. (That's what it says in the book sitting by my side,) It is a book that I wholeheartedly believe any age group would enjoy. You just have to be willing to open the cover and listen to the characters inside. That is what I did, and this book definitely did not disappoint.
General Synopsis of THE CLOCKWORK THREE:
Three ordinary children are brought together by extraordinary events. . .Giuseppe is an orphaned street musician from Italy, who was sold by his uncle to work as a slave for an evil padrone in the U.S. But when a mysterious green violin enters his life he begins to imagine a life of freedom. Hannah is a soft-hearted, strong-willed girl from the tenements, who supports her family as a hotel maid when tragedy strikes and her father can no longer work. She learns about a hidden treasure, which she knows will save her family -- if she can find it. And Frederick, the talented and intense clockmaker's apprentice, seeks to learn the truth about his mother while trying to forget the nightmares of the orphanage where she left him. He is determined to build an automaton and enter the clockmakers guild -- if only he can create a working head. Together, the three discover they have phenomenal power when they team up as friends, and that they can overcome even the darkest of fears.