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The Jules Verne Prophecy by Larry Schwarz & Iva-Marie Palmer 

An exciting adventure story that will grab the attention and imagination of even reluctant young readers! 

Thirteen-year-old American teenager Owen Godfrey is spending his summer in Paris with his physics professor mother while she guest lectures at the Institut Lagrange de Paris. But rather than enjoying lazy days relaxing and seeing the sights, his mother has enrolled him in a special summer course to study the life and works of the father of science fiction, Jules Verne. As it turns out, the course is interesting, and there are a couple of pretty cool kids in the class with him, but only hours before their first big exam over 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, a street punk steals Owen’s backpack with his copy of the book that he needs to take the test. 

His classmates, Nas and Rose, take Owen to a used bookstore where they purchase an old leather-bound copy of what appears to be a collection of all Verne’s works and then hurry back to school just in time for the exam. But as soon as Owen opens La Prophétie de Jules Verne, he realizes it’s not a collection at all but something entirely different, and so does his teacher, who confiscates the book and dismisses Owen from the test. 

Later that night, Owen returns to school to appeal to be allowed to take the test, and he spies Professor Bessier through his office window as he hides the strange old book and leaves. But before Owen can catch up to him, two goons grab the professor, shove him into a car, and speed away. 

The following morning, when the professor fails to show up for class, the three friends fear he’s been kidnapped because of the book. They retrieve the book from its hiding place in the professor’s now-trashed office and attempt to unravel the cryptic clues about a fabulous treasure Verne was rumored to have left behind and find the professor. However, they soon discover they are not alone; someone is following them and watching their every move. 

The Jules Verne Prophecy by writing partners Larry Schwarz and Iva-Marie Palmer is an exciting adventure story that will grab the attention and imagination of even reluctant young readers. The pace is brisk, and the action is non-stop as the three main characters – Owen Godrey, Rose Bordage, and Nasim Shirvani – work out the meanings behind the clues and travel around “The City of Lights.” Owen has a crush on Rose, and their initial meeting is laugh-out-loud funny. The three friends learn many things, including first impressions and assumptions are not always accurate. 

Their race across Paris ahead of the bad guys is riveting and creative in its execution, and their discoveries live up to the reputation of Jules Verne. A couple of loose ends are left hanging when the story closes, providing a great jumping-off point for a sequel. I’ll be looking forward to more adventures with these characters with anticipation. 

I recommend THE JULES VERNE PROPHECY to middle-grade readers and for reading aloud at school, after-school programs, and at home with the entire family. 

I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from the author or publisher through TBR and Beyond Book Tours.

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