The Clockwork Three

By Matthew J. Kirby - Smore By: Madelyn Kersten

Book Summary

Giuseppe, an eleven-year old boy, first finds a glowing green violin floating in a harbor so, he takes it out. He finds that the violin gives a beautiful sound, and he performs out in the streets for an extra amount of cash. He gets an idea thinking that if he earned enough money, he would be able to pay for a ticket to fly back to Rome where all of his family lives. Frederick, a thirteen-year old apprentice clockmaker, is going around in search of a chest plate for his clockwork man, who is Master Branch. Later, Frederick finds a coal chute, perfect for the chest plate, and sneaks it out of a coal yard. While he sneaks out, he lies about his father being O'Malley.

He goes back to Master Branch's shop and once he decides that Master Branch is asleep, he goes to the basement of the shop to work on his clockwork man. Hannah, a twelve-year old girl, discovers that a man named Mister Stroop supposedly left treasure in the suites at the top of the hotel where she works. She later sees a map that hints it may be near a pond at a nearby park. She runs to look for it when she desperately needs money for her sick father's medicine. There she meets Giuseppe, and the two look for the treasure but it is not there. She receives some herbal medicine from a woman who lives in the park. Hannah's father draws for her where the treasure is hidden in the hotel. Her father worked for Stroop’s hotel in the past so he knows a lot about the hotel.

The next day the three children all met up for the first time and Frederick shows the other two his automaton. The three agree to help each other out with their problems. Giuseppe mentions that he saw a clockwork head (Frederick's only missing piece) in a museum. The three sneak into the museum so Frederick could inspect the head, but they are interrupted by guards and they were then forced to leave. Frederick quickly grabbed it and escaped with the stolen head, which was made by Albertus Magnus. Hannah also accidentally took a small piece of clay belonging to a golem, and inserted it into the Clockwork Man and it brought the Clockwork Man alive. This, along with the Magnus head, gives it an almost human intelligence.

Third-Person Omniscient Point of View

In this book, Giuseppe, Fredrick, and Hannah all have times where they are basically the main character, but for the majority of the book, the narrator is all knowing about each case.


"You've been doing that a lot. I'm worried you're not getting enough sleep."

"I'm fine, mama."

"I know. You always say you are." Creases appeared across her mother's brow. She went to the cupboard and pulled down the coffee tin. It sounded hollow when she shook it and tapped the sides, but she started into it as if she hoped more grinds may appear.

"I get my wages in a few days," Hannah said.

"Yes. But they're already spent."

The teakettle whistled, and Hannah's sisters stirred.

"It'll be a relief when they're old enough to start school," her mother said. "And I can devote the attention to your father that he needs."

Hannah looked away from her mother, jaw clenched. She snatched up the book frfom the table and held it to her chest. "I need to leave for work."


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