Cover image for Larklight, or, The revenge of the white spiders!, or, To Saturn's rings and back! : a rousing tale of dauntless pluck in the farthest reaches of space
Title:
Larklight, or, The revenge of the white spiders!, or, To Saturn's rings and back! : a rousing tale of dauntless pluck in the farthest reaches of space
Author:
Reeve, Philip.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Bloomsbury : Distributed to the trade by Holtzbrinck Publishers, 2006.
Physical Description:
399 pages : illustrations ; 19 cm
Summary:
In an alternate Victorian England, young Arthur and his sister Myrtle, residents of Larklight, a floating house in one of Her Majesty's outer space territories, uncover a spidery plot to destroy the solar system.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
1170 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 7.0 13.0 109086.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 8.8 18 Quiz: 39529 Guided reading level: Z.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9781599900209

9781599901459
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Click here to download and listen to an excerpt from Larklight
Arthur (Art) Mumsby and his irritating sister, Myrtle live with their father in a huge and rambling house called Larklight...that just happens to be traveling through outer space.

When a visitor called Mr. Webster arrives unexpectedly, it is far from an innocent social call. Before long Art and Myrtle are off on an adventure to the farthest reaches of space, where they will do battle with evil forces in order to save each other-and the universe. A fantastically original Victorian tale set in an outer space world that might have come from the imaginations of Jules Verne or L. Frank Baum, but has a unique gravitational pull all its own...

An adventure as big as the universe!
Reviews
"Reeve's humor is oh-so-British and utterly entertaining...and Wyatt's full-page pen-and-inks and spot illustrations enhance the sense of delight. The climax is an absolute hoot, and leaves the door wide open for any number of sequels."- Publishers Weekly , starred review
"The glory of Empire meets Star Trek in this space fantasy-picaresque that Edgar Rice Burroughs would have loved. ...Art, the quintessential boy, narrates this rip-roaring adventure, allowing his very ladylike sister's diary to fill in the holes when they are separated, and the interplay between the two is priceless in itself. Jolly good fun, all around."-Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"This wildly imaginative sci-fi pirate adventure has tongue-in-cheek humor and social commentary on accepting those who are different, among other things. ...Reeve's cinematic prose describes his fantastic universe while also conveying a Victorian sensibility. Whimsical, detailed black-and-white illustrations enhance the text. Readers will eagerly suspend disbelief; they will be riveted by the exciting plot's twists and turns as our heroes face death-defying adventures and narrow escapes, all at a frenetic pace. As Art would declare, 'Huz


Author Notes

Philip Reeve worked in a bookshop and produced and directed several theater projects before embarking on a career as an illustrator and a writer. His first novel, Mortal Engines , was shortlisted for the Whitbread Children's Book Award and won the GOLD Nestle Smarties book prize. He lives in Devon, England, with his wife and their son.

David Wyatt has illustrated books and covers for authors including Terry Pratchett, Philip Pullman, Diana Wynne-Jones, Alan Garner, and J. R. R. Tolkien. He lives in Devon, England.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Arthur (Art) and Myrtle Mumby's space-fantasy adventure begins at Larklight, an ancient structure that orbits Earth. Attacked one day in 1851 by spiderlike creatures, they escape, only to be marooned on the moon, where they are captured by a moth and encased in jars containing voracious larvae. Freed by a band of extraterrestrial pirates led by young human Jack Havock, they fall into many wild adventures and encounter a mad scientist helping the spider creatures destroy life in the solar system. Robots, aliens, famous explorers, and hoverhogs also play a role in this rollicking heroic romp, which resonates with Victorian England's mores. Reflecting Victorian custom, chapter subheads are long and descriptive, with Wyatt's amazingly detailed illustrations furthering the effect. Both the story line and the language demonstrate Reeve's respect for his readership. Kids can look forward to more adventures, though narrator Arthur is off to have a nice buttered muffin and a cup of tea first. --Diana Herald Copyright 2006 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Reeve (the Hungry City Chronicles) evidently has a fascination with giant, mobile structures, but here he turns his considerable talent to a whimsical story of Victorian houses floating in space, a Jules Verne-like concoction filtered through the sensibilities of Douglas Adams. Art and Myrtle live with their scientist father in a "shapeless, ramshackle, drafty, lonely sort of house" called Larklight. After fleeing an attack from space spiders, the siblings, adrift on a lifeboat, find themselves on the moon, then aboard the ship of legendary pirate Jack Havock. Readers travel a lot of very strange ground, from the Changeling Trees of Venus and their poisonous pollen, to the offices of the Royal Xenological Institute. Art and Jack discover that the spiders were in fact man's precursors in this universe, and the mad Dr. Ptarmigan is working to help the arachnids reclaim it. Larklight itself is a key piece of the puzzle, as is Art's mother, who was presumed dead and who turns out to be alive and much, much older than anyone suspected ("I was a Dinosaur for a while so invigorating!"). Reeve's humor is oh-so-British and utterly entertaining (the moon is "actually a bit of a dump"; Uranus has been renamed Georgium Sidum because "it provides less opportunity for cheap jokes"), and Wyatt's full-page pen-and-inks and spot illustrations enhance the sense of delight. The climax is an absolute hoot, and leaves the door wide open for any number of sequels. Ages 10-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-10-Philip Reeve's novel (Bloomsbury, 2006) combines historical fiction, fantasy, and science fiction into a charming story that young listeners will devour. Art and his sister Myrtle are British youngsters living with their father at Larklight during the reign of Queen Victoria. However, in this alternate Victorian era, Britain controls not only most of Earth-including the American colonies-but also Venus, Mars, and the moons of Jupiter. Larklight is a home that hangs just beyond the moon. Art is happy living in the suburbs of the solar system, but his priggish sister longs for the excitement of London's social scene. When giant spiders attack their home and their father disappears, the siblings are tossed onto a lifeboat and float through the ether until they are rescued by young space pirate with a grudge against the Empire. This Victorian Star Wars trio hurtles through space battling robots, aliens, and a loony scientist. Narrator Greg Steinbruner's British-accented narration helps American listeners understand the wordy English prose, but be sure to have a copy of the book available so listeners don't miss out on the quirky illustrations. The story is complete in itself, but more adventures are promised.-Tricia Melgaard, Centennial Middle School, Broken Arrow, OK (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.