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Blog Tour: A Perilous Journey of Danger and Mayhem (Christopher Healy)

It is 1883—the Age of Invention! A time when great men like Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Nicola Tesla, and George Eastman work to turn the country into a mechanical-electrical-industrial marvel: a land of limitless opportunity. And it all happens at the world famous Inventors Guild headquarters in New York City—a place where a great idea, a lot of hard work, and a little bit of luck can find you rubbing elbows with these gods of industry who will usher humanity into the bright promise of the future.

Unless, of course, you’re a woman.

Molly Pepper, daughter of brilliant but unknown inventor Cassandra Pepper, lives with her mother in New York. By day, they make ends meet running a small pickle shop; but by night, they toil and dream of Cassandra shattering the glass ceiling of the Inventors Guild and taking her place among the most famous inventors in America. In an attempt to find a way to exhibit Cassandra’s work at the 1883 World’s Fair, they break into the Inventors Guild—and discover a mysterious and dastardly plot to destroy New York. The evidence points to the involvement of one of the world’s most famous inventors, and now it’s up to Molly, Cassandra, and a shop hand named Emmett Lee to uncover the truth—even if no one will ever know it was they who did it.

Christopher Healy, author of the acclaimed Hero’s Guide series, returns with the first book in a rip-roaring adventure about the inventors history remembers—and more than a few that it’s forgotten.

Publication Date September 25 2018

ISBN: 978-06-234197

Christopher Healy is the author of The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, as well as its two sequels,The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle and The Hero’s Guide to Being an Outlaw. Before becoming a writer, he worked as an actor, an ad copywriter, a toy store display designer, a fact-checker, a dishwasher, a journalist, a costume shop clothing stitcher, a children’s entertainment reviewer, and a haunted house zombie. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, two children, and a dog named Duncan. You can visit him online at


Christopher Healy has written another middle grade masterpiece. I loved everything about The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom series from the first page, so I didn't really think it was possible to top that reading experience. But then, I cracked open A Perilous Journey of Danger and Mayhem. 

The thing about Mr. Healy I admire most is his subtle brilliance. He understands kids and what they need to hear (and read). But his books aren't just for kids. Adults reading the books will benefit from the poignant messages just as much as the younger readers. When I try to think of what I enjoyed the most from this book, I kept coming back to the same five ideas:

Characters-- the relationship between Molly and her mom is wonderful. It's not perfect, and at times you question which character is actually the responsible one, but it's real. Molly loves her mom and her mother loves her. So many kids out there need to read a story with a strong family bond, even if that family doesn't follow that traditional mold. As much as I loved the role of family, I think the addition of Emmett really sets this book apart. At first, you might miss the role Emmett plays. It wasn't until Emmett told his story that I went, "Oh my goodness!" That's when I got it. The light bulb came on and I thought, "This is definitely a discussion point." If only everyone we meet in the world could be as accepting as Molly and Ms. Pepper.

Humor and Adventure-- In typical Christopher Healy fashion, this story is full of action and adventure. There is a healthy dose of zany fun thrown in for good measure too. It's a bit like the Absent-Minded Professor meets Steampunk. So. much. fun.

Classroom appeal-- As a teacher, I look for books that I can make fit my needs. I don't teach history per se, but that doesn't mean I can't use it in my classroom. It also doesn't hurt that this is one of my absolute favorite time periods to read about. The pages of A Perilous Journey of Danger and Mayhem  is full of teachable moments. Whether you choose to discuss the real and made up inventions throughout the book, the clever play on words (Mothers of Invention, anyone?), or some of the more subtle plot points, there is something for every classroom. Currently, I am promoting this jewel for our STEAM book club. There is just so much you can do with it!

Accessibility-- Finally, like Mr. Healy's other novels, A Perilous Journey of Danger and Mayhem is accessible to readers of all ages. Struggling readers might be a bit overwhelmed by the page count, but the story flows so smoothly it's impossible not to get sucked into it. Molly and Emmett make a great pair that most students will be able to relate to on some level. I found it to be a complete page turner from the first chapter!

Go ahead and plan on adding this one to your bookshelf. It's a great adventure that I'm sure will only get better with each book that follows.  

Other stops on the blog tour: 

September 24: Guest post by the author @ Novel Novice
September 26: Unleashing Readers
September 27: Teach Mentor Texts
September 28: Novel Novice (review)
September 29: Maria's Melange
October 1: The Flashlight Reader 
October 2: Nerdy Book Club
October 3: Book Monsters
October 3: Q and A with author @ Novel Novice 


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