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Young Adult Fiction Literary

Black Bottle Man

Manitoba's Buried History

by (author) Craig Russell

Great Plains Publications
Initial publish date
Mar 2010
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2010
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Grade: 8


Forced to move every twelve days, what would happen to your life?

1927. Rembrandt is the only child in the tiny community of Three Farms. Soon his two aunts grow desperate for babies of their own. A man wearing a black top-coat and a glad-ta-meet-ya smile arrives with a magic bottle and a deadly deal is made. Determined to undo the wager, Rembrandt, Pa, and Uncle Thompson embark on the journey of their lives, for if they stay in one place for more than twelve days terrible things happen. But where and when will they find a champion capable of defeating the Black Bottle Man?

Time ticks. Lives change. Every twelve days. . .

About the author

Craig Russell’s novel, Black Bottle Man won the 2011 American Moonbeam Award gold medal for Young Adult Fantasy. It was also a finalist for the Canadian Prix Aurora Award for best English Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel, as well as for two Manitoba Book Awards in the same year. Russell has directed a variety of theatre productions ranging from The Sound of Music to Romeo and Juliet. His short play, The Unintended Consequences of Love was performed at the 2006 Carol Shields Festival of New Works. His stage adaptation of Black Bottle Man was performed in Brandon and Winnipeg in 2015. By day, Craig Russell is a lawyer and supervises the land titles system for five-thousand square miles of southwestern Manitoba. For the past 26 years he and his wife have been restoring ‘Johnson House’, their 1906 Victorian heritage home in Brandon. Russell grew up on a farm near Carman, MB with his four brothers and five sisters.

Craig Russell's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"One part travel narrative, one part spiritual fable, one part historical fiction, and one part adventure story - this tragic tale pulls readers in with its strong voice, richly depicted setting, and chilling confrontations with a shape-shifting Satan. Russell weaves magic into the narrative." - CM Magazine

"Russell has told his fable. . . and it is done beautifully." - Resource Links

"A truly unique story. The author tackles his fable with imagination and great turns of phrase." -Jury comments, Manitoba Book Awards

Librarian Reviews

Black Bottle Man

It’s 1927, and Rembrandt is the only child in the tiny community of Three Farms. When his aunts grow desperate for babies of their own, they make a deadly deal with the man with the magic black bottle. Rembrandt, Pa and Uncle Thompson, looking for a champion capable of defeating the Black Bottle Man, are forced to move every 12 days or terrible things happen.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2011.

Other titles by Craig Russell