On a book page, this tab will allow you to add a book to one of your lists.
Please login or register to use this feature.
9781554683543_cover Enlarge Cover
5 of 5
1 rating
rated!
rated!
list price: $18.99
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
published: Aug 2009
ISBN:9781554683543

The Hunchback Assignments

by Arthur Slade

reviews: 2
tagged:
add a tag
Please login or register to use this feature.
5 of 5
1 rating
rated!
rated!
list price: $18.99
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
published: Aug 2009
ISBN:9781554683543
Description

There are rumors that a hunchback infant in a gypsy freakshow has the power to transform his appearance. This comes to the attention of Mr. Socrates, a member of the shadowy Permanent Association, who decides to take the boy back to England and raise him for his own purposes. Naming him Modo, Mr. Socrates keeps the boy indoors and never lets him see his deformity, while putting him through training to be a secret agent. When Modo turns 14, his education is complete. He is handed a mirror and confronts his image for the first time, horrified. Then, he is taken to foggy, polluted London and abandoned, penniless, to test his skills.

But Modo is resourceful, and he finds a way to get by, keeping to himself… until one day, when the beautiful Octavia Milkweed knocks on his door. soon, with the help of Mr. Socrates, they find themselves uncovering a sinister plot being carried out in the very sewers beneath their feet. Will they be able to stop the mad scientist Dr. Hyde and his even more terrifying associates before they unleash their monstrous plans upon unsuspecting Londoners?

The start of a fantastic series, in the hot new genre of steampunk, The Hunchback Assignments takes readers into the sewers and alleyways of an alternative Victorian London, in an unputdownable adventure.

Visit The Hunchback Assignments web site for up-to-date news, games and information about the series.

About the Author

Arthur Slade

ARTHUR SLADE was raised on a ranch in the Cypress Hills of Saskatchewan. He is the author of seventeen novels for young readers including The Hunchback Assignments, which won the prestigious TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, and its three sequels, and Dust, winner of the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature. He is also the author of the acclaimed graphic novel Modo: Ember’s End. He lives in the mythical city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Web: arthurslade.com

Twitter: @arthurslade

Author profile page >
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
11 to 100
Grade:
7 to 17
Editorial Review

"My review could end here and now with one word, brilliant. Arthur Slade comes up with some absolutely amazing plots and this book tops them all. A compelling read, that kept me turning the pages almost faster than I could read them. Modo is a wonderful character, one whom the reader bonds with instantly and feels compassion for, making him a superb hero. Octavia is a strong, yet feminine female hero and the two make for a dynamic pairing.

Slade's writing is as strong as ever. The book contains some quite disturbing scenes which made for a scary read at times but at others the humour is high which gives this quite dark story an even balance of light moments. I loved everything about this book and could simply gush over it. 5/5 Rating."
--Back to Books Blog (Nicola Manning) ()

Reader Reviews

Sign Up or Sign In to add your review or comment.
Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

The Hunchback Assignments

reviewed from uncorrected proof

“You are deformed. You are ugly. But remember this day, Modo. It’s the day you learned that you’ve been given an incredible gift. Your unsightly countenance may seem unbearable now, but because of it, the world will always underestimate you.”

The Hunchback Assignments is the first book in award-winning author Arthur Slade’s new series. Five-year-old Modo was snacking on bread and honey with his governess when his guardian-keeper, Mr. Socrates, forces the lad to look in a mirror at his deformed face. While Socrates informs Modo that this unsightliness may be an advantage, he is also very pleased that Modo has the gift of being able to change his face to temporarily resemble anyone he wishes. Perhaps that is why the mysterious Mr. Socrates has kept the boy since he discovered him as a toddler, educating and training him for a purpose that is slowly revealed to readers. With seeming cruelty, Socrates abandons the teenaged Modo on the streets of London, where his path becomes intertwined with the beautiful orphan, Octavia Milkweed. He learns that they are both spies for The Permanent Association, a secret organization that is out to squelch the evil forces of the Clockwork Guild. These evil scientists have in their employ, Doctor Cornelius Hyde, whose personality-changing tinctures and body-part-replacing experiments are being practised on both adults and children!

Readers who aren’t afraid of having nightmares will burn the midnight oil to finish this engrossing story. While terrifying in some ways, there is also a lightness to the work that readers will appreciate. I suspect Slade had fun playing with the literary stereotypes – Mr. Hyde and (Quasi)Modo – and dusting off little known Victorian facts about steam power, gadgets and gizmos.

Books like those by Slade, Skelton and Anderson make us curious about the social, cultural and mythical history of our world. Kress hints that we should look carefully into the ninja-concealing shadows of the world around us, while Bradford coaxes us to look for new worlds. Fantasy, in all its forms, stimulates readers to expand their boundaries – real and imagined.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Summer 2009. Vol.32 No.3.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

The Hunchback Assignments

Modo, a hunchback child, has the ability to transform his appearance and is trained by Mr. Socrates to be a secret agent. Together they uncover the sinister plot of mad scientist, Dr. Hyde. Can they stop things before his monstrous plans are unleashed?

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2010.

Related Blog Posts

Reading Lists Featuring “The Hunchback Assignments”

Other Titles by Arthur Slade

John Diefenbaker

John Diefenbaker

An Appointment with Destiny
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
More Info
Monsterology

Monsterology

Fabulous Lives of the Creepy, the Revolting, and the Undead
by Arthur Slade
illustrated by Derek Mah
edition:Paperback
More Info
Villainology

Villainology

Fabulous Lives of the Big, the Bad, and the Wicked
by Arthur Slade
illustrated by Derek Mah
edition:Paperback
More Info
Empire Of Ruins

Empire Of Ruins

edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
tagged :
More Info

User Activity

X
Contacting facebook
Please wait...