Torquere Press Birthstone - 1 Emerald - A Birthstones story By Kimberly Burke and J. Falcon Ryu let his eyes flick fro The Emerald Atlas (Books of Beginning. The Emerald Atlas (Books of Beginning Series #1). Home · The Emerald Atlas ( Books of Atlas of the Dragonlance World (Dragonlance Books) · Read more. Enjoy this chapter sampler from THE EMERALD ATLAS by John Stephens! Kate, Michael, and Emma have been in one orphanage after another for the last ten years, passed along like lost baggage. Published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Childrens Books.
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"A strong new trilogy, invoking just a little Harry Potter and Series of Unfortunate Events along the way."—Realms of Fantasy Siblings Kate, Michael, and. the emerald atlas books of beginning [pdf] - free download books the emerald atlas books of beginning you know that reading the emerald atlas books of. Free The Emerald Atlas (The Books of Beginning: Book One) study unit worksheets for teachers to print. Review Quiz and writing prompts (PDF File).
There, the children observe a witch , titled the Countess , vowing to kill a child every week until the enslaved fathers of the children find what she seeks. The Countess notices the three orphans and calls upon her grotesque henchmen, designated Screechers, to capture them.
Kate and Emma escape, but Michael is accidentally left behind, and his sisters return to save him; but lose the book the eponymous 'Emerald Atlas '. In escape, they are hunted by wolves; meet someone named Gabriel; and enter a subterranean maze , where Kate and Michael are captured by Dwarves.
There, they discover a fifteen-years-younger Dr. Pym, with whom they recover the Emerald Atlas. Upon finding it, Kate is drawn into an earlier time, where she again meets Dr. Pym, and thence returns to the time she most-recently left. Once healed, Emma, backed by the wisewoman, sways the townsfolk into war against the Countess.
After their victory, the witch herself remains to be conquered, and holds the imprisoned children on a boat. Kate, now 'chosen' by the Atlas, can travel to any time while in possession of it; but in exchange for the local children's lives, surrenders it.
The Countess seizes the book; but is punished by her master, the Dire Magnus, who reveals that Kate and her siblings are the Atlas's and the two other books of beginning's rightful owners until, upon the completion of a prophecy , he claims it. Pym saves some of the local children; others are saved by Kate. When they discover a book that takes them back in time, they embark on an enlightening adventure filled with magic and mystery. They come to understand their past, and learn that their destiny is intertwined with the fate of the world.
They fight fierce battles against daunting enemies and although each child shows weakness at times, they overcome their fears, and demonstrate bravery and determination.
The story is filled with frightening characters like the spine-chilling Countess who imprisons a group of children, claiming to have a blade at each of their throats.
I think the fear factor goes down as the book moves along, although maybe I just became numb to it after awhile. Mixed in with the violence are typical sibling conflicts, moments of forgiveness, realizations about the value of love and family, and even a bit of humor.
It can definitely get confusing as the story moves between time periods and characters, but I do think that Stephens took that into account and tried to include reminders and summaries at varying points throughout the story.
My favorite line is the Countess' response when asked what happened to the ancient powerful wizards.
Convinced they were the most enlightened society on earth, they grew decadent and soft John Stephens Illustrator: Would you rather visit the past or the future? But if they looked closer, they saw the furrow of concentration that had taken up residence on her brow, the way her ngernails were bitten to the quick, the weary tension in her limbs, and rather than saying, Oh, what a pretty girl, they would cluck and murmur, The poor thing.
For to look at Kate, pretty as she was, was to see someone who lived in constant anticipation of lifes next blow. Leaving the side door of the orphanage, Kate saw a group of children gathered around a skeletal tree at the edge of the yard. A small girl with thin legs and short, chestnut-colored hair was throwing rocks at a boy in the branches, yelling at him to come down and ght.
Kate pushed through the crowd of laughing, jeering children as Emma picked up another stone. Whatre you doing? Emma turned. There were red circles on her cheeks, and her dark eyes were bright.
He ripped my book! I was just sitting there reading and he grabbed my book and ripped it! I swear, I didnt do anything! And now he wont even come down and ght! Its not true, cried the boy in the tree. Shes crazy! Shut up! Emma yelled, and threw the rock. The boy ducked behind the tree as it bounced off the trunk. Emma was small for eleven. All knees and elbows. But every child in the orphanage respected and feared her temper.
When cornered or aroused, she would ght like a devil. Kicking and scratching and biting. Kate sometimes wondered whether her sister would have been as erce if theyd never been separated from their parents.
Emma was the only one who had no memory of their mother and father. Even Michael had hazy recollections of being cared for and loved. As far as Emma was concerned, this was the only life she had ever known, and it had one rule: When you stopped ghting, you were nished.
Unfortunately, there were always a few older boys who went out of their way to rile her, relishing the way Emma worked herself into a fury.
Their favorite Since Kate was the oldest, at fourteen, it was usually her job to calm her sister down. We have to nd Michael, Kate said. Theres a woman coming to see us. A hush fell over the children.
I dont care, Emma said. Im not going. Shed have to be a loon to want you, called the boy in the tree. Emma seized a rock and winged it. The boy wasnt quick enough, and it caught him on the elbow. EmmaKate took her sisters armMiss Crumley says this is our last chance. Emma pulled herself free. She stooped and picked up another rock.
But it was clear the ght had gone out of her, and Kate waited quietly as Emma tossed the rock from hand to hand, then threw it weakly against the tree. Do you know where Michael is? Emma nodded. Kate took her hand, and the children parted so they could pass. The girls found Michael in the woods above the orphanage, exploring a cave hed discovered the week before.
He was pretending it was the mouth of an old dwarf tunnel. All his life, Michael Wizards who battled dragons. Knights who fought off maiden-hungry goblins. Clever farmhands outwitting trolls. He read everything he could get his hands on. But he was particularly fond of stories about dwarves.
They have a long and noble history.
And theyre very industrious. Not always combing their hair and mooning about with mirrors the way elves do. Dwarves work.
Michael had a very low opinion of elves. The source of this passion was a book titled The Dwarf Omnibus, written by one G. Waking up that rst morning of their new lives, parentless, in a strange room, Kate had discovered the book tucked into Michaels blankets.
Shed immediately recognized it as their mothers Christmas present to their father. Over the years, Michael had read the book dozens of times. It was, Kate knew, his way of staying connected to a father he barely remembered. So she tried, and tried to convince Emma, to be understanding when Michael would launch into one of his impromptu lectures. But it wasnt always easy. The air in the cave was damp and mossy, but the ceiling was high enough that Kate and Emma could walk upright.
Michael was a dozen feet from the entrance, kneeling beside a ashlight. He was just this side of scrawny, and he had the same chestnut hair and dark eyes as his younger sister, though his were hidden behind a pair of wire-rimmed spectacles. People often mistook them for twins, which irritated Michael no end. Im a year older, Michael would say. I think its pretty obvious.
There was a ash, then a whirring, and Michaels battered Polaroid camera spat out a picture. He had found the camera in a junk store in downtown Baltimore a few weeks earlier, along with a dozen packs of lm that the owner had more or less given him, and ever since, he had been using it for his exploring game, constantly reminding Kate and Emma how important it was to document your discoveries.
Michael showed his sisters a rock hed just photographed. What do you think that is? Emma groaned. A rock. What is it? Kate asked, willing to go along. An old dwarf ax head, Michael said. Theres water damage, obviously. These are hardly ideal conditions for preservation. Thats funny, Emma said. Cause it looks just like a rock.
All right, enough, Kate said, for she could see Michael was about to get upset. She told him about the woman coming to see them. You go, he said. Ive got work here. Most orphans longed to be adopted. They dreamed of a rich, kind couple whisking them away to a life of comfort and love. Kate and her brother and sister did not. For that matter, they refused to be referred to as orphans. Our parents are alive, Kate would say, or Emma would say, or Michael. And one day theyre coming back for us.
Of course, they had nothing to support this belief. They had been left at St. Marys Orphanage on the banks of the Charles River in Boston one snowy Christmas Eve ten years earlier, and since that time they had not heard the faintest whisper from their. They couldnt even say what the P of their last name stood for. But still, they continued to believe, deep in their hearts, that their parents would one day reappear. This was due entirely to the fact that Kate had never stopped reminding Michael and Emma of their mothers promise, on that last night, that they would all be together again as a family.
It made the thought of being claimed by some stranger totally unacceptable. Unfortunately, this time, there were other considerations. Miss Crumley says this is our last chance. Michael sighed and let the rock fall from his hand. Then he picked up his ashlight and followed his sisters out of the cave.
In the past ten years, the children had been in no fewer than twelve different orphanages. Their shortest stay had been two weeks. Their longest by far had been at their rst home, St.
Nearly three years. But then St. Marys had burned downalong with the Mother Superior, a kind woman named Sister Agatha, who took a special interest in the children but who had a bad habit of smoking in bed. Leaving St. Marys was the start of a journey that took them from orphanage to orphanage to orphanage.
Just as the children would get settled in one place, they would have to move again. Finally, they stopped expecting to stay anywhere more than a few months, stopped trying to make friends. They learned to count only on each other. The reason behind all this moving about was that the children were, in adoption-speak, difcult to place.
To adopt one, a family had to adopt all three. But a family willing to adopt three. Kate understood that if this lady didnt take them, Miss Crumley would cite it as proof that she had tried her best but the children were hopeless, and theyd be shufed off to the next orphanage. Her hope was that if she and her brother and sister were well behaved, then even if the interview was a failure, Miss Crumley would think twice about sending them away. Not that the children had any great love for their present home.
The water was brown. The beds hard. The food made your stomach ache if you ate too much, but if you ate too little, your stomach ached anyway. No, the problem was that as the years had gone by, each new orphanage had been worse than the last. In fact, when theyd arrived at the Edgar Allan Poe Home for Hopeless and Incorrigible Orphans six months earlier, Kate had thought, This is it, weve reached the bottom. But now she wondered, What if theres someplace even worse?
She didnt want to nd out. Half an hour later, washed and dressed in their best clothes which was not saying a great deal , the children knocked at the door of Miss Crumleys ofce. Come in.
Kate led Emma by the hand. Michael followed close behind. She had counseled them, Just smile and dont say a lot. Who knows?
Maybe shell be great. Then we can just stay with her till Mom and Dad come back. But when Kate saw the large woman wrapped in a coat composed entirely of white feathers, holding a purse in the shape of a swan and wearing a hat from which a swans head curved upward like a question mark, she knew it was hopeless.
I suppose these are the foundlings, Mrs. Lovestock said, stepping forward to loom over the children. Their last name is P, you say? Yes, Mrs. Lovestock, Miss Crumley tittered. She only came up to the giant womans waist. Theyre three of our best. Oh, I do love them so. But painful as it would be to part with them, I could force myself to. Knowing theyd be going to such a wonderful home. Lovestock bent to inspect them, causing the swans head to dip forward with an air of curiosity.
Kate glanced over and saw Emma and Michael staring wideeyed at the bird. I should warn you now, Mrs. Lovestock said, I dont go in for any childish higgledy-piggledy.
I wont have running, shouting, yelling, loud laughter, dirty hands or feet, rude comments about the bank. Each time she ticked off something she wouldnt tolerate, the swans head nodded as if in agreement. I also dont care for excessive talking, rubbing of the hands, or full pockets. I despise children with full pockets. Oh, these children have never had a thing in their pockets, I can assure you, Mrs. Lovestock, said Miss Crumley. Not a thing. In addition, I expect.
Whats that on your head? Emma interrupted. Excuse me? The woman looked startled. That thing on your head. Whats that supposed to be? I know what it is, Michael said. Do not. Do too. So what is it? Emma demanded. Lovestock turned on the quivering orphanage director.
Miss Crumley, what in the world is going on here? Nothing, Mrs. Lovestock, nothing at all.