About: Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–deny. (taken from Goodreads)
Emily H. (MMS Student) Says: Abigail Rooke flees her life of silk dresses and fashion to join a dinosaur dig; taking after her father who never allowed her to go on his expeditions with him. When the dig fails, she jumps on a boat and lands in the New World, where she meets Mr. Jackaby. He’s a supernatural investigator who was looking for an apprentice. Coincidentally, Abigail was looking for a job and lands one after as Mr.Jackaby’s apprentice. Abigail’s ability to notice things in and out of the ordinary combined with Mr.Jackaby’s knowledge of the supernatural helped them solve cases. Their personalities melded well together, balancing each other out. I really liked Mr.Jackaby’s weird/queer personality because it is fitting for him. This mystery murder book was great especially with its plot twists that I couldn’t predict, even when I thought I had it all figured out. I give Jackaby a rating of 8/10
Audrey’s (SPL Teen Librarian) Thoughts: There was a lot to like about this book. Particularly, the world building, endearing characters, elements of supernatural and mystery, and the language if you appreciate Dickensian prose. Also, Jackaby is a-dorable and the chemistry and dialogue he shares with Abigail kept me engaged. I loved it! However, due to the Dickensian prose I think this could be a turn off for most 6th through 8th graders. If you are in to Dr. Who and Sherlock(as the cover forewarns) you will probably love this book as well, but it definitely isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. For that reason, I don’t think it is one of the best choices for the Lone Star List.