Why did it take me so long to read this book? It was a perfect blend of history and magic, marvels and discoveries. Petra was an intriguing mix of innocence and determination and her friends and enemies were a fascinating collection of characters. The mix of adventure, history, and magic is excellent.
I've been looking for a book to start off the 5th/6th grade book club I'm planning for the fall and I think this will be it! I've already got ideas for making our own marvelous marbles, dyed cloth, and more!
ETA: Sadly, no one came to book club. Sniff. However, this book has checked out steadily, although it's not a hugely popular volume it's intriguing and there are plenty of kids who are attracted by the mix of steampunk, history, and magic not to mention the gorgeous cover!
Verdict: Highly recommended. May you have better luck with your book club than I did...
ISBN: 978-0374310264; Published August 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Borrowed from the library; Purchased for the library