Apr 26, 2010

Book Review: The Hunchback Assignments

I just finished The Hunchback Assignments by Arthur Slade. I loved it! It is the story of Modo, a deformed boy who is rescued as an infant from traveling freak show. He is raised by Mr. Socrates to be an agent in The Permanent Association, which is a group of people working to ensure the continued prominence of the British Empire. (the link above is for Good Reads, they have a much better synopsis).

Since right now I love all things steampunk I found this one an excellent addition. And truly, it is the first middle grade steampunk that I have found. (I don't think Airborn counts, there is no element of the supernatural, but several people on good reads have shelved it as steampunk). I love Modo, he is a well-written character and I see a lot of potential for his growth. Octavia Milkweed is a strong female companion for Modo, who will teach him a lot about being his own person. Mr. Socrates did bother me because he only raised Modo for his own purposes. I hope that in the next book Modo starts thinking for himself and that he maybe trusts Octavia a little bit more with his looks.

All in all, readers who enjoy adventure with a little bit of fantasy will enjoy this book. There is a fun mystery to solve and since Sherlock Holmes was so popular a movie this winter it would be easy to sell this to younger readers who liked that movie.

I give it four cookies out of five!


  1. Sounds like a good one! :-)

  2. I hadn't heard of this one, so I'm really glad you shared it. I have a few students it would be perfect for.