Book: The Wells Bequest (Companion to The Grimm Legacy) by Polly Shulman, Penguin Audio, on sale now. Also available in hardcover from Nancy Paulsen.
Audiobook Info: Middle Grade, Received for review, Audio length: 6 hours 46 minutes, read by Johnny Heller.
Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars
I listened to The Grimm Legacy audiobook last year (review) and thought it was so fun and enchanting, and now a companion book is out. There are some familiar characters from The Grimm Legacy as well as new adventures in the creative world of The Wells Bequest. I wish there really was a cool magical library like the New-York Circulating Material Repository! I would love to visit.
In this middle grade series, the kids always save the day. The Repository’s teen pages are super smart and creative problem solvers. One of the newest employees is Leo, a bright student who finds the Repository when he’s doing research for a science project. He’s also investigating time machines, since he saw a miniaturized version of himself and a girl appear to him. There’s no better place than this library to solve that mystery!
I was happy to read more about the New-York Circulating Material Repository, a library where patrons can check out cool magical objects. There are special collection rooms devoted to different types of items. For example, in the Grimm Collection, you can check out famous artifacts from Grimm’s fairy tales like the Queen’s mirror from Snow White. In this book, the focus is science fiction with The Wells Bequest room that has H.G. Wells-type toys like time machines and shrink rays. Anything is possible in this magical library. Looking forward to discovering the other special collections in future books.
The head page Jaya is a girl who also had a part in The Grimm Legacy, as the younger sister of one of the teen pages, Anjali. Now Jaya is the focus and she’s quite the heroine herself. Leo has a big crush on Jaya, motivated by seeing his future self and her together. They work well at the library- Leo is more cautious and Jaya is bold and brave so they balance each other out.
Since the items available for loan are so special and rare, you can’t check them out with only a library card. You have to offer up something unique to you like your sense of direction, patience, or sense of humor. And if you lose the item, you won’t get your “deposit” back. It would really make me think before I borrowed an object!
I think readers that love adventure and the feeling that anything can happen will eat up this series. The time travel is fascinating stuff and the characters discuss the ramifications and ethics of altering the past. Some of that hurt my brain to think about but it helped if I just went along for the ride. There are some familiar names that pop up in the past that also serves as a fun and educational history lesson.
I listened to the audiobook read by Johnny Heller. Heller is a veteran narrator but I think this is my first experience listening to any of his books. Heller is a great storyteller and makes the story come alive. There are many different characters in the book and Heller gives them all different voices and personalities. He especially gets Leo’s inquisitive voice right. This is a fun audiobook to listen with the family, and the nature of the story lends itself well to audio.
It’s not necessary to read The Grimm Legacy to understand The Wells Bequest; they are standalone books, though some characters do overlap. I read that the author is working on the next Repository book called The Hawthorne Annex, which is the ghostly collection. Looking forward to it!
- Have Time Machine – Will Travel (goodreadswithronna.com)
- ” The Wells Bequest: A Companion To The Grimm Legacy “, Has Been A Must Own Book (kidbooksreview.wordpress.com)