If Gregory Funaro was given a set of instructions on how to write the perfect children’s book, he couldn’t have done any better. Poor Grubb. Age “twelve or thereabouts”, and an orphan, he’s known nothing but hardship and cruelty during his childhood. Found by the kindly Mrs. Smears who unfortunately dies early on in the book, he is forced by Mr. Smears to become a chimney sweep and is beaten daily and starved so he can fit into the narrow chimneys. But after a hilarious altercation with an innkeeper’s spoiled son, and hiding in the back of a mysterous guest’s carriage, this plucky hero soon finds himself on the adventure of his life, and discovers there is far more to the world than he ever imagined. This book swept me right back to my childhood. If I could compare it to other books I’d choose Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Phantom Tollbooth. But it really is completely unique on it’s own. Set in Victorian England it’s a mix of fantasy, adventure, and steampunk. Grubb is a loveable hero who with the other characters from the Odditorium will instantly captivate you. Illustrated with exquisite drawings and for ages 8 – 12, it’s not only a great book for reluctant readers, but it will appeal to those who don’t usually read books in this genre. I would even recommend it to adults who would like to re-awaken their inner child. It won’t be released until early January , but I’d add this to your list of future books that must be read.