The Incredible Charlotte Sycamore
In this fun, quirky Victorian steampunk novel, Charlotte Sycamore’s father is the private physician to Queen Victoria – which means Charlotte is expected to act like a proper young lady. Charlotte, however, is more interested in adventures and inventions. When she and her two friends, Phillip and Jillian, spend a mischievous night practicing swordplay, they witness a robbery and are attacked by unusual mechanical dogs. This catapults them into a series of misadventures, and a complicated mystery to solve. All three children become infected by what appears to be rabies. But can mechanical dogs even get rabies? And why would someone create these machines in the first place? Charlotte must try to save her friends, hide her injuries, and discover the secret behind the dogs, all the while dealing with events like her engagement to a stranger.
Kate Maddison, a pen name for historical romance author Katherine Haupt, has crafted a unique and charming young adult adventure story. Charlotte is a spirited heroine who never gives up, despite the overwhelming evidence that the rabies might kill them all. The storyline, while slow at times, did give a fun twist to traditional Victorian London. Recommended for ages 10 and up.