The Mona Lisa Key

The Mona Lisa Key

When Matt, Ruby, and Corey Hudson discover their subway train is actually a time-traveling eighteenth-century frigate captained by a mysterious pirate, they are thrown into a series of adventures that offer cryptic clues about their past and their future....

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Title:The Mona Lisa Key
Author:Liesl Shurtliff
Rating:

The Mona Lisa Key Reviews

  • Lisa D

    Great book! Great adventure! I love a good adventure ! Totally different than her other series! Great start to a series! Well written! Loved it!

  • Kristen

    I think this is the beginning of a great book series!

    First of all - the main characters are quite enjoyable. I think that middle grade readers will relate to parts of each of them. There are also secondary characters that are wonderful as well. I especially liked Jia and Pike.

    It feels has an early Peter Pan vibe to it - time pirates - orphans and betrayal!

    I am excited for the next one!

  • Mary

    It took me awhile to get into this one but by the end I was hooked. Looking forward to the next one.

  • Darla

    There are a number of moving parts in this book -- literally. The time travelling ship can morph into most any other type of transportation from a yacht to a train to a golf cart. Behind all the travelling is a magic compass. I got a bit of a Back In Time vibe from this book. This series will be appealing to both boys and girls and teaches a bit about history in the midst of all the action. I look forward to learning more answers to the mystery of the Mona Lisa Key.

    Thank you, Katherine Tegen Bo

    There are a number of moving parts in this book -- literally. The time travelling ship can morph into most any other type of transportation from a yacht to a train to a golf cart. Behind all the travelling is a magic compass. I got a bit of a Back In Time vibe from this book. This series will be appealing to both boys and girls and teaches a bit about history in the midst of all the action. I look forward to learning more answers to the mystery of the Mona Lisa Key.

    Thank you, Katherine Tegen Books and Edelweiss, for a digital ARC of this series debut.

  • Kales

    What a surprising and delightful book! I did not expect to love it do much and now it has turned into one of my favorite middle grade reads in a long time.

    I originally picked up this book because of the time travel element and the whole idea of time pirates appealed to me. It was slow to start, I mean seriously slow. We didn't get to time travel or pirates or anything weird until at least 60 pages in. But once we got there, the action just kept going. About halfway through, it didn't stop. I cou

    What a surprising and delightful book! I did not expect to love it do much and now it has turned into one of my favorite middle grade reads in a long time.

    I originally picked up this book because of the time travel element and the whole idea of time pirates appealed to me. It was slow to start, I mean seriously slow. We didn't get to time travel or pirates or anything weird until at least 60 pages in. But once we got there, the action just kept going. About halfway through, it didn't stop. I couldn't put it down. And it had intensity, mystery and a beautiful conclusion with just enough to make me want to pick up the sequel whenever that comes out.

    One of my absolute favorite things about this book was the siblings. I was anxious originally about the dynamic of the siblings, like it was going to be too Kane Chronicles-like for me. But no, they turned into their own people with diverse interests and an intense loyalty and love. The trio reminded me of young Harry, Ron and Hermione. And I am one of three and it's the best and strongest number. The whole concept of family woven throughout the story was refreshing, well-done and made my eyes sting a little.

    The adventure was a whirlwind once it got going. Again, I was reminded of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson and how the author lets the kids go through some crazy and scary scenarios despite the fact that they are only preteens. They are brave and scared and smart and silly and all the things kids should be in those situations.

    I want to mention also the diversity in this book and the fact that it didn't shy away from hard subjects such as racism and women's rights. Because they travel to different times, the siblings encounter many different people of a variety of backgrounds and they handle it with as much grace as they can at their age. But they are also willing to learn and listen about Jim Crow laws and 9/11 and women's equality. In that same vane, the Hudsons are a mixed family, where their mom is from Morocco, their dad is American, and Matt is adopted from Colombia. It's awesome that this unconventional family is at the center of this story. As well as a diverse crew on the ship. It was woven seamlessly into the story, as it damn well should be.

    I wish I had more of an answer to Matt's seizures than I got and I wish it had picked up a little more, not taken so long to get to the action. But that almost makes me even more excited for the sequel, where we can get more answers and dive right into the world, without so much explanation. I would recommend this to middle grade readers hands down but even some older kids and adults would like this reckless and entertaining adventure too.

    Conclusion: Keep and might even get in Hardcover

  • Grace T

    Really fun middle-grade book! Time travel, pirates, betrayal, new friendships and old siblingships. You think it's tying up nicely, and then--it does, but you need the second book anyway because one very important question is yet to be answered.

  • Mrs.Melaugh Melaugh

    When Matt Hudson and his slightly younger twin siblings Ruby and Corey board a Metro train in their home town of New York City, they learn why their parents have always strict forbidden them from taking public transit. The children wind up on the Vermillion, a time-travelling ship, headed by pirate Captain Vincent and a crew of orphans from different eras, each with his or her own special talent. The Hudsons willingly join the adventurous band pulling off heists at strategic times in history. Ho

    When Matt Hudson and his slightly younger twin siblings Ruby and Corey board a Metro train in their home town of New York City, they learn why their parents have always strict forbidden them from taking public transit. The children wind up on the Vermillion, a time-travelling ship, headed by pirate Captain Vincent and a crew of orphans from different eras, each with his or her own special talent. The Hudsons willingly join the adventurous band pulling off heists at strategic times in history. However, when the siblings eventually want to return home, their situation turns dangerous. Eventually reunited with their parents, surprising family secrets are revealed. Many loose ends are left dangling, and a sequel is clearly in the works.

  • michelle

    * Thank you to Eidelweiss and Harper Collins for an advanced DRC of this book. All opinions are my own.

    While a big fan of Liesl Shurtliff, this particular book didn't grab me the way I had hoped it would. The concept of three kids traveling through time seemed fascinating, but I kept waiting for something to actually happen. I was also waiting for their parents to become a part of the story, especially as I figured out their role quite early on in the book, and it seemed like that was where the

    * Thank you to Eidelweiss and Harper Collins for an advanced DRC of this book. All opinions are my own.

    While a big fan of Liesl Shurtliff, this particular book didn't grab me the way I had hoped it would. The concept of three kids traveling through time seemed fascinating, but I kept waiting for something to actually happen. I was also waiting for their parents to become a part of the story, especially as I figured out their role quite early on in the book, and it seemed like that was where the drama would actually come in. The last third of this book was probably the best part where the action really turned up.

  • Nicole Wagner

    Disclaimer: did not finish.

    I received an advance reader copy of this book, and I'm aware that it's an uncorrected proof. But the continuity problems were bad enough to make this already bland book plainly unreadable.

    Example: trio of kids gets on subway on their way to school. It's April, it's New York, they're rushing, it's 8-ish a.m. The mysterious train is a time machine. They get off the train and it's Paris, 1911. The sky is blue, without a cloud in it. They enter a museum. AND SUDDENLY MOO

    Disclaimer: did not finish.

    I received an advance reader copy of this book, and I'm aware that it's an uncorrected proof. But the continuity problems were bad enough to make this already bland book plainly unreadable.

    Example: trio of kids gets on subway on their way to school. It's April, it's New York, they're rushing, it's 8-ish a.m. The mysterious train is a time machine. They get off the train and it's Paris, 1911. The sky is blue, without a cloud in it. They enter a museum. AND SUDDENLY MOONLIGHT IS STREAMING IN THROUGH THE WINDOWS. IT'S THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.

    I could let this glaring editorial miss go if the book had enough for me to chew on. But it didn't. I love young adult novels, and I appreciate time travel and adventure novels, but this one didn't offer me enough, soon enough, and after about 80 pages I put it down for good.

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