The Cabinet of Earths (Hardcover)
November 2011 Indie Next List
“Strange things begin to happen when 13-year-old Maya and her family move from California to Paris for a year. She meets odd relatives, including the strange, almost invisible Cousin Louise, and an older cousin who takes care of an ornate cabinet seemingly filled with bits of earth. Danger seems near as an odd 'Uncle' with purple eyes takes a special interest in Maya's exuberant five-year-old brother, James. Readers will enter this eerie atmosphere and find themselves holding their breath as Maya tries to rescue James and solve the mysterious meaning of the Cabinet of Earths.”
— Barbara Katz, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI
On their first day in Paris, Maya and her little brother, James, find themselves caught up in some very old magic. Houses with bronze salamanders for door handles, statues that look too much like Mayas own worried face, a man wearing sunglasses to hide his radiant purple eyes . . . nothing is what it seems. And what does all that magic want from Maya?
With the help of a friendly boy named Valko, Maya discovers surprises hidden in her family treegrandmothers who walked in magic, a cousin so unremarkable shes actually hard to see, and a terrible family habit of betraying ones brother. And now the shimmering glass Cabinet of Earths, at the heart of all these secrets, has chosen Maya to be its new Keeper.
As she untangles the ties between the Salamander House, the purple-eyed man, and the Cabinet of Earths, Maya realizes that her own brother may be in terrible danger. To save him, Maya must take on the magical underworld of Paris . . . before it is too late.
About the Author
Anne Nesbet is the author of The Cabinet of Earths, which was named a Best of the Best Book by the Chicago Public Library. She is a professor of Slavic languages and literatures and of film studies at UC Berkeley. She lives near San Francisco with her husband, several daughters, and one irrepressible dog.
“Nesbet’s first novel is an impressive achievement, its substance and style gracefully blended. Above all, Maya is a fully rounded, complex character, someone whose qualities and struggles are admirably and appealingly central to the fantasy.”
-The Horn Book
“Blending elements of magic, science, and even horror with evocative prose and a confident narrative voice, Nesbet immerses readers in her contemporary Parisian setting.”
“Nesbet has written a unique, interesting fantasy with just enough suspense to keep readers turning the pages long into the night. Fantasy readers of all ages, especially middle school students, will enjoy this story.”
-Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“Though it’s easy to generalize this as a coming-of-age tale, Nesbet more specifically pinpoints this as the story of a young girl coming to terms with mortality while realizing that finding her intrinsic worth makes her content and also inspires her appreciation of those around her.”
“This debut novel of intrigue, family betrayal and an unsolved case of missing children will grip readers from first page to last. Readers will be swept along by the novel’s swift pace and enjoy the mystery’s unraveling with Maya and Valko as their companions.”
“In her debut novel, Nesbet has crafted a carefully imagined, magical world—one that is shrouded in mystery and keeps the reader engaged and guessing. With imaginative alchemy, compelling action, and sensitive characterizations, this novel will undoubtedly win over fantasy fans.”
“Nesbet plays on both the charm of her Parisian setting and the shadowy eeriness of a city steeped in history to create an alluring sense of place that envelops readers from the first page.”
-Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Maya is a fully realized character...and readers will be rooting for her to find her strengths and save the day. This unique fantasy will catch its audience’s attention and leave them thinking about time, families, and immortality.”
-School Library Journal