Through the Skylight by Ian Baucom

Through the Skylight

Two tantalizing tales, magically intertwined, cross cultures and span centuries as three kids set out to save the lives of three others—who just happen to live in the Middle Ages!A stone lion roars....A sleek black cat speaks....A faun leaps from the canvas of a painting....When Jared, Shireen, and Miranda are each given one glittering gift from an old Venetian shopkeeper, they never fathom the powers they are now able to unleash; they never ex...

Details Through the Skylight

TitleThrough the Skylight
Release DateMar 19th, 2013
PublisherAtheneum Books for Young Readers
GenreFantasy, Adventure, Childrens, Middle Grade, Magic, Mystery, Juvenile

Reviews Through the Skylight

  • Deborah
    I loved the book's premise: the idea of an animated stone lion and mythological Roman fawn; Aladin's Tale come to life; a connection to the Children's Crusade. Intriguing. The setting of Venice, both modern and Renaissance, was rich with the promise of imagination. However, the adventures' plot relied primarily on the character's fate and happenstance rather than their personal choices. It was stymied also by the literacy device used to tell the ...
  • Marsha
    How much is our destiny foretold and how much is due to free will? That surprising conundrum and its startling answer wind through this tale about La Serenissima and the ancient history that brings three siblings in contact with an adventure from the past and a sinister force that wears the cowl of a holy monk. A modern book about enchantment had better have something unusual about it and this book has them in spades. Moving statues, pictures tha...
  • Jessikah
    A children's fantasy novel that had so much potential effectively reveals itself as a mess.Having read a few other middle grade fantasies set in the city of Venice (Water Mirror and The Undrowned Child to name some), I was eager to see what Baucom's magical vision of this ancient landscape. What I read was a tale that was influenced by C.S. Lewis but lacked the subtlety of his religious undertones. In fact, I would call the religious themes in th...
  • Rochelle Sondae
    Interesting story set in Venice. At times I loved it. Sometimes though it felt a bit forced. I was about 350 pages in before I started to get bored with the story. I do plan on ordering it once it is available in paperback mainly because I know my 8 year old self would have thought it was the best thing ever.
  • Lauren Gatecliff
    I loved the way the story in this book was told, I got lost in it. I thought the author did an amazing job with the characters and setting it really spoke to me.
  • Kate
    This fascinating modern fantasy has overtones of C.S. Lewis at his best. Jared, Shireen, and Miranda are siblings whose father has taken a visiting professor position in Venice for a semester. While getting their bearings of the city, the three stumble upon an old junk shop, where they meet a mysterious old man. Seeming to know something the children don't, he gifts them with a trinket apiece from a mysterious bag along with a copy of the folktal...
  • Kevin
    When brothers and sisters embark on magical journey in Venice, you never really know what will transpire. This book is an interesting fantasy about a family that spends a semester in Venice, and the kids begin on a quest to help children hostages. This book is a great book to read and great for learning little bit of Italian. There are a lot of strengths and very few weaknesses in Through the Skylight. The clarity of this book is outstanding. Thr...
  • Kayla Bason
    When sibling cross world's a wonderful fantasy about a families trip to Venice changes drastically. The kids encounter magical beings that take them further into a wild quest. The strengths of this book are definitely the location and characters. The location allows a lot of different elements to get involved. For example, the characters have to take the water bus instead of taking the regular bus. They encounter everyday activities that we don't...
  • Laura
    A relatively strong version of the modern children go on an adventure genre: here, three siblings in modern day Venice find a mysterious shop and the shopkeeper gives them the opportunity to take a turn at his sack of oddities. They pull out two rings and a die, all somehow magic and somehow integrated in a book about the One Thousand and One Nights. Thanks to these 'trinkets' and the book, Jared, Shireen and Miranda are drawn into an adventure t...
  • Alaina
    Though the Skylight is a mysterious, adventurous, and interesting book to read. The main characters in this book are Jared, Shireen, and Miranda. Shireen is a special character and I related to her a lot. Shireen is a key character because she is unique, and her sister and brother are more ordinary. The individual fairy tale stories in this book really come together and make the whole book interesting. In the beginning, the pace could have been ...
  • Marqeisha
    A semester in Venice can change the lives of Jared,Shireen and Amanda by a quick map of mythical power that a couple of rings and a die holds.Who knew it would lead them on a long suspenseful journey.This book was a very good book.I have not read a good childrens book in a while and I'm glad it was this one.If your looking for a good bed time story or a good adeventuare book this is the book for you.The book is easy to understand so it's great fo...
  • Joannah Keats
    I found this to be an unoriginal, confusing, and ineffective mash-up of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, The Da Vinci Code, and A Wrinkle In Time. The similarities to TLWW were so pervasive that I found it distracting. There is not much here for kids to get excited about. The reading level is too high for the kids who might enjoy the story, and the kids at the appropriate reading level are unlikely to enjoy its over-the-top plot and charact...
  • Kris
    Recommended for gr. 5-8. Three American siblings live in modern-day Venice. They each receive a small gift from a shopkeeper and strange things begin happening. Stone lions come to life, they have conversations with a cat, and creatures step out of paintings. This turns into an adventure fit for a storybook, and in fact, there is a book that seems to be telling their story. Another trio of children from Venice of the past show up, and the America...
  • Keya Cureton
    A bedtime story deepens as siblings Jared, Shireen, and Miranda try to solve a problem from the past that has burst into the present. The main characters of the book are Jared, Shireen, and Miranda. An old Venetian shopkeeper unleashed a powerful magic upon them.Thefts,kidnappings, and betrayals from centuries ago have endangered the lives of people in the present. Now it is up to them to solve this mystery. Through the Skylight is a mysterious a...
  • Sara I
    This was a book I picked up on a whim because the cover looked cool and I have this thing for Middle Grade fantasy. I just love it haha. While I had my doubts here and there this book did turn out to be cute and sweet and a nice adventure. There were parts where it seemed a little confusing or slow, but in the end it was a pretty good middle grade book. Definitely one that I would recommend to my siblings. (the main content was brief violence and...
  • Griffindjohnson25
    Through the Skylight is an interesting, exciting, mysterious, and funny book. I found it a very good read because there was humor and suspense in it. When three kids walk into an old shop they get special items or gifts from the storekeeper. They don’t know what the items are for, but they do know that they are special and important. As they wake up the next morning, they notice there was a visitor that night. They don't realize that there live...
  • Tamara Richman
    The beginning really caught me... 3 children spending a semester in Venice (mmmm Venice)and finding magical treasures in a bookshop that come from the Arabian tales. But, I realized that, as I tried in vain to finish it, that I just didn't care what they did or where they did. Skipped to the end for 0 surprises. Not terrible, just meh.
  • Emily
    I liked it, and I'm older than its target audience. I did think it wasn't quite bedtime reading material, as there were a few creepy parts that some kids might like but that others (including my adult self) *really* did not need to read right before sleeping...Not the best book I've ever read, but a whole lot better than a lot of YA fiction I've read in the past few years.
  • Angel
    Not bad. The introduction of magic in this story feels a little forced though, and the large flashback seemed a bit too much information to unload in one chapter. I'd probably like it more if the flashbacks were shorter and spread out over the course of the story, like some other authors do in their books.
  • Sharon Lawler
    Loved the first half of the book with the kids discovering the purpose of the objects, the importance of the book in their lives, the personalities of the faun, the lion, and the cat. The second half just didn't work for me.
  • Dawn Moews
    This was a good story of three modern children caught in a magical world of old world Venice. The story is one that will appeal to intermediate and middle grade fantasy fans. This isn't my favorite genre, but I still found it to be a fun read.
  • A.E. Fuhrman
    A magical book set in present-day Venice about three very ordinary children who, with the help of a talking cat, a faun, a stone lion, and a dragon rescue the waifs of medieval Venice from the clutches of a delusional priest. A modern rival to Lewis' Narnia. Absolutely enchanting!
  • Martha
    Grand adventure for middle school kids set in Venice. We all believe that what is written in books pulls us in and becomes our world, right??
  • Alex
    It opened with a map so I was immediately hooked. Three kids living abroad in Venice encounter a curious old man and some strange objects from the past. Sort of predictable but very enjoyable
  • Lauren
    Though this novel had some intrigue and good humor, there were very few times where I felt a need to read on and find out what happened. I would probably not recommend it to anyone or read it again.
  • Jessica Arnold
    couldn't get into it. put it down after a few chapters.
  • Sarah
  • Tellee Clark
    I thought this book was a good book because it was based in Venice.
  • Ann
    Great storytelling for tweens!