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Fathom Five

The Unwritten Books

by James Bow

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reviews: 2
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contemporary, new experience
list price: $12.99
also available: eBook eBook
published: 2007
publisher: Dundurn Press
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
12 to 15
7 to 10
Reading age:
12 to 15
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Community Reviews and Comments
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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Fathom Five

In James Bow’s newest book, Fathom Five, the sequel to The Unwritten Girl, a new adventure begins. The story focuses around Peter who, after three years, still feels like an outsider in Clarksbury and, when Rosemary rejects his confession of love, is finally convinced that there is no place for him there. Then, a mysterious woman named Fiona appears and tells Peter that he truly does not belong in Clarksbury. He is a Changeling, a Siren who has been cast into the human world. Now, Rosemary must find her way to a dangerous underwater world and rescue Peter before she loses him to the mythical creatures of the deep.

Both The Unwritten Girl and Fathom Five are interesting novels of fantasy. It is obvious that Bow’s writing has matured as he continues to create fantastic stories for children. The beauty of the Unwritten Books series is that they do not have to be read in order. Both books stand alone as separate adventures, partly to accommodate the fact that the characters are pre-teens in The Unwritten Girl, making it suitable for children ages nine to twelve, but full teenagers in Fathom Five, more suitable for older readers. In addition, the books focus on both a male and female character so both boys and girls will be able to relate to, and find equal pleasure in, reading this series.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Fall 2007. Vol.30 No.4.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Fathom Five (The Unwritten Books)

On the surface, Peter has a good life, but underneath, it’s a different story. It’s been years since his parents’ death landed him in Clarksbury, and he still feels like an outsider. Can all this change when a mysterious woman appears?

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2008.

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  • Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens
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Commended for the 2008 Best Books for Kids and Teens
On the surface, Peter McAllister has a good life: a good school, good friends, good times. So what if his best friend is a girl — and sort of a geek? And so what if she might be more than a friend.
Underneath, it’s a different story. It’s been years since the death of his parents landed him in this small town with his hardly-there uncle, but he still feels as if his life in Clarksbury is just an inch deep. Does he really belong? Only Rosemary seems real. But that reality comes crashing down the first time he kisses her — and she rejects him.
Then a mysterious woman named Fiona appears. She tells him he’s a changeling — a fairy child left to live in the human world — and that it’s time to come home. Can Rosemary convince him that Fiona is lying? Or is it possible that Fiona is telling the truth?

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Contributor notes

James Bow's first novel, The Unwritten Girl, introduced readers to the strange and compelling worlds of Rosemary and Peter in 2006. A transit enthusiast, urban planner, and freelance journalist, James lives in Kitchener, Ontario, with his wife, poet Erin Noteboom.

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