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The Museum's Secret: The Remarkable Adventures of Tom Scatterhorn (book 1) (The Remarkable Adventures of Tom Scatterhorn): Remarkable Adventures of Tom Scatterhorn Bk. 1 Hardcover – 4 Sep 2008

15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; First Edition edition (4 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019272083X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192720832
  • Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 3.9 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 544,751 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Aside from his children's books, Henry Chancellor is the author of the many highly acclaimed adult titles, including Colditz: The Definitive History, and The Official Companion to Ian Fleming's Creation-James Bond-The man and His World. His remarkable television series, Escape from Colditz, won sweeping praise and has been shown all over the world. His documentaries for television include The Great Belzoni, Millennium and Commando. He lives in Suffolk with his wife and young children.

Product Description

Book Description

An irresistible adventure through a world full of dust, insects, magic potions, missing jewels and stuffed animals...

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Davina on 19 Sept. 2008
Format: Hardcover
I bought this for a 10 year old prolific reader, who devours books faster than they can be published, because I saw that it was new in print. I read it before I gave it to him.
It is wonderful - a fantastic, fabulous and magical adventure of a boy, Tom Scatterhorn, who becomes involved in an old, ramshackle, family-owned natural history museum. It quickly becomes apparent that there is more than meets the eye - the animals on display, created by a master taxidermist in the last century, can come alive. Tom finds a portal in the museum, which enables him to travel back and forth in time, between the modern day and the years in which the museum was created, and he becomes an apprentice to the master taxidermist. He finds out that the taxidermist has discovered an "elixir of life". But Tom isn't the only one travelling in time, and there are other, not-so-nice people looking for the rumoured elixir...
It is beautifully written, and very exciting. Highly recommended, I'd say for 9 - 12 year olds. My 10 year old loved it, read it practically in one go, and wants to know when there will be more (it is called "Book 1"). I hope there will be more!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Roger Whitewick on 15 July 2011
Format: Paperback
My Y5 Deep See Readers group reviewed this book. This is what they thought: Our reading group chose this book because it looked exciting. You had to be patient, though, for the adventure to get going. This book was really four different stories trying to be one story. We don't think it worked as well as it could have because it didn't decide which of these stories it wanted to be. In part, it was a Narnia type entry to another world, it was part Dr Doolittle talking animals, it was part adventure in India, and it was part save the museum from falling into the wrong hands. If it has a main character that you could empathise with and a story that did not try to pack too many things in, we think this book could have been better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. C. J. Cubbon VINE VOICE on 9 Jan. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I can only agree witht he previous reviewer (that's why I bought the book) - this is a fantastic book - I too have read it first and hope there will be more - I was definately ready for more adventures. I cruised through the book, snatching time whenever I could to carry on reading. I would have loved this book as a child and highly recommend this to everyone with children 9+ (because it is such a long book) but I am sure younger able readers would love it too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tina on 24 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover
What a fantastic book! Full marks for this book; if there were 10 stars to give, this book would deserve every single one of them! It's about a boy called Tom who moves in with relatives who own an old museum of stuffed animals who, he discovers, aren't really dead at all. A great adventure begins with Tom time-travelling back and forth. As the book says, they are `remarkable adventures'! One of the best books I've ever read. I really loved this book and was sorry when I finished it. Hopefully there'll be a sequel soon!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Helen Coffey on 13 April 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for my 9 year old daughter. She loved the story. The mystery, intrigue and suspense kept her reading the book from start to finish. She found it to be one of the best books that she has ever read. As a mother I was a bit concerned about the inclusion of the beetles in the prologue at the start of the book, as I found this part a little bit disturbing. I read the book to ensure the content was suitable. I also found it a realy entertaining read and would highly recommend it for any child over the age of 9. My daughter would rate this book as 10 out of 10.
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Format: Paperback
The Scatterhorn Museum is a family legacy, founded in 1906 and handed down from the generation of the adventurous explorer Sir Henry Scatterhorn. It's a run-down, cold and draughty, dingy kind of a place, full of real stuffed animals. Sir Henry's best friend, August, was a first class taxidermist and the animals were all his creation. A few generations on though and the animals are quite tatty and worn - they haven't had much care over the years. Visitors to the musuem are few and far between; any that make it through the door are soon frightened out of the museum by the shabby, moth-eaten animals.

This is the place were young Tom ends up, staying with his eccentric uncle and aunt, while his mum chases off to Mongolia to find his dad who's gone missing on an assignment to find rare beetles. It doesn't take Tom long to find out that there's more to this run-down museum than if first seemed. Quite by accident he discovers some of the museum's old secrets and finds himself on adventures from Edwardian times to the present day, and from Catcher Hall just a short distance away, to jungles in India and more.

A brilliant rip-roaring adventure. I've recommended it for age 8+ readers but it's a bit dark in places so perhaps read it before you give it to a sensitive child at the younger end of the spectrum. Can't wait to read Book 2, The Hidden World.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By emma who reads a lot TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book about Tom Scatterhorn, a boy who is sent to stay with relatives who own a fabulous natural history museum, when his father disappears on a beetle-collecting expedition in Mongolia. It is probably best suited to a reader between eight and ten years old, as there are some quite scary bits but the tone is generally not too Gothic or overwhelmingly frightening.

Unlike the previous reviewer, I will tell you a bit about the plot, as there's quite a lot of detail on the back of the book anyway! Look away now if you don't want to know.

The Scatterhorn family have owned the museum for generations. Whilst it's now in disrepair, in Victorian times it was a showpiece of taxidermy with hundreds of amazing animals on display in lifelike poses. Anyone who has seen "A Night in the Museum" will have an idea what happens next, but really the exciting adventures of the book mostly take place in the human world. Tom discovers he can cross into the past and meet Sir Henry Scatterhorn who founded the museum, and must work out who is friend and who is foe in the confusing crossover between past and present.

A sequel is nicely set up by events at the end of the novel, though it promises I suspect to be rather creepier. Suffice to say that if you think your children will be frightened by the Kafka-ish plot twist of people turning into giant beetles, possibly best avoid this book.

Overall it was well-written and it read well aloud, too. Lots of nice description and dialogue, and with enough drama and tension to keep you going without it being too scary. Very entertaining.
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