When Reuben discovers an old pocket watch, he soon realizes it holds an incredible power: it can turn you invisible for fifteen minutes. And the watch's power is even more extraordinary than he knows. Soon, he's on the run from a despot determined to possess it for himself ...
It's summer vacation for 12-year-old Reuben Pedley, a resident of a rundown neighborhood in New Umbra, a city ruled by a mysterious figure known as the Smoke and his minions, the Directions, who constantly patrol the city. While Reuben's mother is at work, he spends his days exploring; one afternoon, he finds a leather pouch containing a strange antique watch. In attempting to discover the secret of the watch, Reuben attracts the unwanted attention of the Smoke and the Directions. Reuben teams up with Penny and Jack Meyers, descendants of one of the original owners of the watch and keepers of a dark family secret, to outsmart the Smoke and free New Umbra from his clutches. Stewart (the Mysterious Benedict Society series) has created an exciting, fully imagined world filled with mystery and danger, where children can have real adventures without parental supervision. He doesn't shy from putting the children in true danger, both physical and moral, keeping readers on tenterhooks until the final page. Art not seen by PW. Ages 8 12.