This copy of Skullduggery by Kathleen Karr is a PB. It was published by Hyperion Paperbacks for Children in 2002. Condition: Very Good--bottom corner of front cover has a very slight small curl up, otherwise the book looks new. Price sticker on the back cover.
"Interested in medicine?
Dr. ABC seeks bright lad.
Training and board.
Apply number 113, Broadway."
Twelve-year-old Matthew Morrissey can't believe his luck when he spots this ad in the paper. He is interested in medicine--he wants to find a cure for the cholera that wiped out his whole family and left him orphaned. Alone on the streets of 1840s New York, Matthew leaps at the opportunity to help this Dr. ABC, whomever he is. As it turns out, he is the plump, puffy, rumpled Asa B. Cornwall, a kindly-if-obsessed phrenologist who hopes to someday perfect mankind through his study of the contours of human skulls, particularly those of flawed characters. "Give me a skull, and I can conjure up the very soul of a man!" he cries passionately. Matthew is eager to please this eccentric man, if only for a warm bed and all the oatmeal he can eat.
In time, however, his apprenticeship intensifies when he learns he must help his master rob graves for real specimens. And can the doctor really mean that he wants Voltaire's skull from Paris? Things heat up even more when they discover they have a mysterious enemy with a brow "broad and low," clearly the skull of a criminal. Kathleen Karr's delightful, well-crafted adventure is witty, suspenseful, and deliciously Dickensian; most of all, it has a great deal of heart. Watching the older man and his young charge plow forward through near misses and comedies of errors is pure fun. And we, like the dynamic duo, come to learn that their companionship is far more valuable than a chest of gold, an acre of skulls, or Dr. ABC's relentless pursuit of perfection. (Ages 10 to 14) --Karin Snelson
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