Drop Shadow

A Perilous Journey of Danger & Mayhem: A Dastardly Plot

By Christopher Healy


It is 1883—the Age of Invention! A time when great men like Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Nicola Tesla, and George Eastman work to turn the country into a mechanical-electrical-industrial marvel: a land of limitless opportunity. And it all happens at the world-famous Inventors’ Guild headquarters in New York City—a place where a great idea, a lot of hard work, and a little luck can find you rubbing elbows with the gods of industry who will usher humanity into the bright promise of the future.

Unless, of course, you’re a woman.

Molly Pepper, daughter of brilliant but unknown inventor Cassandra Pepper, lives with her mother in New York. By day, they make ends meet running a small pickle shop; by night, they toil and dream of Cassandra shattering the glass ceiling of the Inventors’ Guild and taking her place among the most famous inventors in America. In an attempt to find a way to exhibit Cass’s work at the 1883 World’s Fair, they break into the Inventor’s Guild—and discover a mysterious and dastardly plot to destroy the city. The evidence points to the involvement of one of the world’s most famous inventors, and now it’s up to molly, Cassandra, and a shop hand named Emmett Lee to uncover the truth—even if no one will ever know it was they who did it.

Christopher Healy

Christopher Healy is the author of The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, as well as its two sequels, The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle and The Hero’s Guide to Being an Outlaw. He is also author of the picture book This Is Not That Kind of Book. Before becoming a writer, he worked as an actor, an ad copywriter, a toy store display designer, a fact-checker, a dishwasher, a journalist, a costume shop clothing stitcher, a children’s entertainment reviewer, and a haunted house zombie. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, two children, and a dog named Duncan. You can visit him online at www.christopherhealy.com.

“A zany, rollicking series opener.”

- Kirkus Reviews

“Plot twists and banter hit at breakneck speeds in this heartfelt yet tongue-in-cheek look at the tumultuous Age of Invention, and its focus on two often marginalized groups—immigrants and women—allows for relevant social commentary.”

- Publishers Weekly

“Christopher Healy, author of the Hero’s Guide series, knows how to tell a good story. He’s done it again with the adventures of a determined girl named Molly Pepper.”

- Brightly, Best Middle Grade Books of Fall 2018

“Healy has created a steampunk-inspired alternative history featuring some of the greatest minds in invention (including a number of women) in this series opener. A solid choice for adventurous readers.”

- Booklist


Published by Walden Pond Press an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers