Nonna’s Book of Mysteries

Nonna’s Book of Mysteries, book one of the alchemy series by Mary A. Osborne

ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Winner
IBPA Ben Franklin Award Nominee
American Library Association Nomination Best Feminist Books for Teens
Paris Book Festival 2010 Grand Prize Winner
Best Teen Book 2010 San Francisco Book Festival
Best Teen Book 2010 New England Book Festival

In Renaissance Italy, apprenticeships for young women do not exist.  Yet in Florence, Emilia Serafini dreams of becoming a painter.  The odds appear stacked against her until she receives a fascinating book, A Manual to the Science of Alchemy.  It once was her grandmother’s and Emilia turns again and again to the Manual for guidance. Infused with the mysticism of alchemy, Nonna’s Book of Mysteries is the inspiring portrait of a young woman who defies convention to seek her destiny.


I loved Nonna’s Book of Mysteries! It’s is a wonder of a book—exciting, mysterious, and wise.  I’ll long remember the courageous and determined Emilia who learns about choices and the consequences of choices, about the importance of struggle and perseverance, about loyalty, friendship, and love, amid the splendors of Renaissance Florence.  I can’t wait for another from Mary Osborne.

—Karen Cushman, Newberry Award winner, author of the Midwife’s Apprentice