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Acclaim for Alchemy’s Daughter

Kirkus Reviews:Brimming with details of life in Italy during the plague of 1348, this well-researched story incorporates historical information about medieval alchemy, midwifery, and the conflict between science and superstition, providing a rich context and arresting contrast for Santina’s thoroughly modern attitudes.”

VOYA Magazine:  “Alchemy’s Daughter is a poetically written historical fiction novel. It will delight middle grade and young adult readers, who will root for Santina as she faces obstacles with strength and resolve.”

Foreword Reviews: “In Santina, multiple-award winner Mary A. Osborne has crafted a fully complex character, impulsive and enthusiastic on the surface, but with greater depth than typically found in YA fare… Santina’s story is a lively, emotional journey worth sharing.”

Literary Classics International Book Awards & Reviews: “Author Mary Osborne’s adept portrayal of a spirited and intelligent young girl growing  up in Italy during the Middle Ages is an alluring tale that provides an intriguing blend of  history, romance, and adventure.  Alchemy’s Daughter is a story with timeless appeal.”

Booklist: “Santina is a smart, capable heroine whose desire for both knowledge and love will feel familiar to many modern readers.”

Grand Prize Winner of the Paris Book Festival

Best Young Adult Title Hollywood Book Festival

Best Young Adult Title Midwest Book Festival

Reviews for Nonna’s Book of Mysteries

  • American Library Association Amelia Bloomer Nominee 2011
  • ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Bronze Winner 2010
  • IBPA Ben Franklin Nominee Best New YA Book 2010
  • Eric Hoffer First Horizon Winner 2012

In Nonna’s Book of Mysteries, Emilia defies what is expected in order to create a life filled with happiness. Readers will enjoy a unique storyline, identify with Emilia’s personal struggles to become a good person, and be encouraged to step beyond expectations to pursue their own passions and happiness despite the odds.                                                                 —Alicia Sondhi, Foreword Reviews

Nonna’s Book of Mysteries is a fascinating and fun read, not to be missed.                                      —Midwest Book Review

This young adult novel set during the Italian Renaissance is a tale of female empowerment.                                                                                                                                                  —Theresa Budasi, Chicago Sun-Times 2010 Summer Reading Guide

I loved Nonna’s Book of Mysteries! It’s 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

Nonna’s Book of Mysteries presents a powerful perspective on iconic art.  In this historical tale, Mary Osborne has beautifully “written an icon”inspired by the journey of Renaissance women.                                                                                                                                                            —Sister. Paul McCaughey, O.P., Superintendent of the Archdiocese Chicago Catholic Schools

Nonna’s Book of Mysteries is a young adult novel that will appeal to readers of all ages in its celebration of icon writing, fresco painting, alchemical wisdom, and Renaissance Florence. “Spunky” doesn’t do justice to Emilia, the young heroine, whose fierce determination to make her own way in a man’s world grows out of her deep rooted vocation as a painter.                                                                                                                                   — Robert Hellenga, author of The Fall of a Sparrow and The Italian Lover

Nonna’s Book of Mysteries is an exciting journey into the long-lost world of art, mystery, and magic. Filled with twists, turns, and surprises throughout, it will keep you riveted to your seat with every page. A marvelous read and one that will stay with you long after it is over.”                                                                                                                                              —Sonia Choquette, Ph.D, NY Times bestselling author of The Answer Is Simple…Love Yourself, Live Your Spirit and Your Heart’s Desire

Additional Awards for Nonna’s Book of Mysteries

  • January Magazine 2010 Best Books for Young Adults
  • Grand Prize Winner of the 2010 Paris Book Festival
  • Best Teen Book 2010 San Francisco Book Festival
  • Best Teen Book 2010 New England Book Festival
  • Best Teen Book 2010 London Book Festival
  • Chicago Sun-Times 2010 Summer Reading Guide Pick

Radio, Interviews, and Publications

Mary A. Osborne has been interviewed on NPR WQUB with Marifaith Mueller and WHBC, Nightbeat radio with Guy Wehman, among many shows.  Her freelance work has appeared in journals such as Hektoen International, NewCity, and the