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Leonardo's Shadow


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About the Author

Christopher Grey is from London, England. He has worked as a waiter, a hotel manager, a hospital porter, a jeans salesman, a rock musician, and a tour operator. This is his first book. Originally inspired by a visit to the Last Supper in 1992, it was not until he came into possession of an old, faded copy of Leonardo's Notebooks that the story began to take shape . The rest is -- almost -- history.


Gr 6-9-It is 1497, and young Giacomo does chores for his master, accompanying him when needed and running errands to the merchants of Milan. He also spends much of his time making excuses to those who have commissioned the artist's work and fending off the many merchants who come trying to collect debts. With smooth words and false promises, the boy keeps them at bay-for the time being. Da Vinci has a commission for a great painting, but he will not work. Why is a mystery, but until he finishes this painting of the Last Supper, he will not be paid. Even worse, the Duke of Milan, whose temper is legendary, is getting impatient. Giacomo worries about starving, about freezing, and about dying by order of the duke or the gentlemen whom Da Vinci insults. But, mostly, he worries about his great master, whom he thinks might be his father. In the beginning of the book, he is chatty and breezy as he introduces his city and surroundings. As the book progresses, he becomes more serious, and readers can see him maturing and becoming more responsive to the atmosphere and problems around him. Grey seamlessly blends fact and research about the inventor/artist with imagination. The basic time line and characters of the story fit with what we know of Da Vinci's life. Easily readable, this novel incorporates adventure and mystery with history.-Heather E. Miller, Homewood Public Library, AL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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