Reader Reviewed The Nowhere Emporium by Ross MacKenzie

The Nowhere Emporium

Written by Ross MacKenzie
Part of the Kelpies Series

9+ readers   Blue Peter Book Awards   All Shortlists and Winners   7+ readers   eBooks   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Winner of the Blue Peter Book Award 2016 - Best Story - Winner of the Scottish Children's Book Awards 2015 8-11 age category This sparkling fantasy adventure is a glorious hymn to the powers of the imagination. Young Daniel Holmes first stumbles into the Nowhere Emporium as he’s running from a couple of the bullies from the children’s home where he lives. He’s fascinated – and who wouldn’t be – the shop is a cave of wonders, stacked from floor to ceiling with beautiful objects. As for the shop owner, he seems to be a magician. Next day Daniel is knocked down by a car, only to wake up in the Emporium, which becomes his home. He realises the shop truly is magical, travelling through time, entertaining and delighting customers across the ages, while Mr Silver the owner builds strange and wonderful worlds from their imaginations. Not all in this world is happy however, and when Silver’s enemy Vindictus Sharpe threatens to destroy it, Daniel is the only person who can stop him. Mackenzie creates a dazzling fantasy world, so engaging and vivid it reminds one of Cornelia Funke’s books. Young readers – particularly those who like making up stories themselves – will be entranced. ~ Andrea Reece

Commenting on his Blue Peter Awards win Ross, said: Best Story winner, Ross MacKenzie, who grew up watching Blue Peter, said: “It's always a great moment to receive any sort of award, but to win The Blue Peter Book Awards for Best Story is extra special. Firstly, because it's an award chosen by the readers. It's fantastic and important that children have a voice, and I'm so glad they liked The Nowhere Emporium enough to give it their vote. And secondly, it's special because Blue Peter was such a huge part of my childhood. I'm delighted and stunned to become a tiny part of the show's history and I shall be humming that famous theme tune for the foreseeable future! And of course I always wanted a badge.”

Commenting on his Scottish Book Awards win, Ross said: “I'm so delighted to have won the SCBA for ‘The Nowhere Emporium’! Scottish Book Trust do such an amazing job, and these awards are extra-special because it's the readers who make the final decision. Children don't often get the chance to have a voice on this sort of scale, and I believe it's important for them to know that they have that voice and that their opinions matter.
Long may the SCBA continue!”

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Alex Hall, age 9 - 'This book is a page turner. The main character is an orphan and befriends a magician with an emporium which is full of mystery and magic and fantasy.  It has a lot of action and is a very gripping.'
  • Lindsey Hall (Alex’s mum) - loved it, a fabulous book and one that I think will many young people (and adults) will find enthralling.'
  • Isaac East, age 8 - 'Have you ever walked into a midnight maze where imagination takes over? Join Mr. Silver in he wonders from lands of sweets to a room of secrets. Then ride a roller coaster to defeat his arch enemy.'
  • Olivia Barnes, age 10 - 'Every chapter ends with a cliff-hanger, you are left falling off the edge and the only way to save yourself is to carry on reading.'
  • Louis Gladman, age 10 - 'When I started reading this book it felt like someone inside had me tied to a rope and was pulling me in and not stopping.'
  • Miranda Beinart-Smith, age 8 - 'Because I loved this book so much, I couldn’t stop reading it and I stayed up very late to see what happened next!'
  • Robert Heathcote, age 11 - 'What a wonderful interesting book cover that tempts you in to read the story.  The book is full of magic and adventure which starts from the very beginning which made me want to read more and more.'
  • Jack Summers, age 8 - 'This book is full of mysteries, secrets and wonders! Read it if you like magic and adventure stories.'
  • Sam Harper, age 11 - 'Fantastical, magical and spectacularly exciting. An amazing read with a beautifully illustrated cover, it’s perfect!'
  • Tomasz Hawryszczuk, age 9 - 'An amazing book filled with magic and excitement.  If you like Harry Potter and Dr Who, you will love this!' 
  • Ella Meredith, age 8 - 'This is a bit of a spooky book, but really good.'
  • Liam Wilson, age 10 - 'Mysterious and intriguing. This book has a great cover and is so well written, I couldn't wait to read the next chapter.'
  • Callum Broomfield - 'I would recommend it to my friends in an instant. It’s quite unlike any other book I’ve read. It is full of mystery and makes you feel like you are in the book.'
  • Alexander Butler - 'A very magical book that I couldn't put down - I got through it in record time!'


The Nowhere Emporium by Ross MacKenzie

When the mysterious Nowhere Emporium arrives in Glasgow, orphan Daniel Holmes stumbles upon it quite by accident. Before long, the 'shop from nowhere' -- and its owner, Mr Silver -- draw Daniel into a breathtaking world of magic and enchantment. Recruited as Mr Silver's apprentice, Daniel learns the secrets of the Emporium's vast labyrinth of passageways and rooms -- rooms that contain wonders beyond anything Daniel has ever imagined. But when Mr Silver disappears, and a shadow from the past threatens everything, the Emporium and all its wonders begin to crumble.

Can Daniel save his home, and his new friends, before the Nowhere Emporium is destroyed forever?

Scottish Children's Book Award winner Ross MacKenzie unleashes a riot of imagination, colour and fantasy in this astonishing adventure, perfect for fans of Philip Pullman, Corneila Funke and Neil Gaiman.


'I've just finished reading 'The Nowhere Emporium'by Ross MacKenzie and loved it! Perfect for fans who love magic and Harry Potter so another winner from Kelpies :-) It's my new favourite to hand sell!'

'The author will dazzle you and entice you to feast your imagination on the story ahead.'

's Enchanted Books 'The Nowhere Emporium is an absolute delight to read from the very first moment. Mackenzie has created a sumptuous, sparkling world that any reader will be loathe to leave... reads like The Night Circus for children and will leave the reader with a similar sense of having just read a very special book indeed.'

'Mackenzie creates a dazzling fantasy world, so engaging and vivid it reminds one of Cornelia Funke's books. Young readers -- particularly those who like making up stories themselves -- will be entranced.'

'An amazing book filled with magic and excitement. If you like Harry Potter and Dr Who, you will love this!' --Tomasz, age 9, lovereading4kids '...a cracking good story with convincingly elaborated magical elements and characters that are clearly drawn, and it keeps you turning the page. If teachers still read books to their class, as they should, this is one that will have top juniors on the edge of their seats.'

-- Books for Keeps 'The Nowhere Emporium is a real treat for anyone with an imagination. It is a rare gift to be able to write a book which not only takes you on a romp of an adventure, where real life and fantasy collide but where the reader's own imagination becomes a boundless and seamless part of the story. This is Ross Mackenzie at his best. What adventure will be next for Daniel?

'...this a book that knows how to make you feel, think, to care, to want more. It is a story that stays with you once you put it down, makes you worry about the characters when you are not reading, and makes you imagine how they lived their lives after that last sentence. And that is when you know you have something special!'

'This is a delightful book, a joy of a book, a veritable feast for the imagination ... the characters', the author's and, of course, the reader's. As such it is a wonderful thing in its own right. It is well worth a place on any child's shelves and the deserved successor of many older classics of the genre.' --Gordon Askew, magicfictionsincepotter blogspot 'Best book I've ever read' --9yo boy, Toppsta 'As you read the story it feels like it's pulling you in bit by bit and it keeps you excited ... I enjoyed every moment and didn't expect what happens in the end.'

About the Author

Ross MacKenzie

Ross MacKenzie is the author of fantasy adventure, Zac and the Dream Pirates, winner of a Scottish Children's Book Award in 2012. He lives in Renfrew, where he grew up, with his wife and baby daughter, but spends much of his time in another world.

A Q&A with Ross about his novel The Nowhere Emporium

Where did your inspiration for The Nowhere Emporium come from?

It’s a bit mysterious, actually! The Emporium sort of popped into my head fully formed. I could see this strange old shop so clearly in my head, the sparkling black brick and the faded sign. I knew the shop never stayed in one place for very long, and of course I had to find out why, so I wrote the story.

What is your favourite room in the Nowhere Emporium?

Actually, my favourite place in the entire Emporium is the shop-front where Daniel first meets Mr Silver. It’s dim and dusty and mysterious, filled with so many treasures and curiosities. I could spend days looking around!

What would you write in the Book of Wonders?

I’d have a library with every story ever written waiting on the shelves for me. But it would be a library with a twist: I’d be able to meet the characters from my favourite books face to face!
Actually, on second thought, this might turn out to be dangerous – the bad guys would probably try to escape and take over the world!

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Book Info


288 pages
Interest Age: From 8


Ross MacKenzie
More books by Ross MacKenzie

Author's Website


Kelpies an imprint of Floris Books

Publication date

19th March 2015




Publisher Profile

Kelpies an imprint of Floris Books is an imprint of Kelpies


Floris Books celebrate quality children’s books with brilliant authors, engaging stories and a Scottish twist! They create books that capture children’s imaginations at all ages. Under 6s will have loads of fun with Picture Kelpies picture books, 9 to 12-year-olds will be whisked away by Kelpies and young teens will be gripped by KelpiesTeen novels.

Follow @DiscoverKelpies on Twitter or find them on Facebook at

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