Book Review: Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy (Children of the Red King, Book Three) by Jenny Nimmo


Still in his first year at Bloor’s Academy, Charlie has already found another innocent person who needs help. Once again, this means staking his life and those of his friends against an evil plan by the Bloor family and Charlie’s own Yewbeam aunts. This time, the victim is a boy who disappeared the year before Charlie came to Bloor’s. Nosy Ollie Sparks didn’’t really leave the school, as everyone had thought; he was still living ... Read More »

Book Review: Charlie Bone and the Time Twister (Children of the Red King, Book Two) by Jenny Nimmo


In his second term at Bloor’s Academy, Charlie continues to develop his gift for finding trouble (and leading other kids – even older ones – into it as well). He also, by the way, develops his gift for talking with people in pictures. Unlike Harry Potter’s world, being able to chat with people in paintings isn’t a common magical gift! And unlike Hogwarts, Bloor’s isn’t a warm, safe place where a child can foil a ... Read More »

Book Review: Midnight for Charlie Bone (Children of the Red King, Book One) by Jenny Nimmo


This popular series, which, as of this writing, runs four books strong, should appeal very strongly to Harry Potter fans. Its hero is a messy-haired little boy who never knew his father and who discovers at age 10 or 11 that he has a magical gift. As a result, Charlie is enrolled at a school where other “endowed” children study, eating at house tables below the staff at their head table, and sleeping in draughty dormitories. The ... Read More »

Book Review: Red Unicorn by Tanith Lee


The third book in the series that begins with Black Unicorn and Gold Unicorn begins with a refreshing summary of the first two books. Then, it plunges quickly into a new tale featuring the young sorceress Tanaquil and her talking pet peeve. Tanaquil has returned to the castle of her enchantress mother, Jaive, heartsick and dissatisfied with everything. To start with, the wizard Worabex has moved in with Jaive and brought so many changes to the familiar, magic-ridden fortress. ... Read More »

Book Review: Black Water (Pendragon, Book Five) by D. J. MacHale


Read More »

Book Review: The Surgeon’s Mate by Patrick O’Brian


Here is the seventh of twenty novels in a series of adventures in historical / naval fiction that inspired the movie Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. As in the other books, this one views the Napoleonic wars from the eyes of experienced Royal Navy Captain “Lucky” Jack Aubrey, and his best friend, ship’s surgeon and intelligence officer, Dr. Stephen Maturin. The action picks up where The Fortune of War left off, with the pair ... Read More »

Book Review: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien


This book was the basis for the MGM/UA animated movie The Secret of NIMH. It (the book, not the movie) won the Newbery Medal in 1972. The main character is Mrs. Frisby, a widowed field mouse who, with her two sons and two daughters, lives under a tree in a meadow in the summer, and inside a cinder block in a farmer’s field in the winter. As the story opens, the time for moving out of ... Read More »

Book Review: The Reality Bug (Pendragon, Book Four) by D. J. MacHale


Suppose you’re Bobby Pendragon. Suppose you’re a fifteen-year-old, suburban basketball star whose life has been turned upside down. Your family has disappeared, your home has vanished, all trace of your existence has been erased, and you have been launched into a dangerous, deadly-serious adventure through time and space, in which the fate of ten worlds depends on stopping the evil plans of the shape-changing, demonically clever Saint Dane. Suppose you have watched some close friends ... Read More »

Book Review: The Never War (Pendragon, Book Three) by D. J. MacHale


Cocky, yet down-to-earth. Hip, yet grounded. Well-liked, yet lonely. Scared out of his mind, yet known for his exceptional bravery. That’s 15-year-old Bobby Pendragon, the “Traveler” from Second Earth, who flumes from territory to territory, putting a stop to each of Saint Dane’s evil plans to throw all Halla into chaos. If you just said “Huh?” you had better to back and read my review of The Merchant of Death. It explains everything. Yes, this ... Read More »

Book Review: The Magickers by Emily Drake


The Magickers by Emily Drake Jason Adrian seems like an ordinary boy…except that he lives with his stepmother and stepfather; and he has really wicked nightmares that wake him up every night at midnight; and he keeps getting attacked by a crow that once lured him into falling out of an attic window; and now, when an injury at tryouts sidelines him from summer soccer camp, he gets picked for an “English-geek camp” somewhere in ... Read More »