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The first book in the stunning repackage of the NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling Children of the Red King series!
A mysterious case, the search for a missing girl, and a legacy of magic . . .
When Charlie Bone discovers that he can hear the conversations of people in photographs, he is shipped off to Bloor's Academy, an elite school for the rich, gifted, and magically endowed. Once there, he realizes that some of his classmates have equally mysterious powers, and Charlie becomes absorbed in uncovering their dangerous secrets.
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Jenny Nimmo is the author of the NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling Charlie Bone series as well as GRIFFIN'S CASTLE, THE DRAGON'S CHILD, and the award-winning Magician Trilogy, all published by Orchard Books. Several of her books have been awarded and shortlisted for the Smarties Prize, the Carnegie Medal, the Whitbread Award, and the WH Smith Mind-Boggling Books Award. She lives with her husband in an old mill in Wales.
Grade 4-6-Young readers are getting to be quite conversant with the characteristics of British boarding schools, especially those for the magically inclined. Jenny Nimmo's novel (Scholastic/Orchard, 2003) has postulated a set of characters, the Endowed, who exhibit very odd magical abilities that seem to have no purpose or usefulness at all and appear randomly in descendants of the nearly-mythical Red King. There are two branches of these descendants: the perplexed but essentially good people who have no idea why they can make light bulbs explode or hear voices coming from photographs, and the evil ones who seem to be part of a very complex and as yet unrevealed sinister scheme. This unusual take on magical abilities makes for a distinctly different set of circumstances and plot. Bloor's Academy which schools both Endowed and artistically gifted unendowed children has a much darker feel to it than Hogwart's but is still perfectly recognizable with its prefects, dining hall, dormitories, and so on. Charlie Bone, who discovers his Endowment at age 11 and has grown up in enigmatic family circumstances which he is only just beginning to figure out, makes many friends among the Endowed as well as the musicians, artists, and actors who people the school. This first tale from a projected series benefits from a reading by Simon Russell Beale which is rife with atmosphere and mystery. His voice, rich with nuance and emotion, brings to life each person and situation, and embellishes the story with a sense of drama and suspense fully appropriate to the tone of the writing. Charlie unravels one mystery of a missing Endowed girl in the course of setting the stage for dramatic future adventures. Not as complex at least not yet as the Harry Potter books, the promise exists for a continued completely fresh angle on the magic story. Many hints are provided of depths to be plumbed in future entries in the series, and a few plot lines in particular are already obvious. Listeners are going to be well rewarded in this audiobook, and they'll be anticipating future episodes.
Jane P. Fenn, Corning-Painted Post West High School, NY
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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