Pros: Depth, marvelous characters and a stunning adventure!
Cons: Younger readers may not be ready for this work.
The Bottom Line: Children and adults alike can enjoy this masterful work!
Ever wanted to talk to a tree, or a train? Ever wonder what the stars or the stones are thinking? Ever imagine what you would do to the bullies if you only had magic, or wonder if the house down the street were really haunted? Ever read a book under your covers? Then You may be a wizard! You can find out in this first book in the Young Wizard series by Diane Duane.
From the first page, we realize that Nita Callahan has problems. After verbally sparring with Joanna, the local bully that plagues her existence, Nita takes to her heels in self-defense. Where to hide? Ah, the library! Nita dives into the sanctuary of the Childrens section, correctly reasoning that Joanna and her gang would never look for her there. As she wanders the aisles trailing her hand along the tops of the books, her finger gets snagged and her interest quickly follows when she reads the title that gazes nonchalantly back at her, So, You Want to be a Wizard
After eagerly passing the aptitude test on the first few pages, she makes her way home to study the book in comfort. It was unfortunate that Joanna and her gang managed to catch her before she makes it to safety, and the somewhat battered Nita is furious that her special Space pen was stolen in the process, but maybe there will be something in this curious book to help her get it back and deal with Joanna once and for all. It seems this wizard stuff is serious business though.
The true purpose for every wizard is to focus every action of their life, magical or mundane, into combating and slowing down the effects of Entropy. They are the truest caretakers of the many worlds throughout the universe. Long ago, in the beginning of Time, the Powers that Be began to create things, stars, planets, lifeforms. One of the Powers looked on and decided he wanted to create something unlike all the others. He created Death. After being cast out for this terrible gift, he is known by many names, the Dark Lord, the Engenderer of Rust, Starsnuffer. Since that time he has appeared on many worlds attempting to deceive the locals into accepting his gift.
It also seems that the younger a wizard, the more powerful they are likely to be and finally, before beginning along road of wizardry, each potential wizard must take the Oath and face an initiation Ordeal. Feeling a bit ridiculous, Nita recites the Oath and tries not to be unnerved at how each word spoken into the silence of her room seems to gain weight, volume, and significance. After all, this couldnt Really be an actual Wizards Manual. Its sure to be just another work of fiction, right? Imagine her surprise the next morning when she finds that the print has changed in her book and that her name is now listed under local wizards!
Follow Nita, her new best friend and fellow wizard, Kit Rodriguez, and a lost star called Fred as they roam through suburbia, downtown Manhattan, and worlds beyond in search of her lost pen and some relief from their middle school tormentors. What they find is far more than they ever bargained for...The Light Book has gone missing! That most magical tome which contains a description of all life, that which keeps magic free in our world, and holds off Entropy. Indeed, they must battle with The Engenderer of Rust Himself to save life as we know it!
Here you will meet the most memorable dragon since Smaug, and be amazed at the adventures of two burgeoning wizards! This wonderful tale will make readers laugh, cry, and think about serious issues like death, life, love, good, evil, friendship, sacrifice, and fear. It is geared towards older children with a solid grasp of vocabulary and is perfect for Harry Potter fans that are looking for something a bit more challenging. Parents may be challenged reading this to a younger audience, however, like The Hobbit, such a grand tale inspires children of all ages! The title I have selected is a line of the poetry found in the Book of Light, which is truly one of the most potent pieces I have ever had the pleasure of discovering. This amazing novel not only entertains, it has the power to change how we look at ourselves and the world around us.
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