Monday, November 7, 2016

Off the Bookshelf: MIDNIGHT FOR CHARLIE BONE, by Jenny Nimmo

This is one of YA books I picked up at the Half Price Books blowout sale at the fairgrounds. I had actually been looking at the series whenever I visited the store, because there were so many of them. I figured, a series that kept going like that ... well, it must mean it's good.

Warning. There are 7 of these books (so far, could be more) about Charlie Bone and his friends with strange talents and destinies and mysterious, creepy opponents. The series is called Children of the Red King, and we're told right from the beginning that some are good, some are bad, and just because the parents are good (or evil) doesn't guarantee the children are good (or evil). They keep switching places.

Don't worry. I won't read all of the books in a row. I have to read A GAME OF THRONES and get it back to the library. Weird, huh, reading a popular book for homework? Well, I'm laying the groundwork for a fantasy series and I thought I'd pitch it as, "Like Game of Thrones," but I can't say that until I've read at least the first book and maybe watched the first season on DVD, right? But if you want to see some of the images I'm gathering for the books, it's on my Pinterest boards under "Tapestry: Servants of the Unseen." Gonna be fun!

Anyway, back to MIDNIGHT FOR CHARLIE BONE. Charlie is a little boy who thinks he's pretty ordinary. He lives with his widowed mother and two grandmothers, and his eccentric great-uncle who never comes out during the day and keeps to himself. Then one day he realizes that he can look at pictures and hear what the people in the pictures were thinking and saying. Grandmother Bone is delighted -- or not -- and she and her arrogant, nasty sisters insist Charlie has to go to Bloor's Academy for gifted children. Warning: it is not a nice place. Lots of creepiness, starting with the head of the school and his bully son. Charlie falls into a mystery, and makes friends, and learns to stand up for himself. He solves one mystery, dealing with a kidnapped little girl, but many more are ahead of him. Including evidence that his father isn't dead after all.

Seven books. I'm going to try for one each month, to kind of savor them. If you're thinking Harry Potter with this series, there are some similarities, but this story and hero stand on their own very well.

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