Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Magic's Most Wanted

Whitesides, Tyler. Magic's Most Wanted
January 19th 2021 by HarperCollins
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus
(Check out Mr. Whitesides' web site; he has posted videos of him reading all of The Wishmakers!)

Mason has been struggling recently; his father has been imprisoned for robbing a bank, even though Mason is sure he was framed. Finding it hard to keep up with his schoolwork, Mason hasn't read his book for an oral book report, but has borrowed a music box from his mother to use as a show-stopping visual. His teacher isn't convinced by this, and when Mason opens up the music box, his entire class is whisked away to Antartica! He opens the box and moves his classmates several times before men appear to arrest him for misusing magic. Mason knows nothing about this, but the men claim that he has been stealing "boons" (ordinary objects into which magic seeps). They even have him on tape! How can Mason be Magix Most Wanted criminal when he doesn't even know what the group is talking about? He is assigned a liaison, a girl about his age named <Ava?> who helps him escape from the agents in gray suits. She teaches him a lot about the world of magic, and the two (with the help of a querulous talking rabbit) try to figure out why he's being framed. 
Strengths: For someone who also has written adult books (and I know I shouldn't be prejudiced against them, but sometimes the attempts at switching from adult to MG are so painful!), he has an excellent, smooth middle grade style. The story moves along quickly, the lines are clever, and the characters realistically portrayed. What middle grade reader hasn't gotten called up short on an oral presentation? I, for one, NEVER had to use the knowledge gained by routinely reading Anne of Green Gables twice a year to extemporaneously report on it in 7th grade! The world building is solid, and the secondary story line of Mason's father's own involvement with the law adds depth. 
Weaknesses: This seemed a tiny bit young somehow. Thinking about why. Maybe the rabbit?
What I really think: I love Whitesides' writing, and his Janitors and Wishmakers series are very popular in my library. Also, I could not get this scene from Bewitched out of my head when I was reading about Mason's trial! 

Ms. Yingling

1 comment:

  1. This book sounds really good and I'm glad you remember Bewitched!