Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

The Hypnotists: Book 1

The Hypnotists: Book 1

Fall 2013 Fiction
Ages: 8 - 12 yrs.
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 9780545503228
Hardcover Price: $16.99

Jackson "Jax" Opus is a 7th-grader at I.S. 222 in Manhattan. He's an average basketball player, a good enough student, and he has a loyal best friend, but there's nothing particularly extraordinary about him—except his eyes. Jax' eyes change color—from blue to green to violet and back. And he's noticed that people sometimes react strangely to them. After a school field trip involving a hypnotist turns very weird, Jackson is suddenly courted by the mysterious Sentia Institute, under the leadership of Elias Mako. It's a school for exceptional children with a vague mission of changing the world. But no one seems to know what exactly that means.

At Sentia, Jax learns that his father's family, the Opus, are one of the most powerful and prominent lines of hypnotists in history. They've had a hand in everything from the Hindenburg crash to Babe Ruth's record-breaking home run. And what's more, his mother has a secret, too.

This story starts fast and never loses pace. There are heroes and villains and it's not immediately clear who is who. A delicious mystery unravels. The history of hypnosis is covered thoroughly, and in a very interesting manner. This first title in a series of book ends on just the right note. It makes readers greedy for the next one.

Teresa DiFalco   ©2013 Parents' Choice
Teresa DiFalco is an award-winning ghostwriter, writer, and mother in Vancouver, Washington. She's been a contributing editor for Parents' Choice for over ten years. She's a strong speller, a menace at badminton, and makes a decent soufflé.

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