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



Fall 2016 Fiction
Ages: 8 - 12 yrs.
Author: Ed Masessa
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 9780545861748
Hardcover Price: $12.99

Henry Leach VIII has an annoying little sister, and a wand that doesn't work. There's little he can do about the first problem, but he can write a note of complaint to the Wandmaster, about the second. He does, and that's when the strangeness starts. Beginning with the way his note vanishes before it's ever stamped or mailed, and yet he still gets a reply.

Then things turn spooky, but also pretty fun. What no one had ever bothered to tell Henry was that he was from a long line of famous Wandmakers. And before they could, he'd turned his sister into a hedgehog and their parents had mysteriously disappeared. His magic, once he got the knack of it, was real.

This creative fantasy takes off fast and builds to a spectacular, thunderous end. If one of the joys of reading is to be transported to a different world, the one Henry and his sister find themselves in, and completely unprepared for (one where children turn into falcons and good magic can go horribly bad in the wrong hands) is thrilling.

Readers may also find fun in author Ed Masessa's The Wandmaker's Guidebook, complete with parts to make a wand, for eager real-life apprentices.

Teresa DiFalco   ©2016 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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