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Bad Magic (Bad Books Series #1)
     

Bad Magic (Bad Books Series #1)

4.8 17
by Pseudonymous Bosch
 

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A magical new series from Pseudonymous Bosh, the bestselling author of the Secret Series, now in paperback!

Magic is BAD.
As in fake. Cheesy. Unreal. At least, that's what Clay, who has seen one magic show too many, thinks.

When words from his journal appear mysteriously on his school wall as graffiti, he never imagines

Overview

A magical new series from Pseudonymous Bosh, the bestselling author of the Secret Series, now in paperback!

Magic is BAD.
As in fake. Cheesy. Unreal. At least, that's what Clay, who has seen one magic show too many, thinks.

When words from his journal appear mysteriously on his school wall as graffiti, he never imagines that magic might be to blame. And when the same graffiti lands him at Earth Ranch, a camp for "troubled" kids on a remote volcanic island, magic is the last thing he expects to find there.

But at Earth Ranch, there is one strange surprise after another, until Clay no longer knows what to expect. Is he really talking to a llama? Did he really see a ghost? What is the scary secret hidden in the abandoned library? The only thing he knows for sure is that behind the clouds of vog (volcanic smog), nothing is as it seems. Can he solve the riddle of Earth Ranch before trouble erupts?

Elusive author Pseudonymous Bosch introduces an extraordinary new series that will have you believing in the unbelievable.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Bad Magic:"Bosch employs, to great effect, his signature irreverence and hilarity... a delight to read. Bad Magic is a clever and playful novel. An excellent addition to middle grade fiction collections."—School Library Journal"

Enjoyable... Bosch's arch narrative voice carries over from his previous books...From The Tempest and Lord of the Flies to shows like Gilligan's Island and Lost, cultural allusions abound as Clay tries to understand the island's many mysteries and meets his fellow campers. Gilbert's watercolors bring in additional humor."—Publishers Weekly

[Bad Magic] contains threads of mystery, magic, word games, and snark... It is suspenseful, humorous, clever, and most importantly, fun. Bad Magic is definitely entertaining for a wide range of readers.—Voya"

...Bosch's mix of slapstick silliness, sly authorial asides, and magical adventure will appeal to readers of Lemony Snicket and M. T. Anderson's Pals in Peril series."—Booklist

Publishers Weekly
07/14/2014
Twelve-year-old Clay’s misgivings about magic are tested in this enjoyable if overlong trilogy opener. Max-Ernest, from Bosch’s bestselling Secret Series, has disappeared mysteriously. His younger brother Clay is left feeling stung and resentful, and he’s as shocked as everyone else when the words “MAGIC SUCKS!” somehow—almost magically—migrate from his private journal to a classroom wall. This inexplicable graffiti mural gets Clay sent to Earth Ranch, a summer camp for “struggling youth” located on an island with an active volcano. Bosch’s arch narrative voice carries over from his previous books, and that humor helps buoy a story that takes its time getting to the big revelations of its final chapters. From The Tempest and Lord of the Flies to shows like Gilligan’s Island and Lost, cultural allusions abound as Clay tries to understand the island’s many mysteries and meets his fellow campers. Gilbert’s watercolors bring in additional humor, especially a scene of Clay’s mother Skyping in to a family meeting. Ages 8–12. Author’s agent: Sarah Burnes, the Gernert Company. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Sept.)
Booklist
Praise for The Name of This Book is Secret:
"Equal parts snarky and delightful."
Children's Literature - Laura Ruttig
From the author of the “Secret Series,” this companion title focuses on the adventures of Max-Ernest’s younger brother Clay. Since Max-Ernest’s has given Clay a grudge against magic. In fact, when given a new journal by his favorite teacher, the first words Clay chooses to write in it are “magic sucks”—words that end up tagged in giant graffiti letters on the wall of the school in Clay’s handwriting and signed with his initials. Clay did not do it, but he is nonetheless punished by being sent away to a summer camp far away on a volcanic island, where he is caught up in a series of mysterious events, leading to an unexpected but satisfying ending. Fans of the “Secret Series” will relish this new novel, but Clay’s story is also enjoyable as a stand-alone adventure. Perfect for middle grade students, readers will love the mystery elements, fun illustrations, and cast of intriguing characters. This title would be a great recommended read for younger fans of the “Percy Jackson” series. Finally, Bosch layers in pieces of The Tempest throughout the story, which might make an interesting curriculum connection to explore in a classroom setting. Reviewer: Laura Ruttig; Ages 9 to 12.
VOYA, December 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 5) - Jane Gov
Ever since his magician brother disappeared, Clay thinks magic sucks. Those words are the same he scribbles in a journal, and the same that suddenly vandalize his school’s wall. Though it is in his own handwriting, Clay has no memory of committing the vandalism, yet he is suspended from school and, as a punishment from his weird, absent parents, he is sent to a summer camp for wayward youth. Everything about this camp is weird—from the puzzling behavior of his cabin mates to the strange parallels to Shakespeare’s The Tempest to the near-perfect resemblance of his life to that of the island’s former owner. Clay meets a Spanish-speaking llama, is threatened by a wild boar and a swarm of bees, and thinks he might be going crazy because he saw a ghost in the island’s abandoned library. One adventure leads to another as Clay becomes increasingly unsure about reality and magic. As with his Secret series, Bosch breaks the fourth wall and becomes the story’s omniscient narrator. It is not as full of ciphers as the Secret series but still contains threads of mystery, magic, word games, and snark. There are spatterings of interesting and odd tidbits, vocabulary words, and witticisms in the form of footnotes. It is suspenseful, humorous, clever, and most importantly, fun. Bad Magic is definitely entertaining for a wide range of readers. Reviewer: Jane Gov; Ages 11 to 15.
School Library Journal
10/01/2014
Gr 4–6—Bosch is back with a novel that's part mystery, part adventure. This series opener features sixth grader Clay, the younger brother of the hero from Bosch's popular "Secret" books (Little, Brown). After an incident with some graffiti, Clay finds himself spending his summer at Earth Ranch, a camp for delinquent youth on a remote volcanic island. While at camp, Clay encounters a motley crew of eccentric kids; a llama that understands Spanish; a mysterious library; and, perhaps, even a bit of magic. Bosch employs, to great effect, his signature irreverence and hilarity packed into parenthetical asides and footnotes. The end result is a wacky, suspenseful mashup of Shakespeare's The Tempest and a summer camp tale that is a delight to read. Bad Magic is a clever and playful novel. An excellent addition to middle grade fiction collections.—Amy Koester, Skokie Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
2014-07-15
Very little is as it seems at a survival camp for "troubled" teens in this trilogy opener. Still deeply upset nearly two years after the disappearance of his stage-magician older brother, Clay writes "Magic sucks!" in a notebook after turning in a blank paper on Shakespeare's Tempest. He's astounded to find the sentiment painted on a wall at school the next day—with his signature. The resultant fallout lands him on a remote Pacific island, where he encounters peers named Leira (spell it backward) and Mira, a grotesque puppet dubbed "Caliban" and a llama with a sign on its neck reading "Hola. Cómo se llama? Yo me llamo Como C. Llama." He also discovers not one but two libraries of rare books—one stocked with oddly behaving grimoires. After climbing a live volcano and sliding back down on a board, he discovers (as he had been suspecting for some time) that it's all been a setup—further developments to come. "Bosch," a confirmed Lemony Snicket bandwagoneer, repeatedly interrupts with authorial rants, pleas and footnotes. The Shakespearean parallels aren't particularly integral to the plot, and the twists, Como's sign apart, are more inscrutable than clever. The book comes complete with multiple appendices and Ford's illustrations (not seen for review). Clay is Everykid enough ("almost handsome, in a dried-snot-on-his-sleeve sort of way") to keep readers hanging around to see what happens to him next. (Fantasy. 12-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316320399
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
09/22/2015
Series:
Bad Books Series , #1
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
124,363
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Pseudonymous Bosch is the infamously anonymous author of the New York Times bestselling Secret Series. Despite rumors to the contrary, his books are not actually written by his pet rabbit, Quiche; the rabbit is merely his typist.

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Bad Magic 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't read this book unless you've read tye secret series. Read that first. Don't worry, I'll wait.n You've read it? Good. Now buy this book and start immidiately, because it is soooo good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pleasant read, i liked it a lot.. btw, i cannot get over that everybody like m-e and cass grew up..i was not ready
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars I like it when a book is talking to me and this is what this book accomplishes, the author writes as if he’s talking to his readers. Clay and his brother Max-Ernest are “bad brothers,” bad is their bond which started over a discussion over swear words. Max-Ernest, an amateur magician performs his magic at home and Clay learns while watching him. Max-Ernest disappears one day without any explanation leaving his family asking lots of questions. Years later, while at school inside one of Clay’s journals the words Magic Sucks! are sketched inside one of the pages. A few days later, graffiti outside on the school walls, Magic Sucks! screams for all to see. Clay is accused as being the artist and his parents make him choose his punishment. Is he being rebellious? Then after performing in The Tempest, Clay has writer block and can’t write out an essay for his teacher. The teacher offers him Prospero’s Magic Book which was used in the play and an alternative assignment, but something wrong. Magic and Clay just don’t mix. Camp brochures arrive in the mail and one stands out, Earth Ranch. Camp for youth making poor choices, behaving inappropriately and it’s a survival camp that Clay thinks might not be so bad. With a great set of roommates, Clay is the last to arrive at camp and is greeted by a Spanish-speaking llama where he sets off to find the find campsite. The camp is anything but typical as the campers must find their own food, stay away from the Wall of Trust, and listen to the tales of the ruins. Great creativity in this story and I really enjoyed all the references to the books and the mystery keep me entertained. Clay was determined to get to the bottom of things and nothing stood in his way. His relationship with Leira was cheerful with their joshing around and playful moments. I think you need to know a bit about Shakespeare to fully understand this story. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and Hachette Book Group in exchange for an honest opinion. Thank you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved how the story continued. I wish there was more of Cass and Yoji. I love psedonymous bosch!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was amazing and super funny! I recomendd this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book I hope that this series will be as good as the secret series
BooksAplenty More than 1 year ago
Mysterious, Strange, and Twisty After a graffiti incident at school, Clay is sent to a camp for struggling kids on an isolated volcanic island. When Clay meets the other campers and discovers ruins occupied by a ghost, he vows to get off the island. Bad Magic, is a wildly unique mystery with an intriguing solution. I especially enjoyed all the book-love - one setting is a library, one character is a book nerd, and there are frequent discussions of Shakespeare's The Tempest. Pseudonymous Bosch is well-known for his Secret Series, in which he makes heavy use of authorial intrusions, similar to those used by Lemony Snicket in the Series of Unfortunate Events. I enjoyed the first few books in the Secret Series, but became annoyed by the over-the-top jokey tone by the end of book 2. Bad Magic, however, represents a shift for the better for Bosch. He still uses intrusions to keep things fresh, but they are toned-down and refreshing when compared to The Secret Series. Those books were silly, this one was mysterious and effective. ** Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review **
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I haven't realized how much I missed this author until I read this book. I can't wait for the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book, but I recomend reading the secret series fist. Its so wierd to picture Cass as a grown up! I like how Bosch writes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BYU BYE YOU FRIKIN' PERSON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like books that have magic, susspese, and mystery...then thus book is most definetly for you. This auhir makes THE best books ever. You should also read his other books if you like tis one. BEST AUTHOR AND BOOKS EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cant wait to read this book! It just came out and when i finish the other series i gonna buy this book because it looks very interesting if u ask me!! This book will rule the other books in the series because it (looks vary cool!) Looks vary amazing amazing will read this book to the end (not for realzies because that would be just plain stupid hahahahahahahahaha!?) Well the moral of this review is that i am vary excited about reading this book soon! I hope who read this review agree to this wonderful boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooook.Thank #$%* You for reading :-)!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Post this review on five other books and look under your bed:QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its so happy like your idiot butt face. I love peace and rainbow pigs. Do you like rainbow pigs? Well then i love you. Bye bye! I eat crap! :)