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Posted September 20, 2014
"The Misadventures of Hobart Hucklebuck" is a whimsical, light-hearted fantasy about a world where magic is a part of everyday life.
Hobart, at ten years old, is a likeable creation; he's a little awkward, oddly terrified of cats, and has two best friends he adores; he also is the butt of teasing from one of his crueler peers and has a powerful, respected grandfather who serves as his mentor. Younger readers will identify with him and root for him to succeed in solving the mystery of the missing magic, and they'll be drawn in both by the playful alliteration and the suspense of the story.
The author takes the time to introduce the world fully, which draws you into it. The halfling Quo, the apparition Tumbletoes, and Flora the housekeeper were highlights for me, though I also enjoyed Hobart's relationship with his grandfather; there is a lot of love and warmth there that adds an emotional heart to the book.
Other readers have mentioned a Harry Potter feel to the books, and I guess I can see that comparison, but this book has a more madcap feel to it--it's a little sillier and a lot of fun (especially the alliteration).
I would recommend "The Misadventures of Hobart Hucklebuck" primarily to younger readers who would enjoy an exciting but still wholesome fantasy set in a creative, inventive world, but readers of all ages who like fantasy can find something to enjoy in this book.