Fans of Harry Potter found another magical hero in Jenny Nimmo's first installment of her Children of the Red King series, and now, Charlie Bone makes his second appearance in this exciting, time-traveling follow-up. As mysterious and twisty as Midnight for Charlie Bone, this episode finds Charlie involved with young Henry Yewbeam, an ancestor of his who suddenly appears at Bloor's Academy via the Time Twister, a marble that can transport people to different times and places if they look into it. Out to hide Henry from his nasty cousin (now an aged headmaster at the school), Ezekiel Bloor, Charlie keeps busy escaping the watchful eyes of the dark Endowed children and his crony aunties as he tries to figure out if Henry can get back to 1916. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like there's much hope for Charlie and Henry, but a few surprises from Charlie's friends and a Welsh dictionary from Uncle Paton are their saving grace, and Henry lands in the company of his long-lost brother, James. A fast-paced read that will keep Charlie Bone followers bracing for what's to come in each chapter -- and wondering whether Charlie will ever find his father -- Nimmo's second spellbinding Red King adventure will keep you hooked.
Charlie Bone heads back to Bloor's Academy for another term filled with mystery, magic and fantastic adventure in Charlie Bone and the Time Twister by Jenny Nimmo, read by Simon Russell Beale. This time around, Charlie finds himself face-to-face with a student who attended the school in 1916. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
The Yewbeams send their sons, Henry and James, to live with their uncle Gideon, the headmaster of Bloor's Academy. None of the Bloors really like either of the Yewbeam brothers. Then, all of a sudden, "The Time Twister," a marble-like ball with the power to transport a person through time, brings Henry from his 1916 home to present-day Bloor's. His cousin Ezekiel, who precipitated the time travel, is still alive, and it is up to Charlie Bone to protect Henry and find a way to send him back to the right time. Each child in the story possesses an individual power, such as the ability to create storms or to transform into a bird. Charlie can hear voices in pictures, and he discovers that he can enter them as well. While all of this is happening, Henry seems unaffected by his trip through time and by the modern world. While this book from the "Children of the Red King" series is good overall, the story contains some events that seem to just happen out of nowhere, causing readers a bit of confusion. 2003, Orchard Books/Scholastic, Ages 9 to 12.
Joy A. Girgis
In the second book of this entrancing series after Midnight for Charlie Bone (Orchard, 2003/VOYA August 2003), Charlie meets his great uncle Henry Yewbeam. When they were young boys, Ezekiel Bloor's hatred for the Yewbeam family led to calamity. Without warning, Henry found himself twisting through time and space to the present on the day that Ezekiel rolled a strikingly unusual marble into the ring and Henry was unable to take his eyes off the swirling colors. Ezekiel, now an old, sick man, is still determined to get rid of "young" Henry once and for all. That plot is spoiled when the marble rolls into the hands of Mrs. Bloor. A gifted violinist, she has lived in pain and isolation ever since son Manfred smashed her fingers by slamming a door on her hand. She joyfully uses the time twister to return to a time before the assault and a new life in Paris far away from her dreadful family. Meanwhile, Henry has been imprisoned by the Bloors. Charlie and his endowed friends come to their rescue. Their abilities to create storms, fly, and even converse with people in portraits result in a successful deliverance. The schemes of the Bloors and Charlie's detestable aunts are thwarted again as Henry is reunited with his younger brother, James. Through unique characters who stand apart from inimitable comparisons to counterparts in Harry Potter books, Nimmo skillfully creates an exemplary series that stands on its own. Anticipation for readers is building as Charlie moves closer to discovering his "missing-in-plain-sight-although-no-one-realizes-it" father. VOYA CODES: 5Q 5P M J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Every YA (who reads) was dying to read it yesterday; Middle School,defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2003, Orchard, 416p., Trade pb. Ages 11 to 18.
Gr 4-7-In this sequel to Midnight for Charlie Bone (Scholastic, 2003), Nimmo continues the saga of the endowed descendants of the Red King, who attend a very Hogwarts-like boarding school called Bloor's Academy. "The Time Twister," a marblelike ball with the power to transport people through time, brings Henry Yewbeam from 1916 to present day Bloor's. His evil, scheming cousin Ezekiel, who was responsible for sending him to the future, is still alive, and Charlie Bone must protect Henry and find a way to send him back into the past. This is a breezy read, even at its 400-page length. Sadly, there are plot elements that seem to come totally out of the blue or that just don't make sense. The power with which each individual child is endowed, such as the ability to create storms or to transform into a bird, seems arbitrarily created to provide dramatic rescues. A painting of a wizard named Skarpo is left for Charlie by one of his aunts. As readers of the first book know, Charlie can hear voices in pictures, and they now discover that he can actually enter them as well. Oddly, Henry seems unfazed by his trip through time and by the modern world. The unexpected plot twist at the end is strangely unclimactic, and seems to pass by so quickly that any sense of triumph at the outcome is lost. Charlie Bone is a likable character to whom kids will turn to for a fix after they've finished the latest Harry Potter for the fifth time. For libraries where fantasy is popular.-Tim Wadham, Maricopa County Library District, Phoenix, AZ Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Praise for the Children of the Red King series
"Vivid characters and stories that hang together well." --THE WASHINGTON POST
"Nimmo's characterizations . . . have a high comfort level, and her major players are well-defined and sympathetic. . . . an absorbing, well-wrought read." --BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS
"A . . . worthwhile offering for avid fantasy fans." --SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
"[An] exciting, fast-paced adventure tale." --BOOKLIST
"In ten-year-old Charlie Bone, Nimmo gives readers a character every bit as likeable and ingenious as Harry Potter. . . . [a] marvelous fantasy." --VOICE OF YOUTH ADVOCATES