Gr 5-7-Twelve-year-old Molly Moon lives in an orphanage in England. Life is pretty grim for this scrawny, spotty misfit until she discovers a book that changes her life dramatically. Using specific techniques outlined in the book, Molly manages to bend the authorities at the orphanage to her will. Flush with success, she then turns her attention to her persecutors. She tries a mass hypnotism to win a talent contest and rake in the prize money. Byng adds a dramatic element in the form of a bad guy who tries to steal this valuable book and use it for his own evil purposes. He chases Molly across the Atlantic to New York City, where she continues to use her newfound powers to gain fame and fortune. But the heroine knows her hypnotisms are not always ethical, and she begins to feel pangs of conscience. After the story's climax, in which Molly confronts her enemy, she decides to return to the orphanage to improve the lot of the children who remain there. The final pages throw in several surprising plot twists. The text has been flawlessly translated from the original English (first released in the United Kingdom in 2002). Although the vocabulary may prove difficult for some readers, the fast-paced narrative will appeal to middle school audiences. Highly recommended for libraries and bookstores.
Maria Otero-Boisvert, "Criticas" Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.