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Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy (The Children of the Red King, Book 3) (edition 2004)
by Jenny Nimmo
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0439545269, Hardcover)British boy with catchy name and unusual powers, check. Wild hair, check. Students at boarding school, check. Owls and funny street names, check. Mysterious shape-shifting enemies out to get the affable boy protagonist, check. Jenny Nimmo's "Children of the Red King" series (starring Charlie Bone) has so many of the same trappings as the Harry Potter series that, unfortunately, comparison is unavoidable. Rowling's books clearly trump these simpler fantasies for younger readers--but the Charlie Bone books are finding their audience in those who need a boy-wizard fix and need it now.
Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy, the third book in the author's planned quintet, begins when the magically "endowed" Charlie and his friend Emma discover a mostly invisible, strawberry jam-loving boy named Ollie Sparks imprisoned in the attic of the Hogwartsian Bloor's Academy. Ollie's plight is part of a seemingly amorphous Larger Evil Plot involving school authorities, a blue boa, and Charlie's three horrible great aunts. Charlie Bone and his friends are eager to fight wrongdoing with their combination of special powers, but obstacles in all shapes and sizes abound. Can the children rescue Ollie, Charlie's uncle, Ollie's older brother, and the other hapless victims...or are the enemies too plentiful and powerful? Despite the likeable Charlie and a plethora of magical happenings (raining frogs, sorcerers who escape paintings, etc.), reading this 408-page fantasy feels like a bit like running a marathon where the finish line feels farther away with every step. Thankfully, the ending is a happy one. (Ages 10 and older) --Karin Snelson
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:01:47 -0400)
Charlie and his friends unite to rescue Ollie, a boy who was turned invisible and made to live in the attics at Bloor's Academy more than a year ago, but they are hindered by a mysterious new student who lives with Charlie's aunts.
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