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So You Want to be a Wizard (1983)

by Diane Duane

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Young Wizards (1), Wizardry Universe (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,855613,382 (3.9)2 / 185
Thirteen-year-old Nita, tormented by a gang of bullies because she won't fight back, finds the help she needs in a library book on wizardry which guides her into another dimension.
  1. 132
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling (FFortuna)
  2. 60
    The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper (MyriadBooks)
  3. 30
    A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: For the socially awkward girls who come into their own and fight against evil
  4. 00
    Stray by Andrea K. Höst (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: The particular blend of science fiction, fantasy, and modern day life, the personal and the epic, feels similar in both of these series and universes to me.
  5. 00
    Briar’s Book by Tamora Pierce (Morteana)
  6. 00
    The Nightmare Game by Gillian Cross (bookel)
  7. 00
    Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey (electronicmemory)
  8. 00
    Seven-Day Magic by Edward Eager (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Kids discover very interesting books in the library
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English (60)  Dutch (1)  All languages (61)
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
Nita, Kit and Fred (a white hole) face the forces of darkness in an alternate Manhatten to save the Book of Light
  ritaer | Mar 19, 2020 |
This was one of my favorite books of all time when I was a kid, so it's pretty impossible for me to give this an unbiased review. I read it first when I was pretty young (elementary school aged, for sure) and read it at least once more (though probably several times) in my childhood. It's a very science-influenced fantasy story with a nice twinge of darkness that really captured my young imagination, and though I may have been blinded by nostalgia, it actually held up pretty well in my re-read now as a 24-year-old. This book will forever be a 5-star read for me. ( )
  NovelInsights | Sep 21, 2019 |
I love this book, and I love the series that it's from. ( )
  SacredTower | Nov 9, 2018 |
If this book was at all interesting when it came out, it isn't in comparison with what's been available for a long time now. Nothing fun or even interesting in navigating a all the hardware is out to get you Manhattan by the 12 & 14 year old protagonists. ( )
  quondame | Jul 30, 2018 |
Read on the recommendation of Leah Libresco.

I can understand the attraction -- it's an appealing YA adventure, with memorable imagery (the revolt of the statues and trees of Manhattan, the ferocity of the feral Lotus Esprit), and a lovely ethos of mercy and sacrifice. Something in it -- maybe the characterizations, maybe the prose, maybe the occasional 'on the nose' nature of the exposition -- made it less compelling to me. Also, the stakes get very high, very fast. In my view the Adversary should be kept in reserve, and work through catspaws against mere mortals...

But I'd happily have my boys read it... ( )
  ben_a | Oct 9, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Diane Duaneprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bowers, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Feberwee, EricaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McPheeters, NealCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChristinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nielsen,CliffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
By necessity every book must have at least one flaw; a misprint, a missing page, one imperfection.... the Rabbis... point out that even in the holiest of books, the scroll resting inside the Ark, the Name of Names is inscribed in code so that no one might say it out loud, and chance to pronounce properly the Word that once divided the waters from the waters and the day from the night.... As it is, some books, nearly perfect, are known to become transparent when opened under the influence of the proper constellation, when the full moon rests in place.  Then it is not uncommon for a man to become lost in a single letter, or to hear a voice rise up from the silent page; and then only one imperfect letter, one missing page, can bring him back to the land where a book, once opened, may still be closed, can permit him to pull up the covers around his head and smile once before he falls asleep.
Midrashim, by Howard Schwartz
I have been a word in a book.
—"The Song of Taliesin" in The Black Book of Caemarthen
Dedication
For Sam's friend
First words
"Part of the problem," Nita thought as she tore desperately down Rose Avenue, "is that I can't keep my mouth shut."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
So You Want to Be a Wizard (20th): Twentieth-Anniversary Edition has an additional short story, Uptown Local. Please do not combine with the unmarked editions.

So You Want to Be a Wizard: New Millennium Edition is a revised text so that current tech is not too different to that in later books.
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Diane Duane is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Average: (3.9)
0.5 1
1 13
1.5
2 28
2.5 7
3 102
3.5 38
4 154
4.5 31
5 163

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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