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Jenny Nimmo

Author of Midnight for Charlie Bone

91+ Works 20,775 Members 263 Reviews 23 Favorited

About the Author

Born in Windsor, England in 1944, Nimmo's father died when she was only five. By the time she was fourteen, she had gone to two boarding schools and had joined a theater company in England. Her unstable childhood led to a series of diverse jobs where she worked in several fields as a nanny, a show more photographic researcher, and a floor manager at the BBC. At the BBC she became a director of Jackanory, a children's show. After having her first child, Nimmo left the BBC and began work on her first novel, "The Bronze Trumpeteer." Nimmo is best known for two series of fantasy novels: The Magician Trilogy (1986 to 1989), contemporary stories rooted in Welsh myth, and Children of the Red King (2002 to 2010), featuring Charlie Bone and other magically endowed school children. The Snow Spider, first of the Magician books, won the second annual Nestlé Smarties Book Prize and the 1987 Tir na n-Og Award as the year's best original-English-language book with "authentic Welsh background". The Stone Mouse was highly commended for the 1993 Carnegie Medal. (Bowker Author Biography) show less


Works by Jenny Nimmo

Midnight for Charlie Bone (2002) 4,035 copies, 88 reviews
Charlie Bone and the Time Twister (2003) 3,013 copies, 31 reviews
Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy (2004) 2,762 copies, 26 reviews
Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors (2005) 2,362 copies, 18 reviews
Charlie Bone and the Hidden King (2006) 2,000 copies, 15 reviews
Charlie Bone and the Beast (2007) 1,357 copies, 15 reviews
Charlie Bone and the Shadow (2008) 944 copies, 11 reviews
The Snow Spider (1986) 860 copies, 16 reviews
Charlie Bone and the Red Knight (2009) 588 copies, 9 reviews
Emlyn's Moon (1987) 487 copies, 5 reviews
The Chestnut Soldier (1989) 376 copies, 5 reviews
The Secret Kingdom (2011) 311 copies, 1 review
Griffin's Castle (1994) 249 copies, 4 reviews
The Snow Spider Trilogy (1986) 222 copies, 2 reviews
The Dragon's Child (1977) 156 copies
The Stones of Ravenglass (2012) 96 copies, 1 review
Leopards' Gold (2013) 68 copies, 1 review
The Owl Tree (1997) 59 copies, 2 reviews
The Night of the Unicorn (2003) 44 copies, 1 review
The Witches and the Singing Mice (1993) 40 copies, 1 review
The Stone Mouse (1993) 40 copies, 1 review
Tom and the Pterosaur (2001) 37 copies, 1 review
The Rinaldi Ring (Contents) (1999) 36 copies
The Complete Charlie Bone Series (2009) 33 copies, 1 review
Something Wonderful (2001) 32 copies, 1 review
Delilah and the Dogspell (1992) 32 copies
The Dog Star (1999) 30 copies, 2 reviews
Ultramarine (1990) 30 copies
The Witch's Tears (1996) 29 copies, 1 review
Milo's Wolves (2001) 25 copies
Invisible Vinnie (2003) — Author; Author — 25 copies
Matty Mouse (2003) 23 copies
Charlie Bone Set (1-4) (2004) 20 copies
The Starlight Cloak (1993) 19 copies
Tatty Apple (1986) 18 copies, 1 review
The Bodigulpa (2001) 17 copies
The Alien on the 99th Floor (2009) 16 copies
The Beasties (2010) 15 copies, 1 review
Esmeralda and the Children Next Door (1999) 15 copies, 1 review
Secret Creatures (2007) 13 copies, 1 review
Delilah Alone (1997) 13 copies
Rainbow and Mr. Zed (1993) 12 copies
Charlie Bone Set (1-7) (2007) 12 copies
Ultramarine: 2 (1992) 11 copies
Pig on a Swing (2003) 11 copies
The Bronze Trumpeter (1974) 9 copies
Gwion and the Witch (1996) 6 copies
Beak and Whisker (2002) 3 copies
Branwen (1997) 3 copies
The Bears Will Get You (1990) 3 copies
Seth and the Strangers (1997) 2 copies
Thumbelina [Retold by Jenny Nimmo] (1997) — Adapter — 2 copies
Die magische Spinne (2012) 2 copies
Charlie Bone Set (2-3) (2004) 1 copy
Steinmúsin 1 copy

Associated Works

Half-Minute Horrors (2009) — Contributor — 280 copies, 21 reviews
Centuries of Stories (1999) — Contributor — 58 copies
The Animals' Bedtime Storybook (2000) — Contributor — 43 copies, 1 review
Sisters (Mammoth Contents) (1998) — Contributor — 1 copy


adventure (233) audiobook (59) boarding school (138) British (47) chapter book (121) Charlie Bone (304) Charlie Bone series (43) children (132) Children of the Red King (157) children's (374) children's books (73) children's fiction (94) children's literature (78) ebook (50) England (76) F (46) family (75) fantasy (1,806) fiction (851) friendship (72) hardcover (48) Jenny Nimmo (53) juvenile (126) juvenile fiction (97) kids (68) magic (582) middle grade (68) mystery (200) novel (44) own (48) read (147) school (104) series (344) sff (49) short stories (43) to-read (335) Wales (70) YA (170) young adult (287) youth (56)

Common Knowledge

Windsor, Berkshire, England, UK
Places of residence
Wales, UK
Millward, David Wynn (husband)
Awards and honors
Smarties Prize
Tir na n-Og Award



BooksInMirror | 87 other reviews | Feb 19, 2024 |
BooksInMirror | 17 other reviews | Feb 19, 2024 |
This is the second in the trilogy which began with 'The Snow Spider', and is set 2 years after the first book, although there's a continuity error towards the end where Gwyn, the protagonist of the first volume, is described as 10 years old - as the first book began with his 9th birthday I expected him to be 11 years old.

Gwyn, the magician in training, takes more of a subsidiary role this time, as the centre stage is occupied by Nia, only a walk-on part in book 1. She is the middle child of the large Lloyds family, Gwyn's neighbours in 'The Snow Spider'. The story begins as the Lloyds move out of their farmhouse back to town, with Mr Lloyd taking over the butcher's shop. Butchery was his first trade and he only took on the farm to please his ailing father in law, 15 years before. It isn't stated but we have to assume the FIL has now died. The Lloyds have an 8th child on the way and Mr Lloyd wants the steady trade, as he was never much good as a farmer, so he has sold the land to Gwyn's father.

Nia is the only one of the family sad to leave her home, with the flowers she loved to grow. As soon as they reach the new home, she goes out, dressing up in her mother's best clothes, and taking Fly their sheepdog. She encounters the brightly painted ex-chapel, home of Emlyn and his father Idris, and goes inside. Idris is married to Gwyn's mother's sister, Elinor, who went missing shortly after having another baby. The two families are estranged, as Nia eventually discovers, because Idris blames Gwyn's father for his wife's departure. Emlyn wants Nia to sell Fly to them as they have a field attached to the chapel, and Nia agrees, but when she gets home she discovers that her father has already sold the dog to Gwyn and she is forbidden to visit Emlyn and his father again.

Nia is an odd one out in her family, the butt of jokes about being Nia who can do nothing, and this negative attitude also seem to have extended to her school with the teachers expecting her to be useless. So when every child is expected to produce a project of some kind for judging, Nia views this as a disaster, as she has no confidence in her own abilities. Idris gives her a large sheet of canvas and suggests she create a collage because she mentions she can sew, but throughout the book she has losses of confidence and thinks that her work is poor or will never be finished. She also gets into trouble because of the odd methods she sometimes employs to get hold of material scraps.

For a while, she and Emlyn are estranged as he blames her rather unfairly for 'letting' her father sell the dog. She makes friends with his cousin Gwyn and we learn that she always believed he was a magician when the rest of her family ostracised him. Gradually, Nia begins to try to bring the two sides of Gwyn's family back together.

The theme of book 1 - the loss of Gwyn's sister who was abducted to another world where she was changed to fit in with its strange white haired children - is worked into this book as well, and we learn more about the nature of the children. They failed to drag Gwyn off with them in book 1 but are still after others and gradually Elwyn begins to be menaced. Meanwhile, the only adult who believes him and Nia about the danger is Gwyn's grandmother, Nain.

One aspect of this story concerns mental illness among adults. I did think that was dealt with in a rather too facile a manner. I also imagine that parents wouldn't like an aspect of Nia's character - she quite often tells lies to avoid having to admit to unpleasant things, such as when she at first makes excuses for why she doesn't bring Fly to Emlyn.

A foreshadowing I imagine is that Gwyn is finding the use of his powers quite a burden, and is exhausted by the end of the story. I'm sure this will lead to something in book 3.

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kitsune_reader | 4 other reviews | Nov 23, 2023 |
The first in a trilogy set in Wales. The book opens with nine year old Gwyn who lives on a farm and is celebrating his birthday. Since his big sister disappeared when he was four years old, there hasn't been much to celebrate because his father has been cold and rejecting towards him, blaming him for the loss of his sister, but the day begins differently with Gwyn's grandmother Nain giving him a number of items that he must cast to the wind. She believes he is a magician, inheriting the powers that have come down through the family from legendary Welsh magicians. What the wind takes, it returns, magically transformed. But one item, a broken toy horse, must not be used because it is in their family to be guarded and prevented from doing harm.

The story is quite charming with the tale of how Gwyn gradually comes into his own and slowly wins the acceptance of his father helped by an orphan girl who comes to the area and despite her snowy hair has an odd resemblance to his lost sister. Gwyn must learn for himself that rejection can come even from friends when you appear to be too odd, so this is a story also about fitting in to a community that likes people to conform.

The book is for a younger age group than I originally expected, an impression strengthened by the illustrations which are a bit 'twee'. I especially found the one of his grandmother, drawn as a girl of 16 or so rather unconvincing. And the story probably won't appeal to children with a fear of spiders although maybe the idea is that it might enable them to accept at least small magical ones.
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kitsune_reader | 15 other reviews | Nov 23, 2023 |



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