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A Wizard Alone (Young Wizards #6)

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  4,509 ratings  ·  88 reviews
While Nita grieves over her mother's death, Kit tackles a challenge as dangerous as it is strange: Rescue a young wizard who has vanished on his first assignment. This new wizard is unlike any other--he's autistic and he's a magical prodigy. His power is enormous. Now Kit and his dog, Ponch, must track down the missing boy before the Lone Power finds him.
333 pages
Published by Turtleback Books (first published October 1st 2002)
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Community Reviews

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Full disclosure first off: I have mild Asperger's, and I'm an anti-ableist campaigner (online and sometimes off). I'm also physically disabled.

The first time I read this book, I really enjoyed it, with the ideas surrounding internal landscape, and how Darryl is on the outside compared to how he is on the inside. I still love the author's dealing with Nita and her family, and how they are in the aftermath of "Dilemma", and Ponch and his squirrels. But how Darryl is "locked in" is much more uncomf
Bark's Book Nonsense
I read this book as an unabridged audiobook not realizing I was entering headfirst into a long running series. Despite my complete lack of knowledge about the previous five books events my enjoyment of the book wasn't lessoned by bouts of confusion which says a lot for the talent of the author. Yeah, there were a few gaps here and there but nothing I couldn't get past or figure out by continuing to read along.

Kit Rodriquez is a young wizard (as I'm sure everyone but me already knows), who along
auuuuuggghhh the ableism I may vomit

At the beginning, I was really excited about this book, because I thought it would have a positive take on how an autistic person could wield magic and fight ultimate evil in his own way. I also liked the description of how Nita dealt with grief. I thought this was going to be the best book in the series yet.

Wow, was I disappointed. The depictions of autism got worse and worse as the book went on, and by the end I was gnashing my teeth in rage. Autism does not
Vanessa Hardy
"Large parts of childhood hurt, and adults did with that remembered pain exactly what kids did when they could: Let whatever good memories they had bury it. Oh, the moments of delight, of pure joy, were there, all right, but what adults seemingly couldn't bear was the idea that their whole childhoods hadn't been that way, that the trouble and sorrow of their adult lives, the result of the Lone Power's meddling in the worlds, wasn't something they'd always had to deal with, right from the start. ...more
Relative to the rest of the Young Wizards series, this story is no less well-thought out, but it's a great deal more internal, traversing psychological planes of adventures, not anything physical. Duane still makes an internal brain-scape an interesting setting, but it's hard for that to compare with some of the other scenes she's drawn -- epic fantasyscapes, other planets, etc. It's also a darker novel (which the last one was, as well, for mostly the same reason: (view spoiler) ...more
Lady Ozma
I remember the first time I read, So You Want to be a Wizard. I loved it. Boy, I looked all over my library for my OWN Wizard's manual. If wishes could come true, I'd join forces with Kit and Nita!

I love this series and was glad when I discovered the author was adding to it again. I dove into book 6 with a zest, imagine my surprise with the newest kid to join the wizarding world.

Nita is still mourning the loss of her mother after losing the battle with The Lone Power for dear mum's life. I cried
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was the first book of the Young Wizards series that I read. It caught my attention because there was a major character with autism. When I read the novel, it didn't seem very related to autism in any clinical sense but I found the book imaginative, well-written and fun. I enjoyed all the characters and was moved by the story of loss. As a result, I have begun to read the other books in the series. To date, I have just read the first and realized that the presence of the autistic character w ...more
What happens when someone who is autistic is offered wizardry? Especially when wizardry is really only offered to children? That's part of what this book is about.

The underlying message seems to me to be "no matter what it feels like right now, you are not truly alone". As someone who's battled depression for a very long time, I know what that phrase sounds like to someone who is under the bell jar and what it sounds like outside. This book does a good job of not sounding preachy about the mess
This is a review of the New Millennium Edition of this book specifically in regards to how it was changed from the original edition. I don't think the NMEs are listed separately on goodreads so hopefully I'm putting this in the right place.

A Wizard Alone was originally published in 2002 when knowledge about autism was different from what it is now and the movement for autistic self-advocacy was far less visible. I think the first version of the book was trying to be respectful towards autistic p
Julie Decker
Kit receives an assignment to go help another wizard who's been somehow stuck in his Ordeal for three months. Normally, when a wizard takes the Wizard's Oath and goes up against the Lone Power for the first time, the wizard succeeds or fails, but does not get stuck. So Kit goes to help--with his wizardish dog Ponch assisting him since his usual wizard partner Nita is grieving from events in the last book--and finds that the wizard on Ordeal, Darryl, is profoundly autistic. He's not externally re ...more
So interesting and so disappointing at the same time. Duane continues to find intriguing twists and challenging issues to add to this magical series; in this case, Nita is grappling with depression and grief after (view spoiler) in the previous book, and the new wizard whom Kit is sent to help has autism and appears to be enduring an especially prolonged and torturous Ordeal. Many of the psychological aspects of the book are interesting and effective, and I in ...more
I would really like to see the revision on this book, because I have a kinda on-the-fence feeling about it. My cousin Wyatt is ten years old and autistic, so although I can relate to some of Daryll's actions and some of the descriptions of his world, I am not quite sure if this depiction is a fair way to go or not. It is good that the author comments that not all people experience it the same, I feel that she came at the subject with good intentions but left it with somewhat misleading ideas for ...more
Mar 10, 2010 MB rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kids (and adults) who like fantasy & scifi, autistic parents
Re-read 3/10/10. Easy to dismiss as being just-for-kids but Diane Duane's Young Wizards series is amazingly good--maybe too good for only kids. There's a lot of wisdom here and some science, and a mythology that's believable and convincing. They aren't dumbed down and she isn't afraid to let bad things happen to her characters, either. In this book I really liked what she had to say using anger constructively.
Vicki (The Wolf's Den)
It's been a few months since the events in the last book, and Nita's still not fully recovered. I mean, when you've been through what she has, who could blame her?

Kit certainly doesn't. But life must go on, and a wizard's work is never done. Kit's been asked by Tom and Carl if he can look into another wizard's Ordeal. Normally it's not wise to interfere with the initial test, but Darryl's case is far from normal.

First off, he's been on Ordeal for over three months now. Usually combating the Lone
Lis Carey
It's been barely a month since Nita's mother died, and Nita, Dairine, and their father are all still deep in grief and only marginally functional. When Tom and Carl assign Kit to look into a case of a new wizard who has apparently been stuck in his Ordeal for three months--a wizard who's an autistic eleven-year-old--Nita doesn't feel ready to act as back-up. She's still too distracted by her own pain, by trying to keep up at school anyway, and trying to keep Dairine at least going through the mo ...more
Kit Rodriguez is having a rough time. While he and his wizard partner Nita are more or less reconciled, Nita is still sunk deeply in grief from recent events. Kit is spending more and more time with his unusual dog, Ponch, who has begun to display what appears to be the power to create, enter, and alter universes.

Then Kit is given a very special assignment by his local Senior wizards. A wizard has gone missing on Ordeal, which isn't unusual by itself. But it turns out the young wizard, Darryl,
John Kirk
This book tells a complete story, so you could probably read it on its own and still understand it. However, it also has important links to the rest of the series. (view spoiler) ...more
This is the first of this series that I don't remember reading, which may mean this is my first read. My shelfari page suggests otherwise.
Oh well.
I liked this one and I thought the characters were well done and the way wizardry is evolving was interesting. The series is evolving even as the encounters remain somewhat similar. The different ways in which the world gets to be just a little bit better are varied enough, and Nita and Kit are compelling enough, that I keep reading.
I am torn regarding
I enjoyed this book much more than I did the fifth book in the series, which I thought was kind of plodding at times. That said, this doesn't really capture the magic and the detailed worldbuilding of the first few books. What I loved about those books was her blending of magic with scientific principles and the loving way she detailed ecosystems and physics and made them fascinating to a very non-science-minded reader like myself. I feel like she didn't continue with that in these latter books, ...more
This is one I need to reread. It has been a number of years and I wish to remind myself what made this special because it definitely was special!

I suspect I read this shortly after my father's death and this was painful to read. Now I can read it and see the hope that is in the book as well as the pain. It actually is a very life affirming book, ultimately. I am not changing this from 5 stars. This was an excellent book. Both for the story and the message.

Kit and Nita aren't working toge
More thoughtful review coming later. I was prepared (based on my vague recollections of reading the original version when I was younger) to really cringe while reading this again, and I have to say, it exceeded all my expectations. Diane Duane clearly did some good reasearch for this one. There are a handful of things I'm not totally sure about, but on the whole, this book is about as good as it possibly could be without Darryl being the main character.
Erin Boyle
I really loved this book. I would read the New Millennial Editions though, preferably though, especially for this one of the series. Because regarding the autism stuff on this book, there is some sort of sketchy interpretation in the original edition that is vastly improved on in the NME version.
Kit is sent to find out what happened to a young wizard. Neet is struggling to cope with the death of her Mum, and not being able to understand enough of the Speech vocabulary. This is an intriguing read, the young wizard is autistic and a lot of the book is spent showing how that changes the way he thinks. I thought the ending was a cop out but until then it was a good depiction. A good read.
Sarah Wagner
Kit and Nita end up helping another young wizard through his ordeal in this installment of Diane Duane's Young Wizards series. The situation is further complicated by the wizard in question having autism. Furthermore, Nita stumbles across information that the wizard she and Kit are helping is important beyond her imaging. Interesting reading, more fun than the previous book in the series.
One of the first urban fantasy series I ever read, given that the term didn't even exist when I first picked up the series as a kid.

I'm amused by this one. As always, a quick light read for an adult. The idea of messing with Entropy is just too much fun though :-)
This one's tricky, since despite a good story it is really ableist. I keep meaning to read the NME to see what changes were made, but the original version is just kind of hard to read.
Kymm Zuckert
Re-read. I'm re-reading the whole series, finally getting close to the last two, which will be a first-read.
I think this is one of my favorite series. It's thoughtful and well-written. The characters are likeable and have to deal with difficult circumstances but think them through intelligently. The main characters are kids and they have the usual problems with home and school but this one has an added element - one of the main "wizards" is autistic and they must get inside his head - really interesting sequences there.

If you like combined sci-fi/fantasy/real world stuff, this series is a really good
2/3 of the way in, the series gets a little formulaic -- it does seem every book hits climax with a Journey to the Center of the Mind. I'd also like a little more direct Kit/Nita interaction after several books at arms' length. And, final complaint, the typo clouds that are the New Millennium Editions are starting to get to me. None of this undercuts what makes the series great: a pervasive understanding that good and evil are neither simple nor obvious, but still real.
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Differences between the original and the NME 2 7 Jul 18, 2014 08:37PM  
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Diane Duane has been a writer of science fiction, fantasy, TV and film for more than thirty years.
Besides the 1980's creation of the Young Wizards fantasy series for which she's best known, the "Middle Kingdoms" epic fantasy series, and numerous stand-alone fantasy or science fiction novels, her career has included extensive work in the Star Trek TM universe, and many scripts for live-action and a
More about Diane Duane...

Other Books in the Series

Young Wizards (10 books)
  • So You Want to Be a Wizard (Young Wizards, #1)
  • Deep Wizardry (Young Wizards, #2)
  • High Wizardry (Young Wizards, #3)
  • A Wizard Abroad (Young Wizards, #4)
  • The Wizard's Dilemma (Young Wizards, #5)
  • Wizard's Holiday (Young Wizards, #7)
  • Wizards at War (Young Wizards, #8)
  • A Wizard of Mars (Young Wizards, #9)
  • Games Wizards Play (Young Wizards #10)
So You Want to Be a Wizard (Young Wizards, #1) Deep Wizardry (Young Wizards, #2) A Wizard Abroad (Young Wizards, #4) High Wizardry (Young Wizards, #3) Wizard's Holiday (Young Wizards, #7)

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“But the trouble with sainthood these days is the robe-and-halo imagery that gets stuck onto it." Carl got that brooding look again. "People forget that robes were street clothes once... and still are, in a lot of places. And halos are to that fierce air of innocence what speech balloons in comics are to the sound of the voice itself. Shorthand. But most people just see an old symbol and don't bother looking behind it for the meaning. Sainthood starts to look old-fashioned, unattainable... even repellent. Actually, you can see it all around, once you learn to spot it.” 16 likes
“Virtue," he said. "The real thing. It's not some kind of cuddly teddy bear you can keep on the shelf until you need a hug. It's dangerous, which is why it makes people so nervous. Virtue has its own agenda, and believe me, it's not always yours. The word itself means strength, power. And when it gets loose, you'd better watch out."
Something bad might happen..."
Impossible. But possibly something painful"
-A Wizard Alone by Diane Duane”
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