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The Call (The Magnificent 12, #1)
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The Call (The Magnificent 12 #1)

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  2,117 Ratings  ·  298 Reviews
Twelve-year-old Mack MacAvoy suffers from a serious case of mediumness. Medium looks. Medium grades. Medium parents who barely notice him. With a list of phobias that could make anyone crazy, Mack never would have guessed that he is destined for a more-than-medium life.

And then, one day, something incredibly strange happens to Mack. A three-thousand-year-old man named Grim
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published August 24th 2010 by Katherine Tegen Books (first published 2010)
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Mar 05, 2012 Jamie rated it really liked it
This is the first book in a series of I don't know how many books. I only picked it up because I got it free for my Nook app and figured I'd give it a try. After the first scene with the bullies, I was hooked. We have a very unlikely hero, David "Mack" McAvoy who is just average - average looking, average abilities, but he is good at one thing, getting away from bullies. Mack's biggest problem is his phobias. I admit, I liked Mack from the beginning and found him and his sidekick, Stefan, the mo ...more
I am normally a huge fan of Michael Grant. A huge fan. I've read nearly every book he's written from Animorphs on, even the ones that are out of print. And not all of his books are good. He's written more than 150; there are bound to be some duds. But ultimately, his works have always been dark, engaging, and above all, unique. He and his wife have always challenged the limits of a kids book and expanded on the horizons of what they can do.

I can't say the same for this.

This isn't a bad book, for
Dec 30, 2014 Aelvana rated it it was ok
Mack looks like an average 12-year-old, but he's got a lot of quirks. He has a list of phobias that keeps growing, a habit of baiting bullies for fun, and he notices things ordinary people tend not to see. But Mack's life takes a turn for the weird when a very old man stops time in the middle of school one day and calls him to be a hero. Now he's on the run from an enemy he only vaguely understands, searching for the other eleven kids who can help banish an ancient evil before it rises to take o ...more
Dec 29, 2010 nicole rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010, cybils
We got a copy of this book into the school library this week and it caused a little bit of a controversy in the sticker department. A co-worker wanted it labeled as humor and I wanted it to be labeled as adventure. I hadn't read many reviews of it, as not to cloud my Cybils judgment prior to reading, but from the obvious facts it was an adventure first. My co-worker, having flipped through it, was adamant that we market it as humor. Having now completed it, I humbly concede to her opinion.

This b
Ms. Yingling
Mar 04, 2012 Ms. Yingling rated it it was ok
Mack is an ordinary boy who ends up befriending one of the many bullies, Stefan, at his school. This is a good thing, because a weird, moldy man named Grimluk shows up to tell Mack that he is one of 12 children(Magnifica) who is able to defend the world from the evil Pale Queen, who has her sites set on destroying human kind and has been imprisoned for the last three thousand years. We find out this story in flashback chapters involving Grimluk's initial involvement with the Magnifica's fight ag ...more
Aug 21, 2010 kari rated it it was amazing
What a fun read!
If you've been looking for something as clever and exciting as Harry Potter, but with a little sarcastic wit added in, then this is the one for you.
This book had me smiling from around page two. Yes, it's a children's book, but much of the humor is directed more at adults, not that it's adult humor in any way. Some of the humorous references children may not be aware of, but it won't change how exciting the book is for them.
The book is told in two different times. There is a very
Denae Christine
I was, frankly, unimpressed. The characters were interesting but shallow. The powers were too broad and undefined. There were holes in the ideas. How did Grimluck know he was twelve years old if 12 hadn't even been invented yet? How can a 12-year-old have a wife and kid? How could 27 million degrees not fry the entire planet? You can't die from a cut on your arm.
Mack's phobias didn't fit with everything else. Stefan did not fit. The golem was interesting and idiotic. There was a lot of luck rath
May 17, 2010 April rated it really liked it
I love when middle grade books aren't patronizing. I love when children are not beat over the head with the fact that they are not adults and cannot possibly comprehend big words. I love it when authors do not talk down/write down in their books for children. The Magnificent 12: The Call by Michael Grant is such a book. It is genuinely funny, even from my adult ivory tower I chuckled quite a bit. What sold me on this book was the comparison to Monty Python.
Read the rest of my review here
Aug 24, 2010 Hbeebti rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, won
This is a really cute book for young adults and or kids. Heck I enjoyed it too. Mack was very funny. The bully Stephan who now is his friend and always say huh? Just made me laugh. The author was very creative w/ their adventure. My 11 year old thought the story was great and wanted to know what happened next. Will keep my out open for the next book.
Diane ~Firefly~
Oct 09, 2011 Diane ~Firefly~ rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, kindle, wobble
Although I'm an adult, I can really enjoy some YA books. This one was just ok for me. I never really connected with Mac, the main character or any of the supporting characters. My favorite is the golem as he is funny because he is clueless (and this part reminds me of The Last Starfighter). I don't think I'll be continuing with the series.
David Hankerson
Sep 06, 2010 David Hankerson rated it it was amazing
Fans of Artemis Fowl and the Percy Jackson series(The Lightning Thief) will enjoy this tale. I loved the almost Monty Pythonesque humor interwoven with the action. A quick fun read that would be a complentary title to read between Harry Potter!
May 02, 2014 Ashtin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an amzing book for you if you like magic and fantasy which I love. I think this is not as dark as Harry Potter but that it still has some of that magic in there. Please read this!!!!!
Robert Kent
let’s talk about this book, starting with the opening lines:

David MacAvory—whose friends called him Mack—was not an unlikely hero. He was an impossible hero.

First, there was the fact that he was only twelve years old. And then there was the fact that he was not especially big, strong, kind, or good-looking.

Plus he was scared. Scared of what? Quite a list of things… (what follows is a list of things David is afraid of—MG Ninja)

…So this was not a twelve-year-old you’d expect to become one of the g
Jan 27, 2017 HS rated it it was ok
Mar 26, 2011 Kyra rated it it was amazing
Michael Grant, congradulations you have once again dragged me and all my attention into a science fiction book. No, not a book, but a whole new series!

This series is about Mack, or it starts out being about Mack who one day at school decideds once again to start up to the bullies and thought him being a good child ends up saving the main bullies life. So he goes back to school the day after expected to get beat, instead this creepy super old, smelly, gross guy come and does a magical spell, well
Jul 14, 2011 Jenn rated it liked it

David "Mack" McAvoy is a bright, but average twelve-year-old with caring, but somewhat neglectful parents. When he saves the school bully - Stephan's life by helping stem the flow of blood after the boy puts his arm through a window he is taken under the big brute's wing. Though at first he isn't sure this is a good thing, he's grateful for the protection when an old man shows up informing Mack is fated to be the leader of The Magnificent 12, a group o
Originally Reviewed on The Book Smugglers:

At twelve years old, Mack is a pretty ordinary kid leading a pretty ordinary life. He does an average job at school, he has a few friends, a pair of decent (if constantly distracted) parents, and manages to avoid sticking out in almost every way. Except there is something decidedly un-ordinary about Mack, even though he doesn’t quite know it. You see, Mack has a list of phobias – from sharks (galeophobia) to a fea
Aug 10, 2011 Lyrical rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was very excited to get this book because not only was it free, it was by Michael Grant whose Gone books are a real favourite of mine. This is definitely a middle grade (9-12) book, however, and although I do like the occasional MG book that has good YA appeal this one was definitely well suited to the younger, and especially male, readership.

The main character, Mack, is a great hero, especially for kids as even though he has many flaws – including 21 phobias – he shows great courage by standi
Jul 04, 2010 Dan rated it liked it
Phobias, not fears. Mack has phobias. He’s scared of all sorts of stuff. Okay, he’s terrified of all sorts of stuff. Sure, we all have a fear or two but Mack has more than a few. The crazy thing, he’s not scared of stuff he should be, like the bullies in his school. Mack’s lack of fear for things that really should be scary for him puts him in a situation to be an unlikely hero for a particular bully. When weird mud boy shows up at his house and old dude shows up in the toilet (okay, it’s actual ...more
Jan 21, 2011 Kirstin rated it liked it
Shelves: library
An action series in a similar vein to Rick Riordan’s The Red Pyramid or Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, this book crosses time and space, ranging from ancient days to modern times, and from Arizona to Australia. Our protagonist, Mack, comes into our story by standing up to some bullies picking on another kid. While this act nearly gets him beaten up, events quickly transpire that have him saving the life of the main bully of Richard Gere Middle School, Stefan, who announces he w ...more
Katieb (MundieMoms)
4.5 stars

This is a brilliantly written, laugh out, adventure that is sure to be a must have for many middle school age readers. Mack's voice is one of wit, and laugh out loud sarcasm, as he comes to terms with being a leader of the Magnificent 12. The only problem is, he's got to find the other 11. If that wasn't bad enough, this true to life character knows how to work his away around the bullies who target him at school, but if he thought his life was weird, it's not until he saves the life of
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
4.5 stars

This is a brilliantly written, laugh out, adventure that is sure to be a must have for many middle school age readers. Mack's voice is one of wit, and laugh out loud sarcasm, as he comes to terms with being a leader of the Magnificent 12. The only problem is, he's got to find the other 11. If that wasn't bad enough, this true to life character knows how to work his away around the bullies who target him at school, but if he thought his life was weird, it's not until he saves the life of
Cherese A. Vines
Aug 11, 2013 Cherese A. Vines rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: ages 10+
The Magnificent Twelve: The Call

Mack has issues. His issues begin with his twenty or so phobias and continue with him being named a hero-the only one who can save the world from the Dread Foe.

I laughed out loud at this book. It is a quick read with a quick wit. The reader is invited along on an adventure that doesn't seem likely to succeed. But it's such an enjoyable read that you hardly notice that the hero will probably get squashed-either by bullies at his school or the mother of all evil!

The Reading Countess
Just picked this one up to consider for a read aloud.

As a non-lover of fantasy, but as a teacher full of ROOMS full of kids who do love the genre, I am always desperate to find one appropriate for read aloud for a myriad of reasons. I struggle to find a fantasy read aloud that the kids might like and NOT have read. The liking part is a real struggle because of my disconnect with the genre...

The Call began rather slowly, and I was at times unsure as to how Michael Grant planned to jump into the a
Nov 19, 2012 Kidsmomo rated it liked it
Review by Nancy, intended for young readers:

David “Mack” MacAvoy (the main character in Michael Grant’s series, The Magnificent 12) didn’t want to do it when he first got the call. What call is that? The call to save the world, of course. That’s because 12-year-old Mack has a list of phobias a mile high, and a case of the “mediums” — medium grades, medium looks, and medium parents.

He’s approached by Grimluck, a 3000-year-old wizard… sorcerer… morphing… guy to track down eleven other 12-year-olds
Oct 20, 2010 Brittany rated it really liked it
David had no desire to become a hero. He was actually afraid of a lot of things. To name a few things he was afraid of, he had arachnophobia, pyrophobia, thalassophobia and claustrophobia along with many other very scary phobias. So when a creepy old man freezes time and talks to him, he isn't really sure what to do. Later on this same old man tells him he has to go on a journey to save the world from The Pale Queen. David, called Mack, really doesn't want to go, but present danger sets him of o ...more
Oct 14, 2012 Bookandahug rated it really liked it
Humor, action-adventure, and fantasy run wild in this wacky, hilarious romp set both at school in the here and now and in the countryside of near prehistoric times.

David MacAvoy, known henceforth as Mack, is twelve years old, medium in all ways, ignored by his parents, and the target of a vicious beyond his years bully named Stefan. This is the kind of guy who uses the toilet as a weapon.

Now as the toilet flushes in the background, you need to meet Grimluk, twelve year old from three thousand ye
Apr 11, 2011 Brooke rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-r
I absolutely adored The Call, the first book in The Magnificent Twelve series. It's been a long time since I read a middle-grade book, and this one was fantastic. I can't wait to see all the places Michael Grant takes this series and to meet the other Magnifica.

The Call was a fun and fast read. I flew right through it, so I'd imagine it's set at a great pace for most middle-grade readers. The narrator's voice is dry and sarcastic, while being both informative and funny. This meshed wonderfully w
Tatiana Campos
Aug 13, 2011 Tatiana Campos rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

This is a right little adventure of a book, it's unexpectedly funny, and takes you on a journey you would never have seen coming.

Mack is a kid who has so many phobias that I was surprised he managed to function daily. Despite all of his fears, he lacks the ability to stand down to bullies. This trait in a school where bullies come together to torture their classmates is quite a foolish one to have. However, this one seems to work in his favor because of course, Mack is a hero...of sort
Jul 17, 2013 Catherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was at a Michael Grant book signing here in Dublin a few months ago when he shamelessly told everyone to go read his Magnificent 12 series for younger readers. I had just finished reading his Gone series and was ready for some more Grant, and managed to pick up a copy of The Call second-hand. I was expecting something like Suzanne Collins’s Gregor The Overlander books – something vaguely in the style of her older reader books but was ultimately too young for my taste.

Michael Grant’s idea of ‘y
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Okay, trying this again. Goodreads lost the bio I just spent 30 minutes writing. So now it's just going to be incoherent rambling. Yes, the earlier draft was also incoherent rambling, but way better.

I'm the co-author or author of about 160 books, including the ANIMORPHS series, the GONE series, the BZRK series, the MAGNIFICENT 12 series (Mommy, make him stop saying series!), the MESSENGER OF FEAR
More about Michael Grant...

Other Books in the Series

The Magnificent 12 (4 books)
  • The Trap (The Magnificent 12, #2)
  • The Key (The Magnificent 12, #3)
  • The Power (The Magnificent 12, #4)

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“You don't look so much like a great hero,' Jarrah said. 'I'm pretty sure I'm not,' Mack said wearily. 'My throat is hoarse from screaming in terror. I don't think heroes have that problem.” 30 likes
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