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

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  1,714 ratings  ·  265 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
ebook, 256 pages
Published August 24th 2010 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 2010)
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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
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
While it seems he is trying too hard at times, the author achieves a moderate level of humor. I found some of the texts of his Golem doppelganger (who happens to made of clay if you didn’t know) to by quite funny – especially this one:

“Dear Mack,

It seems a stomach alone is not enough. You can’t just put food in, all the time. Anyway, mine became too full and I needed a way to get the food out of my body. Dad’s power drill was very useful, much better than a spoon.

Your friend,


I also found t
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
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
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
KidsFiction Teton County Library
Chris’s Rating: 3.75 Stars

12 year old Mack may suffer from “meduimness” but he is far from normal. Mack is observant and afraid of just about everything…except bullies. After pranking one of the members of the bully clique he finds himself in big trouble…but his fortune changes (sort of…he is still in big trouble but from different sources) with the appearance of a 3000 year-old wizard who tells him he is Magnifica, one of twelve 12 year-olds who will save the world from an ancie
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.
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!!!!!
Mark Buxton
This book tells a strange story and was a 2010 finalist for a Cybils award in middle grade speculative fiction. Mack is an unlikely, reluctant hero, and he becomes partners with a school enemy. I'm pretty tolerant of weird humor, and this book is full of it. The golem tells Mack about trying pizza for the first time. He needs to spit it back out, because he doesn't have a stomach. The plot is told in two settings, as the author also shares the story of the first Magnifica's fight against the Pal ...more
David Hankerson
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!
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
This is a fast read and likely to appeal to 4th-5th grade kids, but it requires some huge suspensions of disbelief. Huge. First there is the time/setting switch from Arizona now-ish and the early Middle Ages in the fantasy world of the Pale Queen. Then there is the appearance in hero Mack's life of a Golem, who is all that remains of the hero who trapped the PQ for 300 years - well, 3000 years ago. Mack is a phobic 12 year old who is seriously bullied at his school - until Grimluk-now-Golem turn ...more


Simply hilarious, The Magnificent 12 tells the story of Mack a 12 year old that suffers of several phobias but is not afraid of bullies. Who will have to became a hero if he wants to save the world from the Pale Queen.

Of course he's not alone in his quest, he has the help of Grimluk, a former hero who happens to be around 3,000 years old, Stefan, an ex-bully, an Aussie girl named Jarrah, who is another Magnifica, and Golem, a really funny magical creature made of mud.

This book is so funn
Mack MacAvoy is an ordinary 12-year-old kid, with a long list of phobias from dentophobia (fear of dentists) to phobophobia (fear of phobias). The one thing that he's not afraid of is trouble. When he saves the life of Stefan, one of the school bullies (there's one for every social group), Mack's life takes an unexpected turn.
Grimluk is another 12-year-old from a very, very, very long time ago. He is known as one of the Magnifica. He and eleven others must defeat the Pale Queen before she destro
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
Ms. Yingling
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
Excellent kids books, especially boys and reluctant readers. David (Mack) McAvoy is your basic average kids - although he DOES have an awful lot of phobias - whose biggest real problem is dealing with the many varieties of bullies at his school. (There are so many bullies they have to specialize: a bully for nerds, a bully for jocks, etc.) But then the weird stuff starts to happen. An incredibly old man shows up, freezes time, and tells Mack he is one of the 12 Magnifica that must save the world ...more
Laura Madsen
A fun read which should appeal to boys in the 8-12 range.

David "Mack" MacAvoy is a 12-year-old boy with a lot of problems. He is targeted by Stefan, the school's uber bully ("there was one bully to rule them all, one bully to find them, one bully to bring them all and in the darkness pound them" in a great Lord of the Rings riff). He suffers a variety of phobias. And he is destined to gather a group of kids, the Magnificent 12, to battle the dread Pale Queen who was imprisoned in the underworld
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
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
Matti Karjalainen
David "Mack" MacAvoy on 12-vuotias koulupoika, joka on kaikin puolin keskiverto tapaus, mitä nyt kärsii useammasta kuin yhdestä fobiasta. Kesken koulukiusaajien myllytyksen hän saa kuulla olevansa tärkeä linkki muinaisessa hyvän ja pahan välisessä taistelussa.

Kalpeaksi Kuningattareksi nimitetty velhotar on nimittäin heräämässä ikiaikaisesta unestaan (itse asiassa vain 3000 vuoden unesta, mutta hänen voittajansa, Mahtavaksi 12:sta kutsuttu joukko, eivät aikanaan osanneet kuvitella isompaa lukua)
Margo Tanenbaum
This is a great book for kids who like fantasy/adventure mixed with some laugh-out-loud humor. In this book we have an unlikely hero, 12-year old Mack, who suffers from "a severe case of mediumness." Except for his phobias--he has so many of them that he even has a phobia of phobias. But one day, Mack is called upon by a funny-looking old man who appears in his middle-school bathroom to join The Magnificent 12, whose mission is to save the world from the evil force of the "Pale Queen." The book ...more
Things I Liked:
This book's greatest strength is its humor. I literally laughed at every page. At times, it seemed like a spoof of fantasy and comic book-like heroes, which just made it all the funnier. The golem was my favorite source of laughs as well - his notes made some of the less interesting parts bearable. Mack was an interesting character, definitely not your typical hero, but more like a typical wimp who gets picked on. This is the start of an action-packed and humor-infused series that
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
When I entered the drawing to win this book here on Goodreads, I did so because I thought it sounded rather interesting. And that is a pretty good summation of the book itself. It's a rather interesting story altogether. Mack, the protagonist, is a relateable character, especially for those of us who share some of his phobias. The storytelling itself was done in a matter-of-fact, almost conversational tone, and there were several times I actually laughed out loud at the humor.

On the con side, th
Michael Karre

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 Stefan,
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
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
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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)
Gone (Gone, #1) Hunger (Gone, #2) Lies (Gone, #3) Plague (Gone, #4) Fear (Gone, #5)

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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.” 28 likes
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