Susan's Reviews > Midnight for Charlie Bone

Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo
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May 08, 14

bookshelves: juvenile
Read in June, 2008

The trouble with Charlie Bone is he's much more like Charlie Bucket than Harry Potter and let's be honest--Jenny Nimmo is enthusiastically trying to channel some of Rowling's magic, so this is a bit of a problem. As I've said before, the heroes of these series tend to fall into two camps: the Horatio Alger throwback (orphan/survivor with grit who eventually is rewarded for his selfless acts) and the preternaturally mature and intelligent youngster who makes the adults around him look like bumbling morons. Even though he is not an orphan, Charlie Bone falls unmistakably in the former category. His father is gone. His family is dysfuntional. It's likely he's getting lunch money stolen from him at lunch on a fairly regular basis. He discovers a magical predisposition and ends up getting packed off to a school for similarly gifted kids. Sound familiar?
Unfortunately, Charlie never feels as fully fleshed-out as the boy he was undoubtedly modeled after. The characters feel gimmicky and not particularly relatable. Charlie's primary magical talent is somewhat interesting, but he doesn't get to use it to much purpose in the course of the book. Of the many Harry Potter wannabes out there, there are some that are at least entertaining if not particularly original. This series unfortunately, just feels like a watered down replica.
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Shae No, I think it's not as good as Harry Potter, but it has a certain charm. Also, the main Character is 10.


Chak Can you recommend the more original and entertaining Harry Potter wannabes to which you referred? I'm looking for a new series for my 8 year old. Thanks!


Margaret I don't mean to butt in but I do agree with every last word of Susan's review and I have encountered some good reads that are "like Harry Potter" but also have something original about them. First, have you tried the Artemis Fowl series? To me it's like inter[national] magic intrigue for kids. Another one I'll recommend is a brand new series, Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children. Last but not least, and though it is ONE stand alone book is Sachar's "Holes". Now, if you're child is okay with a series that does not include magic but is chock full of hilarity (and I mean the literal Laugh Out Loud kind) then Judy Blume's "Fudge" series that begins with "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" is highly recommended. I hope this helped and that Susan doesn't mind my interjecting here too much. :)


Margaret *your child


Chak Thanks, Margaret. I will check out Holes.


Dakota It also helps that Rowling and Nimmo are really good friends...


Ethan I think this book is way better than Harry Potter and it was a page turner for me. I have also read the next four books in about two weeks.


Yassa Bona dea Harry Potter is the most famous magical school book. But not every single book with magic schools is a replica or a copy... Or does every horror author copy stephen king? Siure it reminds if hogwarts and harry and his friends but to be honest: it's a total different story...


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