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A Wizard Alone

(Young Wizards #6)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  6,476 ratings  ·  156 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.
Paperback, 333 pages
Published October 1st 2003 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published October 1st 2002)
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Christine Okayish? They do build on each other to some extent. For this particular book, I would read the ebook version as it has been updated.

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 ·  6,476 ratings  ·  156 reviews

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Oct 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy
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
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
Oct 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Bark  |  Laurie  |  LOHF
Apr 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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
There are two things you need to know about A Wizard Alone. The first is that it’s the sixth book in the Young Wizard series, which starts with So You Want to Be a Wizard, and that you should probably read the series in order. Secondly, there are two different versions of A Wizard Alone and the differences are significant. There is the original version and the New Millennium Edition. For this reread, I read the New Millennium Edition and I would advise you to do the same.

“She felt as if there w
Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~
Wow. WOW! Diane Duane does it again. She continually amazes me and I bow down to her brilliance. Her years writing ST fiction really shows and shines in this series, which is far more sci-fi based than fantasy, and takes a more technical approach to wizardry than you'd ever seen in Harry Potter or similar series. Her ability to use prose to paint a picture and gut punch you with emotions is finely honed by this point too, and while these are YA she never talks down to her intended audience and t ...more
May 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-paranormal
Review blurb for work:
Another beautiful, emotional entry in the Young Wizards series, this time focusing on a new young wizard with autism. I understand that there has been an evolving controversy about Duane's handling of autism in this story--specifically in terms of the end of the story--and that Duane has actually revised the story in later versions to align better with our current understanding of autism, which was substantially different at the time of her writing. Ending and controversy a
Jun 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
"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
Rachel (Kalanadi)
This a good story, on par with the strength of previous books in the series. I really liked seeing Nita save the day this time. Her story arc from the previous book had a good ending here. And we see more of Kit's family and Kit needing a helping hand.

The only problem is Darryl, the autistic wizard. I would love to read the updated/rewritten version of this book just to see Darryl treated more like a... a person. The way that autism is described in this original version of the story is definitel
Kira Nerys
I'm kinda confused how there are two versions of this and what to make of an ebook-only revised (New Millennium) one, but I'm also certain that I just read the older version, because it definitely contained some problematic bits. Look: I really enjoy Duane, I loved this series when I was younger, and even though I can't recall if I've read this one before, going back to Nita and Kit has been comforting. I like the writing style, I like the morals espoused by this system of wizardry, and I love t ...more
Kathleen Dixon
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I do like this Wizard series. The very first one I read (which happened to be the second in the series) was back in 2007 and I -read marked them as to read the lot. Of course, time marches relentlessly forward and there are always so many books to read! But I'm actually going on to the library website and reserving a copy of #7, so I may read the rest this year even.

Duane does the relationship between our two wizards, and their friends and families, really well. And she creates fascinating magic
Robin Mandell
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was hoping the audio version would be the re-issued version. It isn't. No I want to get my hands on the updated version because I love everything this author has done and it was disappointing that this book fell so so flat. I'm really glad that she redid it. ...more
Apr 29, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a 3 for my enjoyment and a 4 for the quality of the book. Went with 3 as this is also about what I like. In part this is dealing with the aftermath of one of the series main character's mother dying, and also the impact of autism. So not the relatively light read I wanted and took a little while to finish.

Full review coming shortly.
Jun 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
THIS SERIES. Good heavens, I would be okay with my life if I could write like Diane Duane.

One of the many things I love about Duane's universe is that it's so unapologetically complex. The way Duane's wizards have to do magic is part art, part science, part linguistics, and totally fascinating. I love that she breaks down language here via Nita's research and, when Really Big Magic has to be done, is very clear about what that takes within the rules of this world.

The main plotline here, that of
Sep 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Dixie Conley
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
In this book, Nita's recovering from the death of her mother. Grief makes everything more difficult. Much of the grief recovery stuff is boring and depressing. I read all of it, even though it made me feel more hopeless about life, something I really don't need considering I normally suffer from depression.

Meanwhile, her partner, Kit, is dealing with a wizard who has been on Ordeal for three months. Ordeal being the final test that new wizards go through to prove whether they really have what it
Jan 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
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
Feb 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 28, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fantasy
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
MB (What she read)
Oct 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know that this book has some problematic views of autism which is why I would like to read Diane Duane's updated edition sometime soon. However, keeping this in mind, I very much enjoyed the book otherwise. I loved reading more from Kit's point of view and seeing how Nita deals with (view spoiler). ...more
Feb 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
These books seem to get more and more serious on the subject matter. Very interesting reads, but a lot more serious than the series started off.

I do enjoy how it's now showing both Kit and Nita's view. It adds a new dynamic to the stories, and it shows how different viewpoints have different responses.

Anyway, this is a very enjoyable series.
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely my favorite of Young Wizards so far. Darryl is an amazing new character and we got all kinds of cool new wizardry info. Really hoping to see some new folks again, too. All in all just adored this book so much.
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this as another installment in the series. Like A Wizard's Dilemma, it followed Kit and Nita at home, which I appreciated. Again, it felt a lot more like a genuine follow-up to So You Want To Be A Wizard than second through fourth books in the series to me. The emotional gloominess experienced by all the characters dragged it down a little for me, but it made sense in the context of the story, so I can't really complain.

An autistic character was introduced in this story, which i
Jessica Patzer
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jessica by: Hayley
Shelves: diane-duane, to-buy
A pretty good exploration of grief and, though I'm by no means an expert on the topic, autism. Like, this was the book that gave me at least some understanding of what autism is, even if the character in question is at the severe end of the spectrum and we still don't have any concrete evidence as to what's going on in autistic heads. But that's all I'm gonna say about that for fear of shoving my foot down my throat.

The only really problematic bit comes at the end, so from here on out is spoiler
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Doing a read/re-read of this series. Definitely had never read this one yet. (I think that will be the case here on out.)

Interesting take on an autistic wizard. Again Diane Duane's curse must've been to be so thoroughly ahead of her time - but someone will catch up with this series some time and try to make it into a TV series I THINK. But could they do grace to it? Depends.

Each of these has a point where I get a little bored right before the climax. Not sure why. I think it is a personal proble
Sep 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Our wizard duo meets a new friend in this latest installment of the series: an autistic boy named Darryl. Darryl appears to be stuck in his first assignment, or Ordeal, and Kit is sent to see what the problem is. Nita is stuck also, trying to live with her depression over her mother's death while keeping her family running. I like the way this universe keeps expanding: Darryl is a unique character with a purpose different to that of the other wizards.

I didn't love the whole autism aspect; it di
Sara Testarossa
Note re: autism spectrum representation: I highly recommend people sure to read the New Millenium Edition (or any that may be released later), as there are a lot of improvements from earlier editions, thanks to more up to date attitudes and understanding of autism. And these do affect the plot as well as characterization. The original book had some problematic aspects regarding how autism was addressed, and the updated version handled things much better (I remarked when reading that some of the ...more
Dan'l Danehy-oakes
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Young Wizards" book 6.

Juanita Callahan and her sister Dairine are recovering from the death of their mother, and in the process are slacking off in both their schoolwork and their wizardly duties. But Nita begins to dream of someone trapped in very weird circumstances...

Kit Rodriguez, in the meanwhile, has been assigned to find Darryl McAllister, a young wizard who has been been listed as "on Ordeal" for three months. Enlisting the aid of his dog Pancho (who has somehow picked up the ability to
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Differences between the original and the NME 3 16 Mar 23, 2018 09:44AM  

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Diane Duane has been a writer of science fiction, fantasy, TV and film for more than forty 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 an

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)

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