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The Kindling

(Middle School Magic #1)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  329 ratings  ·  89 reviews
All thirteen-year-old Connor Dell wants to do is pass pre-algebra, play lacrosse, and possibly kiss Melanie Stephens, but when a run-in with the school bully ignites strange powers inside him, Connor's normal teenage life goes up in flames. Now he'll need his new powers to defeat the Darkness that's coming for him. Fast-paced and original, this book's guaranteed to keep yo ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published July 10th 2012 by CedarFort Inc
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  329 ratings  ·  89 reviews

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May 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read this to my 12-year-old son at night, and he hated it when it was time to stop. He declared this as his co-favorite book in the whole world.
The Kindling captivated me from the first, with an evil presence and a seemingly normal life for three middle school aged children who attended a gifted school. As events progressed to where the children realized they had powers, the danger also escalated to life-threatening situations.
I was quite impressed with the way Braden Bell managed to weave in
Rachael Anderson
May 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Braden is a natural storyteller. The Kindling was fun, imaginative, and smart--exactly the type of book I'd love my kids to read. ...more
Ms. Yingling
May 15, 2012 rated it liked it
10 July 2012, Sweetwater Books
E ARC courtesy of the author.

Connor and his friend Pilaf (really Olaf) have a hard enough time dealing with bullies like Geoffrey at their school, but when a mysterious man starts stalking him, his sister Melanie and his friend Lexa, things get weird and scary fast! Terrible storms start popping up, and Connor finds that his anger can often storm out of control-- he didn't really mean to set Geoffrey's pants on fire, did he? It is soon revealed that Connor, Lexa and
Susan Dayley
Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
From bending locker doors to battling Darkhands while trapped where the incessant music of “It’s a Small World” plays (that alone is scary to me), to the soul-scarring Shadow Box, The Kindling keeps the reader turning pages (or scrolling down their reader).

What I liked about The Kindling:
1. There is great suspense, danger, courage, and adventure perfectly geared to middle-school readers (and the parents who prefer to preview what their children read).

The Stalker stared right at them.
He wore a
Dan Rogers
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Conner Dell and his twin sister Lexa, along with their best friend Melanie Stephens find themselves involved in a battle between good and evil. Things begin to get weird for them at school when Conner accidentally sets the school bully's gym shorts on fire. They have no idea how this happens and then wonder what is up as they hear several of the teachers conspiring against them, becoming convinced that they are out to kill them. Little do they know what is really going but it doesn't take long f ...more
Aug 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Three middle school students notice strange things happening in their life and their teachers suddenly seem to know more than they let on. Will they be able to figure out what is going on before it is too late?

This book was a cute, fun read. It makes the middle school main characters seem like, well, middle schoolers. My friends and I were just talking about how authors always make their protagonists act years older than they should, and it was refreshing to see more accurate portrayals.

I've pas
Leah P
May 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've been involved with this book from the beginning, and it's been a fun journey! This is a good, fast-paced book with relatable characters and a plot that reminds you of your fun, funny and awkward days of middle school - with just a touch of magic and a spinkle of romance. The book is well written, with unexpected twists and turns leaving you on the edge of your seat!
I'd reccommend this bok to pre-teens and teens who enjoy Harry Potter and realistic fantasy!
Read it, it's amazing!
Debra Erfert
May 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Braden Bell is a master of creating magic out of thin air. His words built a world I could easily see, where kids come into unusual powers they never knew they had. I would recommend this book to any adventurous person of any age.
May 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Kindling is a fantastic story that every middle schooler needs to read. I wish my middle school was like that. Tons of fun!
Dec 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Yes! Loved this book so much! Amazing read!
Gina (My Precious Blog)

** Full Review to Post to the MY PRECIOUS blog @
the on 8/30/12 **


Conner Dell just wants to fly under the radar and make it through seventh grade without making too much of a fool of himself. He has a comfortable group of friends and may just be developing a crush on his twin sister's best friend, Melanie. But then, strange things start to happen around town. One night all the dogs die mysteriously after a stranger is seen lurking in the dark. Next, some kids end
Jul 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing


Braden Bell

Homework? Of course. Crushes? Sure. But who knew seventh grade included superpowers?

Author Braden Bell’s long awaited, and highly heralded Middle-Grade fantasy The Kindling launched this week, and it was worth the wait . . . and all the hype. This is family entertainment at its best, a smartly-written, fast-paced, gripping spot-on, tour-de-middle school, with one exception—some of these tweens are developing special powers.

Twins Conner and Lexa Dell,
Meagan Myhren-bennett
The Kindling
by Braden Bell

When Connor Dell, his twin sister Lexa, and their friend Melanie Stephens notice a stranger stalking them they little realize that life as they know it is about to dramatically change. But no one else seems to be able to see their stalker and he seems to have a strange power that seems to draw them to him. Could this stranger have anything to with the kidnappings that have started occurring?

When the English teacher Mrs. Grant overhears Lexa and Melamie talking about th
Lizzy Lessard
Jul 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, reviewed, mg
(Some middle of the book spoilers, but not the ending)

I think this is the first book where I feel like it deserves two reviews, written in opposing perspectives. One for the actual targeted audience of pre-teens and the other for the adults who adore this genre. So here it goes:

Attention MG students: (5/5)

This is a fun book to read. Buy it. There’s magic, whimsical characters, and a whole lot of kick-ass. Dr. Timberi is the ringleader in this circus of people defending the Kindled students again
Wow! I just finished this book and what a ride! I am very excited to share this book with my students in a couple of months, I think they'll love it. With plenty of action, interesting and diverse characters and great settings (the Sanctuary sounds like a place I'd love to visit when I'm stressed out), this book is sure to win lots of fans. The book is really, really intense at times, but nothing inappropriate for a middle grade audience, although I think plenty of young adults as well as adults ...more
Kristina Cardoza
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Kindling by Braden Bell is a great middle school fantasy read! Conner Dell, Lexa Dell, and Melanie Stephens are three "normal" 7th graders...until now.

It all started that night. The night of the storm.
The kidnappings...of random children in their area.
The deaths...of every. Single. Dog. In. Their. Neighborhood.
The stalker...that no one else could see.
The teachers...acting suspicious.
The strange supernatural events happening to the trio.

And it all leads up to one thing...
They've kindled.

Now t
J. Morgan
Jul 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
First of all, bravo! Bell has written an engaging, creative story. It’s geared toward middle-grade readers, though, as an adult, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

There are three primary characters in the book: Conner Dell, his twin sister Lexa, and Lexa’s best friend Melanie Stephens. Each one of them has a distinct, unique voice. As the story unfolds, it is told from their separate viewpoints which gives a greater depth to the extraordinary events around them.

While the three young teenagers are the focu
Jul 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Review: The Kindling by Braden Bell
5 STARS The Kindling is a fun,nail biting adventure. About three middle grade students that weird things are happening around them. Thier teachers are stalking them. Everywhere they go the teachers follow them. Conner Dell is 13 he is worried about passing pre-algebra. trying out for the lacrosse team. His twin sister Lexa and thier best friend Melanie. The three hangout a lot together. Thier mothers are good friends since collage. Connor hates that the bullys
May 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Original review here

Thursday, July 12, 2012
The Kindling

Full disclosure: I don't normally think of fantasy as a genre I enjoy reading. Of course I loved Harry Potter, but in general, fantasy isn't my first thought when I want to pick up something to read. So, when Braden asked me to review his latest book, I really hoped I would like it.

Because I absolutely loved Braden's first book, The Road Show. It was one of those soul-changers. I knew The Kindlng would be a different ball game, being written
Nov 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Connor lives a pretty average life. He, along with his twin sister Lexa and her friend Melanie, are looking forward to their trip to Disney World and tryouts for different things at school. One day though, strange things begin to happen. It seems like they can make things happen just by thinking about it. Then, they notice a stranger following them around. He really seems like a bad guy, but their teachers stop him from getting to them. Connor, Lexa, and Melanie find themselves caught in a world ...more
Julie Ford
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
I’m not much for reading middle grade literature but this story sounded particularly interesting and fun. And it was! When a brother, sister and best friend discover, much to their surprise, that they have unusual powers, their otherwise ordinary middle school days take a very drastic turn toward the unknown, barreling headlong into a conflict between darkness verses light.

There are two forms of power in the world Bell has invented, light verses darkness/good verses evil. Embracing one or the ot
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Thirteen-year-olds, Conner and Lexa Dell and their friend Melanie Stephens thought that they were normal teenagers, then strange things started happening. Things like middle school bullies pants starting on fire in the middle of gym class and the lights flickering on and off when they are upset or excited. These things seemed a little strange, but then Conner, Lexa and Melanie started noticing other things. There was a huge storm one night and Lexa and Melanie saw a strange man dressed in black, ...more
Dorine White
Jul 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Story- Conner and his sister Lexa are in seventh grade. They do the typical type of teenage things like playing lacrosse, doing homework and hanging out with their friend Melanie Stephens, but one day that all changes.

Conner gets ticked off about a bully in PE, and by just thinking about it, Conner makes the bully’s shorts catch on fire. Lexa and Melanie are quick to follow, discovering magic powers of their own. But, with their magic’s discovery, a strange man in black begins stalking them.
Nov 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful contemporary fantasy story for tween and young teen readers (and as an adult I enjoyed it, as well). Mr. Bell has done a great job creating a unique magic system, realistic and comprehensive middle school characters, and a very fun, action-packed story.

There are plenty of summaries out there already, so I'll skip that part and just tell you what I really enjoyed:

#1. More and more books geared towards the tween/teen audience seem to feel the need to add sex, swearing, and oth
Aug 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Kindling by Braden Bell is exciting and intense. It is written for mid grade readers, but as an adult it kept me fully engaged and wanting to keep reading.
The story features twins Connor and Lexa and their best friend Melanie, all normal 13 year olds until they all Kindle (develop magic powers) at the same time attracting the attention of both the forces of light and darkness.
The kids know something strange is happening, its not everyday you wish the school bullies shorts catch fire and th
Monique Bucheger
Jun 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
“The Kindling” by Braden Bell is a great story that can be enjoyed by all and is sure to become an instant hit to middle-graders.

How great would it be to summon supernatural powers by embracing the things you love, whether that be quoting lines from your favorite play, singing a favorite song or even by solving pre-algebra problems?

Sixth grade for Connor, Lexa, and Melanie is proving to be far more interesting, as well as far more dangerous, than any of them had ever imagined. When the threeso
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
If you have Middle Grade kids that love to read, Braden Bell's newest novel is a great book to suggest to them (it's actually quite enjoyable for parents too).

All thirteen-year-old Conner Dell wants to do is pass pre-algebra, play lacrosse, and possibly kiss Melanie Stephens. He didn’t mean to set anyone’s gym shorts on fire or make school lunches explode. But now that the strange powers inside him have been ignited, Conner’s normal teenage life is about to go up in flames!

Several years ago if s
A locker door is ripped off, someone's shorts catch on fire... weird things are happening at the Dell's junior high and it because of them! As more unexplainable things happen Connor, his twin sister and their friend Melanie learn they part of a group of Magi that have powers of Light to fight Darkness.

Aided and instructed by many of their teachers, who it turns out are also Magi, they begin to learn and develop their abilities and join the fight for the Light.

Even though these books are writt
Aimee (Getting Your Read On)
May 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
I can't tell you how many times I wished there were more books like this out when my two older kids were younger. Especially my boy. These books have all the things he loved when he was in those middle grades.

There are so many things to love about these books. The foundation is the classic struggle between Light and Dark - Good vs. Evil. You have three kids with developing super powers and the bad guys who are trying to get them. From there though, a magical and complicated story develops, bring
Jolene Perry
May 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fun-reads, own
When this book became available for review, Emma (my 8 year old) was looking over my shoulder and said - "Cool. What's that?" So, I asked to be a part of Braden's Blog tour for his new book because I had two kids who were into it, and I thought we'd do a little family read and review :-D

This story is absolutely universally liked by my family. It's completely obvious that Bell spends time around middle-school aged kids because he has that voice down PERFECT.
My husband laughed, my daughter laughed
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Any idea who the "stalker" might be? 2 10 Aug 19, 2013 08:45AM  

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