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Falcon Quinn and the Black Mirror

(Falcon Quinn #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  582 ratings  ·  87 reviews
Thirteen-year-old Falcon Quinn and his neighbors, Max and Megan, board bus number 13 for school on an ordinary day in Cold River, Maine. Only the bus doesn't take its ordinary route, and Falcon and his friends soon find themselves in an extraordinary place—on Shadow Island, at the Academy for Monsters.

With a student body stranger than the cast of any monster movie Falcon h
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published May 11th 2010 by Katherine Tegen Books (first published July 29th 2009)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  582 ratings  ·  87 reviews

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Jun 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I wrote this book (with my middle school aged boys).
Cali Pesina
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Falcon is an angel... and he has chosen neither of us. Or, rather, that he has chosen both of us."
This quote is one of many interesting thoughts in the book Falcon Quinn and the Black Mirror, a fantasy about a boy finding out who he is. This book is the first in a series that I love and highly respect.

Falcon Quinn is a boy that finds himself at a school that is purely made for monsters. As the story goes along, Falcon notices that the school isn't that much different from his normal life; he s
Adam Bolander
Mar 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
If there’s one type of story that’s popular right now, it’s the one where special children go somewhere special to learn how to do special things. Two of the biggest franchises in the world share this common theme. Harry Potter sends children to a magical school to become witches and wizards. Percy Jackson sends demigod children to a special summer camp to learn how to control their powers. And now Jennifer Finley Boylan attempts to capitalize on this popular subject with Falcon Quinn and the Bl ...more
Really?! Average rating in the high threes? Did it really get better in the second half? Book club declared this one a disaster. We wanted to like it, but it was just so badly cliched, weirdly bigoted, awkward, slow paced... I think I'm going to try to finish it before I bring it back to the library, but I'm feeling kind of masochistic about it. ...more
Mar 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all teens
Recommended to Chase by: St. Helens Book Shop
Shelves: arc-s
Falcon Quinn and the Black Mirror
By: Jennifer Finney Boylan

A Book Report By: Chase Pixley

Falcon Quinn always knew that he was different than other kids. Falcon’s father fell through the ice on Carrabec Pond while his mother didn’t want him. He seemed to belong nowhere at his middle school in Cold River, Maine and had two different colored eyes - one blue and one black.
It is the first day of spring during Falcon’s 7th grade year. After a close call on Carrabec Pond his normal morning bus, numb
Dec 30, 2014 rated it did not like it
Falcon, Max, and Megan are standing in line for the bus on a morning much like any other morning. Only this time the bus doesn't take them to school. At least, not the school they wanted. At the Academy for Monsters, the students will learn things more suited to the monstrous natures they've inherited. Things like how to blend in with humans. Which isn't a goal all monsters share...

On the level of a school story, with the wacky characters, interesting monsters, and various mishaps, I enjoyed thi
Dec 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Everyone needs a label, a category in which to fit. If you don't claim one for yourself, others will assign you one. Emos, goths, athletes, geeks, monsters, guardians . . . everyone has to fit in somewhere.


( . . . monsters?)

Falcon Quinn doesn't, though. He's never been part of any group, never been put into a category or stuck with a label. He doesn't fit; he's a misfit. And life is lonely when you're always an outsider. So when Falcon, with two classmates, gets whisked away by a magical s
Josh Newhouse
Jun 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
I'd give it 4.5 stars if I could. Can a book be 100% original but also extremely derivative? This title shares a lot of similarities with the first Harry Potter book, not the least if which was the use of a mirror as a main plot conceit...

However, for some reason despite all of that I found myself flying through the book with its quaint cast of monsters... I think the only reason I did not give it 5 stars for poor entertainment was that I felt some of the dialogue was annoying and repetitive par
Fun, fun, fun, fun book! :) Silly, inventive fantasy novel where some ordinary kids find out they are monsters when they arrive at a monster academy. Great characters and friendships, and a good message about being true to yourself.

Definitely recommended for readers who like fantasy and mild/silly humor - very middle grade friendly.
Also, if you're a parent who wants a book that is fun and funny but has a good moral about being true to yourself, this is good for you. Jennifer Finney Boylan wrot
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
My 13-year-old son devoured this book and spent all day today reading the second. :) Definitely a hit for those in the magic/fantasy crowd.

Update: he just read it AGAIN in two days. :)
Avonte Peppers
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thought it was a very good book and I am looking forward to reading the next one, I would recommend it to you 7th graders.
Audrey Kammerer
Jun 06, 2020 rated it liked it
I have so many questions and not the “oh I can’t wait to read the next book” questions. It started out strong, with intriguing characters and a curious school. The monsters have fun personalities tied to their monster type. The school is a richly described world. The conflict growing in the main character is unique but some how feels familiar. Then the conclusion left me so confused. How do they... What do their families... When will they... It’s a struggle to figure out how the school could sur ...more
Yet Another Sarah
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-ebook
I'm not the target audience. I'm a 30-something insomniac, not a tweenage kid trying to find myself. But I really liked this book. I picked this coverless book out of a little free library, and only because I liked the font. Yep, the font.

This book was truly enjoyable. It was well-paced, the characters were interesting, and it felt unique enough not to be compared to a certain popular "Main Character and the Blah-blah-blah" series. I appreciated the detailed descriptions of so many different typ
Aug 30, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So technically, no I didn't finish it. My main reason why I picked it up was because it was by Jennifer Boylan, well known transgender activist. Had I known it would be in the vein of Harry Potter, I would have given it a second thought. As a reviewer either said on Amazon or here, Boylan writes how she thinks kids talk. Although just as outlandish, at least the teenagers on Dawson's Creek were entertaining. These were not. Unless the next time it's non-fiction, I'm not going back to this series ...more
This book was one that was hard for me to put down with interesting twists and turns, but some that were a little odd and questionable to me. Overall I did enjoy it. the characters were diverse and engaging. I don't recommend buying this book without buying the sequel, you'll want it one you finish the first. ...more
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So much fun!!!
That book had the biggest twist I've ever read (so cool) and the book was full of surprises on every chapter.
Loved it
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I have already read it twice but this is my first one with Good Reads. I don't have an age groups but if you like mysteries and monsters you will love this book. ...more
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book coulda been a contenda. Instead, it meandered so aimlessly that it actually became lost inside itself. There is not one clear thought in this book -- not one.
Hara Wheaton
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
V.K. Budd
Apr 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Escape from goodreads reviews

Kristen Harvey
Jun 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
First Impression:
I'm not quite sure where I found out about this series, but I remember it being reviewed as the "next Harry Potter", something that struck me because I had had several students last year ask me what to read that was like Harry Potter. So I had to give this first book a try to see what it was all about.

While Reading:
To be honest, it was quite how Harry Potter started, well sort of. Three students get whisked away on a magical bus to a magical school. Ah, but this is a school for
Oct 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Ok, I actually "audiobooked" this one with my 2 sons (ages 6 and 12) who absolutely loved the characters. I think if I tried reading it I may have abandoned ship early on. The audiobook version was done well. I must admit that there were some parts I stopped early while the kids were listening and told them we would resume the next time we were in the car. I did this due to the dark direction it appeared to be taking. I would then listen ahead while the boys were not with me and give them a less ...more
Jun 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Ok, at first, I saw that this book is in the same genre as Harry Potter, The Last Olympian and several others - kids who are "different" go to a school for kids who are similarly "different" - in this case, a school for kids who are monsters and I thought it would just be another copy cat book. But, it is a really good book! The kids don't know they are monsters until they get to the school, and Falcon, the main character, does not find out what kind of monster he is until near the end of the bo ...more
Jan 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Falcon is a odd one. He's never felt like he's fit in anywhere. On the first day of spring, he discovers why that is: he's not human. He and a couple of classmates are picked up and delivered to a school for monsters, only to find that he doesn't really fit in there, either.

The storytelling is a bit heavy-handed, as is the theme of not letting others choose your identity for you, and the monsters are a really obvious metaphor. Then again, some anvils need to be dropped.

A decent, fast-paced read
Camille Stanford
When Falcon Quinn get taken by a school bus to attend a school for monsters, he feels like he doesn't belong anywhere just like at regular school, and his lack of monstrousness makes it difficult to get along with the others. But when the school tries to suppress their monster selves, even throwing disobedient students into the dungeons, Falcon and his friends escape, only to get into more trouble.
I found this book interesting, and enjoyed all the different types of monsters in the school. Falco
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
As far as exposition goes, this was a bit abrupt. I would've liked to see Falcon at his normal middle school for a few chapters so we could better understand his feeling of not belonging, instead of blatantly stating it in the first few pages and then carting him off to the otherworldly school on an island in the Bermuda Triangle. I find a similar issue with the other main characters. If there were a few flashbacks of their (for lack of a better word) human lives, maybe their characters would be ...more
The story has life lessons and humor that will resonate with teens and their parents. The cast of characters and their personalities transcend the school they attend. I liked the author's attempt to demonstrate the importance of being true to who you are, but overall the story fell flat for me.

Every reader will find himself / herself (or their friends!) at the Academy of Monsters. Humor, suspense, and the ever-present "what next" will keep readers turning the page well past lights out.
Douglas Cootey
Good book. Fanciful monster academy premise. A bit reminiscent of Harry Potter, likely due to school setting. I found the story interesting, but the dialogue often annoying when the secondary characters took over the conversation. Their characters were simply too two dimensional to be given so much prominence. There was a moralistic undertone to the story as well that was often too overt for my tastes. However, I loved the ending. The story twisted, then tied up well. Lastly, I especially enjoye ...more
Mar 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Try the word "CRAZY". Seriously. My nephew spoiled the ending for me (as in, spoiled EVERYTHING), but I still absolutely enjoyed it. The wacko characters were definitely my favorite part, especially Sparkbolt ("cake--BAD, alfalfa--BAD, poem--NEEDS DEAD")and Johnny ("it's just this thing I can do"). Falcon was a good choice as a main character, because he was more sane that anyone else, except maybe Megan. There was a pretty good plotline too, albeit predictable. Nice light mood, new ideas. Love ...more
Kezia Olive
Jan 18, 2012 rated it liked it
The story here started darkly. I mean.. I thought the story would be lighter and stuffs since the first page, but I was wrong. It started heavily, but starts to be lighter thanks to the crazily amazing characters.
The twist at the end of the story successfully surprise me. But I think I should've read this book when I was younger, cause in my age, it feels silly when I read the climax. Doesn't feel like climax at all.
But it's a great book, great story. :) I feel happy that I read it. no regrets
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Jennifer Finney Boylan is a widely praised author and professor.

Edward Albee summed up her oeuvre in 1988: -- "Boylan observes carefully, and with love. [Her] levitating wit is wisely tethered to a humane concern…. I often broke into laughter, and was now and again, struck with wonder."

Jenny's memoir, She's Not There, published by Broadway Books in 2003, was one of the first bestselling works by a

Other books in the series

Falcon Quinn (3 books)
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