The Marvelwood Magicians

176p. Boyds Mills. Sept. 2017. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781629797243.
Gr 4–6—The Marvelwoods are mighty interesting. Each member of the family has a particular talent. Eleven-year-old Mattie can read minds. Her brother Bell can disappear at will, her little sister Tibby levitates, her mum tells fortunes, and her dad can create illusions. After the family's old van suffers yet another breakdown, they end up in a small town right as a traveling circus is visiting. Invited to perform by the charismatic but menacing Ringmaster Master Morogh, the Marvelwoods meet fascinating and kind performers. Mattie makes a close friend and finds satisfaction in being in one place with the same people instead of constantly being on the road. The Marvelwoods have a tendency to distance themselves from others so that no one learns that their talents are real. Mattie is the only one to notice that performers' special abilities are disappearing, one by one, while Morogh seems to be gaining abilities apace. After her best friend and her family members are targeted, she realizes they must do something to stop the evil Morogh. The suspenseful plot moves quickly, and Zahler vividly portrays the unbearable pain of losing an innate part of one's self.
VERDICT Bound to entice voracious and reluctant readers alike. Hand this one to fans of Ingrid Law's Savvy and Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing