Jenny Nimmo has a great set of characters and adventures in the Children of the Red King series. As a lover of fanatasy, I’m an easy sell and this series has me searching out the next one to see where it goes. I find Charlie, the main character, likable and hopeful without being cloying or irritating. He makes mistakes and tries to correct them. He accepts the consequences of his behaviour and is always on the look out for the welfare of his friends and family. It’s too bad his mother is such a weak person. I’d like it if his mother had a bit more spunk but I suppose that would get in the way for the story plots. It’s been somewhat confusing to find my way through the naming and renaming of these books. The original series has a wonderful set of names which have been altered to reflect the Harry Potter franchise, “Harry Potter and the…”, now “The Blue Boa” is “Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy”, but publishers have to do what publishers have to do.
I would recommend this series as an addition to the K-8 library. I wouldn’t add them to a 9-12. Charlie is 10 and although he ages as the series progresses, he doesn’t age as fast as Harry. The books are written for a younger audience and keep a more consistent tone than you see in the Harry Potter series. They are also a more consistent length. I believe these books would make an excellent read for the child who can’t yet manage the Harry Potter books both in maturity or reading level.
Rating #1 (Highly Recommended) #2 ✓#3 #4 (Not acceptable)
Interest Level: grades 3+ Reading Level: 4+
Curriculum Area: Language Arts
Themes/Topics: fantasy, adventure, magic, family, losses, good and evil