Bad Magic by Pseudonymous Bosh is the first book in the author’s new series. It begins as a contemporary middle grade book, evolves into a perplexing mystery, and ends as something altogether different. The author is masterful at keeping not only the protagonist guessing, but also the reader.
Stylistically, the wall between the narrator and the reader is down, with charming and dry-humored narrator footnotes providing a high degree of entertainment and a feeling of conspiratorial intimacy with the author. Middle grade readers may not pick up on all the hidden references to other literary works, such as The Lord of the Flies, but they will be well-versed in The Tempest by the book’s conclusion. Brief chapters and illustrations make the book a quick read and with a skateboarding, independent, cool male protagonist, this book should appeal to both young female and male readers.
Review of an Advance Reader Copy provided by the Publisher for Review
Profanity/Language: 2 scatological words.
Violence/Gore: Bully threatens and pushes another; report of deaths in past due to accidents and disasters; character hits head and is rendered unconscious; character shows up with the “bloody carcass” of a wild pig that he speared; verbal threat to kill; character suffers minor injuries such as scrapped knees, etc.
Sex/Nudity: Reference to a make-out party; comment that a member of the opposite sex is good-looking; a character refers to his “moms.”
Mature Subject Matter:
Alcohol / Drug Use: