Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy by Jenny Nimmo

 

ChildrenFantasyCharlie Bone and the Invisible Boy Charlie Bone and the Invisible BoyNimmo, Jenny.; Orchard Books 2004WorldCatA new girl has come to Bloor Academy. Charlie Bone knows he has to be wary of her. His nasty grandmother and great-aunts are her guardians. Belle Donna is beautiful and one of the Endowed. She is in the sixth form – the oldest group. She seems nice – but her eyes keep changing color and she has secrets.

Despite Belle, Charlie’s days are kept busy. He discovers a boy hiding in the Academy’s attics.No one can see Ollie Sparks, though. He says a snake turned him invisible. Charlie’s classmate Billy Raven seems to be more trustworthy – less inclined to go to the headmaster with tales. Charlie even invites him home one weekend. The thing that worries Charlie the most at home is that Uncle Paton has disappeared. Grandma Bone doesn’t care that he’s gone, even if he is her brother.

When the art teacher disappears, things get worse at school. Belle is a quiet troublemaker. A sorcerer escapes from Charlie’s painting. Fortunately, Charlie’s friends are willing to help him. Then the sorcerer makes it rain frogs and toads on the city. Charlie has to get the sorcerer back in the painting, get rid of Belle, help Uncle Paton, and find the secret of turning Ollie visible once again.

Jenny Nimmo’s pleasant series continues fairly predictably. Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy should hold the young reader’s attention. It’s not deep but is written for an third grade or so reading level. It’s impossible not to compare Charlie Bone to Harry Potter. Charlie’s stories aren’t as good. Even so, they’re easy reading, have a power of good vs evil, and Charlie’s magic keeps growing.

Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy shows that boys will still be boys. Charlie was told to leave the sorcerer’s painting alone. But he is certain he can control it. Of course he can’t and the sorcerer escapes into the modern day city. Nimmo lets the reader know Charlie still has a lot of growing up to do. She also shows that he is learning despite his mistakes. What more can a person want?

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