Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo



Midnight for Charlie Bone Midnight for Charlie BoneNimmo, Jenny.; Scholastic Inc. 2002WorldCatCharlie Bone lives with his mother and two grandmothers. His best friend, Benjamin lives across the street. Something strange happens, though. He looks at a picture and can hear not only the people shown in the photo, but the words said and the people out of the frame.

When crotchety Grandma Bone and her sisters find out, they jump on Charlie. It seems he’s endowed, a child with special abilities. She insists that Charlie now has to change schools. He is to attend Bloors Academy for Gifted Children, a boarding school with geniuses and endowed children. Charlie doesn’t want to go but the Bones family owns the home and keeps food on the table. Without their support he, his mother, and her mother would be scraping by.

Bloors Academy is a bad as Charlie fears. They have a lot of rules, including no talking in the halls, wearing their color coded capes all the time, poor food, and two extra hours of homework every evening. Although Charlie is allowed to go home every weekend, he quickly earns detention from Manfred Bloor, the son of the dean of the academy. Manfred is the bully of the school as well as a proctor. His first detention keeps him in school on Friday night, only allowing him to go home for one night.

But Charlie makes new friends at the school. The Bloors, or someone, may be out to get him, but there are people there to stand by him as well. Charlie’s grandmother’s family are the Yewbeams, another powerful endowed family like the Bloors. He may be stronger than he realizes and Grandma Bone wants to control his endowed power and his life.

Yes, Midnight for Charlie Bone is a Harry Potter wanna-be. The boarding school is rigid. His family is broken because his father is dead. There’s even a game the school children play each year. Jenny Nimmo’s characters don’t pop to life yet are solid. Grandma Bone is creepy, Manfred is a thug, Fidelio is bubbly, Benjamin is needy, and Charlie is a boy trying to figure out the changes in his life. There are other major players that help the story along, like his Uncle Paton Yewbeam and a book store owner, Miss Ingeldew, who help Charlie along.

Midnight for Charlie Bone is aimed towards early chapter readers. The language is easy for new readers. Jenny Nimmo’s Midnight for Charlie Bone is a good beginning and sets up for more stories involving Bloors Academy and the endowed. It’s fun enough that someone looking for a Harry Potter like series will enjoy Midnight for Charlie Bone.

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