Saturday, January 23, 2010

Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo

Book Details
Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo
Hardcover, 416 pages
2003, Orchard
ISBN: 0439474299
Series: Book 1 of Children of the Red King

When he is 10 years old, Charlie discovers that he is able to look at photographs and hear conversations and even thoughts that were taking place at the time the photo was taken, a legacy of his ancestor the Red King, whose descendants all have different magical abilities. Charlie hears one conversation that sets him on a search for a girl who has been missing for years, and when he begins attending Bloor's Academy, an elite boarding school for the rich and the endowed (as the Red King's descendants are called), his life becomes full of intrigue and danger. Charlie, his friend Benjamin, and other allies try to unlock the secrets of a mysterious case that could get the girl back, while the sinister Bloors and Charlie's ghastly relatives who are endowed try to thwart them.

I enjoyed Midnight for Charlie Bone more than I expected to. I couldn't help but compare this book to the Harry Potter series, as it has many of the same elements like children with supernatural abilities going to a special private school. You can see the beginnings of the children (as well as others) taking sides, good vs. evil style. This is the comparison ends. It's written in a language that that would be easy for young children to understand. There isn't anything too scary about the story and I think it would be a very good introduction to basic fantasy stories. The story is entertaining and well thought out, including important interactions with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. which I think are usually lacking in stories like this. There is an light focus on history and genealogy that sounds interesting and looks as though it may become more important as the series progresses. Midnight for Charlie Bone is a promising start to the Children of the Red King series.


Jenny Nimmo's website


  1. an award for you:

  2. great review! I've never heard of this, but it sounds really good :)

  3. I enjoyed this book when I read it with my son. We read some others in the series, too though we never finished it.

  4. The cover is creepy. I am not sure why I feel that way, I still have not read Harry Potter so to compare would be hard....Man I am behind on the times :)

  5. I must confess I didn't like it....but the age group it's written for adores the series, so I'm probably just a grumpy old woman. :)

  6. I was afraid that it was going to be very Harry Potter too, but it reminded me more of a Roald Dahl book. It's one of my favorite series now.