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Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

*Jinx* by Sage Blackwood - middle grades book review
by Sage Blackwood
Grades 3+ 368 pages HarperCollins January 2013 Hardcover    

Jinx has everything it needs to delight and enthrall middle grade readers.

There are magic things, nasty things, adventure, wizards, dark forests, and an endearing young boy hero who encounters them all. Jinx, the young protagonist, is no ordinary boy, and from the very first page we come to understand why:
"In the Urwald you grow up fast or not at all... By the time Jinx ws six he had learned to live quietly and carefully, squeezed into the spaces left by other people even though the hut he lived in with his stepparens actually belonged to him. He had inherited it after his father died of werewolves and his mother ws carried off by elves."
This is a marvelous opening paragraph to a book that mixes adroit storytelling with carefully-sculpted characters. Fans of Septimus Heap and Fablehaven will feel at home here amongst trolls, witches and a little kid's determination to put the pieces back together. This helps to redefine the fantasy idiom.
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