Parents' Guide to

Curse of the Night Wolf: Barnaby Grimes, Book 1

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Fun series start, but violence makes it best for older kids.

Book Paul Stewart Mystery 2008
Curse of the Night Wolf: Barnaby Grimes, Book 1 Poster Image

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Is It Any Good?

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If the opening page of this series opener doesn't draw in even the most reluctant of readers, then nothing will. Barnaby is a most satisfying hero -- bright, massively competent, utterly independent, as good with a sword as with a scientific investigation or a bit of detective work. Though his age, both in text and illustrations, is indeterminate, young readers will have fun imagining a life as free and exciting as his. The Dickensian setting adds another layer of fascination; it's a nice combination of mystery, humor, and horror, and the action is well-paced.

While the text size, length, and publisher's recommendation make this look like a middle-grade book, the level of violence is a bit higher than in most stories aimed at 8-year-olds. Some kids will find the violence is too much for them, but upper elementary kids and reluctant middle school readers will think it's a hoot, and look forward to the next installment which, judging by the excerpt at the back of this book, has a Temple of Doom feel to it.

Book Details

  • Author: Paul Stewart
  • Illustrator: Chris Riddell
  • Genre: Mystery
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: David Fickling Books
  • Publication date: September 1, 2008
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
  • Number of pages: 204
  • Available on: Paperback, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, Kindle
  • Last updated: December 4, 2019

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