Midnight for Charlie Bone: Children of the Red King, Book 1

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
Midnight for Charlie Bone: Children of the Red King, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Mild but enjoyable fantasy good for middle grades.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 16 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Violence & scariness

A dog is attacked, and Charlie is threatened by a werewolf.

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this has to be the least violent, least scary of all the thick fantasy books on the market. The worst thing that happens is that a dog gets scratched up by a wolf, and even that is not described.

User Reviews

Educator Written byAmslovesgod February 13, 2016

Pretty Good read

You may need to explain some British words to your kids but other wise a safe read to introduce young readers to fantasy reading.
Adult Written bylsdgls April 9, 2008

Fabulous!

What a great book! Perfect for young Harry Potter fans. Kids should read the whole series. Very exciting yet wholesome read.
Teen, 16 years old Written byDarkdani17 November 16, 2010

like a shorter harry potter haha

This was a good book and it's totally awesome to see all the kids powers
Teen, 16 years old Written byanime_freak004 April 9, 2008

What's the story?

On his friend's 10th birthday, Charlie Bone discovers that he can hear the voices of people in photographs. This modest sign of magical talent is all it takes for his nasty grandmother to put him into Bloor's Academy, a boarding school for children with his kind of special talents.

There Charlie finds out that he is a descendent of the Red King, and that the good and evil sides of his family, all magically gifted, have been at war for generations, a fight that may have led to his own father's death. And the people who caused it may be those who run the school.

Is it any good?

Although comparisons to the Harry Potter series are inevitable, this is a very different sort of book. It is far milder than most fantasies: There's hardly any violence or even real scariness, and when Charlie confronts evil, it is of the cranky, rather than truly powerful and malevolent, sort.

This is a pleasant read, quite entertaining, in a nice, inexpensive hardcover edition, good for those who like fat fantasy series and not at all worrisome. Like vanilla pudding, it's tasty, but not likely to cause sleepless nights.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the comparisons between this series and the Harry Potter books. What are the similarities and differences? What makes one series better than the other?

Book details

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