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
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Mild but enjoyable fantasy good for middle grades.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 17 reviews

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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.


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

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult 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.
Parent of a 3, 5, 7, and 8-year-old Written by6whittingtons October 27, 2009

I reccomend the entire series!

I love this entire series. Charlie discovers his magical ability and has to come to terms with what that means for him and his family. Going to Bloors Academy... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byAnthonyRamos123 November 12, 2020
Kid, 10 years old June 11, 2013

Great book!

I think Charlie Bone is an awesome book for lots of people who like mystery, magic and fantasy. Charlie bone is a book about a little boy who has to go to a sch... Continue reading

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

  • Author: Jenny Nimmo
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Orchard Books
  • Publication date: June 11, 2006
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 14
  • Number of pages: 401
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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