So You Want to Be a Wizard

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
So You Want to Be a Wizard Book Poster Image
Blends fantasy, science fiction in equal measures.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

Parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive messages

Kit is bullied because of his Spanish accent.

Violence

Getting beaten up by bullies, fantasy violence, Kit is injured, a parrot is smacked in the beak. Nita and Kit are stalked by the evil Lone Power and its minions.

Sex
Language

A couple of mild swears, one in Spanish.

Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there's some mild, mostly fantasy, violence in this first book in the series. Characters get beat up by bullies and are stalked by evil beings. There's also some swearing.

User Reviews

Parent Written byseaturtle28 June 8, 2012

Difficult read, but good!

While the content is appropriate for 9+, this is not an easy read!! More realistic age range is 12+, even for advanced readers. I had trouble (had to re-read a...
Adult Written byminoragentofchaos April 9, 2008
Teen, 14 years old Written bygilly_boy January 7, 2012

pointless

The story is a little weird, to me this book doesn't really have much point to it. They pass through the world gate just to get a pen. That doesn't re...
Kid, 12 years old December 29, 2010

Great but a little confusing for younger kids.

It was very good but confusing too. I had to read it 3 times to finally completely get it.

What's the story?

Nita, chased by bullies, hides in a library and finds astrange book called So You Want to Be a Wizard. It contains information about the nature and structure of the universe, instruction in the use of magic, and a Wizard's Oath. After taking the Oath, Nita discovers that thecontents of the books change to meet her needs and growing abilities, and that she must undergo an ordeal.

She meets another young wizard-to-be, Kit, and together with an intelligent white hole they accidentally call up, they are transported to a dangerous parallel universe run by the Lone Power, where they must retrieve the Bookof Night with Moon which he has stolen and which is necessary for maintaining the stability of the universe.

Is it any good?

Long before Harry Potter went to Hogwarts, Nita and Kit began their wizard training in this unusual series that blends fantasy and science fiction in equal measures. Rooted both in Judeo-Christian cosmology and a sort of all-encompassing animism, the novel's fascination comes not only from the weird adventures of the protagonists, but also from the magical-scientific details, conveyed in the author's own delightful technobabble.

This entry in the series is also a love song to New York City, and the world of the Lone Power is seen as a twisted version of Manhattan filled with living (and mostly vicious) taxicabs and helicopters. The settings, in and around downtown Manhattan, are vividly realized.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about a lot here, including the religious overtones present in the author's conception of the creation and order of the universe, the idea of intelligence being present in all things, and the importance of language and books.

Book details

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