Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What Does Charlie Hear?

Ever since his father died in a car accident, Charlie Bone has lived with his mom, uncle, and two grandmothers (one who is horrible and another who is much more grandmotherly). His family is definitely an interesting mix of personalities. When Charlie starts hearing voices, he thinks he's going crazy, but he soon finds out that he has a special gift. As a descendant of the Red King, he's able to look at pictures and hear the thoughts of the people in the pictures at the time they were taken. What he hears makes him wonder about a girl who went missing years before, and he decides to track her down using clues brought back from the past. If only he had time to work on the mystery! Now that his endowment has been revealed, his crazy (and seemingly evil) aunts stop by, and they're thrilled because it means he's been “chosen”. Charlie is not so happy about this because he has to leave his house, his best friend, and his uncle to start attending Bloor’s Academy. Although he can come home for weekends, he's now surrounded by people he doesn't know, and it's hard to fit in. Everyone at Bloor's has a "special gift", and he isn't sure about anything. With every step he takes Charlie seems to be in more danger, plus a strange box that he must protect comes into his possession. Will Charlie be able to solve the mystery of the missing girl? What secrets does Bloor’s Academy hold? Is the strange box worth holding onto, and what's inside of it? One thing is for sure, Charlie has a few mysteries to uncover that will keep him guessing!

I didn’t know much about Midnight for Charlie Bone (Children of the Red King: Book One) by Jenny Nimmo when I started reading it. I enjoyed her writing style and the magical elements in the book. Can you imagine looking at a photograph and hearing the people’s thoughts? The secrets revealed to you would be crazy! I found myself on the edge of my seat, as there was a new twist and turn at the end of each chapter. Charlie is a kid that I would be friends with because he seems nice and clever. He is also very easy-going, so I felt especially bad for him that he had one mean grandmother and a set of aunts that gave me the creeps- definitely made me thankful for my grandmothers! It was fun trying to solve the mystery myself, and I liked the fantasy elements. There are some parts of the book that will appeal to Harry Potter fans, but the story is different. The only thing I was unhappy about was that the book didn’t answer all of my questions in the end because it ended with “To be continued”. But, on the plus side, the book is part of a series, and the whole series is finished. So I will have to read Charlie Bone and the Time Twister, and I recommend you have it nearby if you start the first one. If you're a fan of fantasy, and you're between fourth and seventh grade, I think you will enjoy this book. 

Has anyone else read Midnight for Charlie Bone? Or have you read another book by Jenny Nimmo? We would love to hear your thoughts.

Happy Reading!
~L

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50 comments:

  1. Sounds like an intriguing read. I haven't come across this book so far.

    Nas

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  2. I read the whole series. I really liked it. It did remind me a bit of HP but was definitely different.

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    1. Natalie- So exciting to hear that you read and enjoyed the whole series. I can't wait to read the rest of them. There are some similarities to HP, but I agree with you that the stories are so different. I think there are things we can find in common in lots of books we read. :) ~L

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  3. I've never read any books in this series. I'm okay with "to be continued" endings. They make me want to read the next book.

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    1. Kelly- I love that you are okay with "to be continued". I know some people get upset, but they do make you want to keep reading! I know I want to know more about this series. :) ~L

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    1. Vanessa- Definitely a great read! :) ~L

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  5. Interesting concept--being able to tell the thoughts of people in photos. Catches my attention for sure!

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    1. Meradeth- I agree that the photographs revealing the thoughts of the subjects is interesting. The concept grabbed my attention right away. Imagine the things you would find out! :) ~L

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  6. I haven't read any of the Charlie Bones books. My daughter read one for her book club several years ago and really enjoyed it, and I love the idea of photographs speaking -- so interesting.

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    1. Barbara- So awesome to hear that your daughter read this a few years ago and enjoyed it. :) ~L

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  7. I have not read them but I am aware of her work.

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    1. Patty- Thanks for visiting. This was a fun fantasy adventure. :) ~L

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  8. Wow what an unique premise. I love the sound of this, and arrr a cliff hanger, cardinal sin in middle grade, but I guess it made you want to read more. Thankfully the series is finished so you can. Thanks so much for joining us on the Kid Lit Blog Hop

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    1. Jambo- We are so excited to be part of the Kid Lit Blog Hop. We got to visit so many great sites and hear about lots of books! This was a book with lots of adventure and I am curious to know more about Charlie Bone. Glad all the books are out! :) ~L

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  9. This sounds like a mystery thriller children will love. I do believe "special gifts" come in all shapes and forms and this is an interesting concept. I'm so envious of folks who can write series. Kudos!

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    1. Anna- I agree that special gifts can come in all shapes and forms. Interesting to read this book and see the special gifts that were spotlighted. :) ~L

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  10. My oldest read the Charlie Bone series, and he LOVED it. I would have liked to pick it up too, but just couldn't find the time. There's too much to do in the day, eh?

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    1. Crystal- Glad your oldest read and loved the series. I hear you about being busy. The books are available on audio- maybe that is an option for you so you can multitask. :) ~L

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  11. I love the idea of hearing thoughts from pictures - that's so original! And Charlie's adventures sound very exciting. I'm sure I'd love this book. Wishing Jenny much success! :)

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    1. Lexa- I loved the fact that Charlie could hear thoughts from pictures. It was scary and fascinating at the same time. :) ~L

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  12. I read the first couple of books in the series several years ago. I did find them a little too much like HP, and my interest waned after the first couple of books--I never went back for the rest. I've thought about picking them up and giving them another chance, but as Robert Frost says, book leads on to book and I never do come back (okay, maybe that wasn't exactly what Frost said, but it's what he meant).

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    1. Rebecca- Glad to hear that you have heard of this series and it was interesting to hear your thoughts about them. Thanks for sharing with us! I have only read the first one so far. I have definitely started other series though and not been inclined to finish, so I know what you are saying. Thanks for visiting. :) ~L

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  13. I hadn't heard of these books. Thanks for telling me about them. Maybe my grandson would like them.

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    1. Rosi- So happy to introduce you to a new series. Definitely something your grandsons might enjoy. :) ~L

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  14. I enjoyed this series, but I hadn't seen these new covers. I like them better than the originals!

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    1. Sherrie- So awesome that you read and enjoyed this series. I love this cover too! So different from the one I had seen and the bold colors and magical aspect really jump off the cover. :) ~L

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  15. Hee it's always a relief knowing that you don't have to wait for the next book, especially when it's a 'to be continued' ending! This sounds like a great read, and the cover is brilliant too. I'll be sure to check it out. :)

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    1. Sam- Definitely a relief to know that there is no waiting for the next book. I agree that the cover is brilliant. :) ~L

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  16. I’ve not read Midnight for Charlie Bone, but it sounds fascinating. My sister has recently developed a 'special gift'; she swears she can smell things on the television!!! It’s driving her mad. It’s OK if it’s a cookery programme, or if it’s a flower garden or something like that but other things (according to Sue) give off the most terrible pong. My sister is in her 70s so I’m putting it down to sinus problems – but maybe not?? I’m thinking there could be a plot for a story in this?

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    1. Barbara- Your sister's gift definitely sounds like it could be a plot for a story. Smelling things could be great if the things you are watching smell good- but lots of potential for bad smells. I hope you will keep us posted about her new power. :) ~L

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  17. Is it just me or are today's children's writers dealing with some pretty grown up topics? Well done to them, I think it wonderful that they don't shy away from these things as if they are outside a child's experience.

    This sounds a great book with some big personalities. Thank you for featuring it.

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    1. Tracy- I think there are a lot of grown up topics being addressed in books today. Hopefully it helps other kids who are dealing with heavy stuff in their lives. Midnight for Charlie Bone is a great book with lots of adventure. Thanks for stopping by. :) ~L

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  18. I love his ability and yes I would probably think I was crazy at first too. This sounds like a wonderful, rich read :)

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    1. Kimba- This power could definitely mess with one's mind! This was definitely an exciting book. :) ~L

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  19. My sister read this book a long time ago. I believe she enjoyed it and read a few others in the series. It sounds like a good book. Thanks for the review!

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    1. Cherie- Great to hear that your sister read and enjoyed the books in this series. Thanks for visiting. :) ~L

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  20. I think I must have heard of this story but can't remember where from. The name 'Charlie Bone' sounds familiar. His power of hearing the thoughts of those characters in the pictures is very cool! I'd love to pick this (the book, although the power would be nice, too) up!

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    1. Claudine- The book and series has been out for a while, so you might have seen it around. I thought Charlie's power was very cool. I kept thinking about the thoughts I would hear from pictures! :) ~L

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  21. I have not heard of this one before, but it looks pretty cute :D I'm glad you enjoyed it. <3 thank you so much for sharing :)

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    1. Carina- Glad to introduce you to a new book. It was a great read! :) Thanks for visiting. ~L

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  22. +JMJ+

    The first time I came across the Charlie Bone books, I thought they were ripoffs of Harry Potter. =( Well, that was also the way I felt the first time I tried a Percy Jackson novel, but now I absolutely love that series! So I think that I'm finally ready to give Jenny Nimmo a fair try. =)

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    1. JMJ- I can understand what you mean when you say that so many books seem like HP. As it is one of my favorites, I tend to notice similarities in other books. Once the story gets going, it is easy to see all the ways the books are different. If you give the series another try I hope you enjoy it! :) ~L

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  23. We have not read this series yet. I am always on the search for new books for my daughter so I am happy to have read your review. Now I have a new set of books for her to enjoy.

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    1. Stacie- I love finding new books, too! I hope you and your daughter will enjoy this series. :) ~L

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  24. My brother has this book but with the old cover that looks slightly creepy. I love this new cover and Charlie Bone's ability. I like the idea of an academy of kids with special abilities. Charlie sounds sweet. I'll have to watch out for this on my library.

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    1. Adriana- I love this cover too. It looks very magical and exciting! The academy was interesting and so were the special abilities. :) ~L

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  25. Nice. A child with a special gift and a mystery.

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    1. Donna- It is very intriguing. Thanks for visiting! :) ~L

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