MG Book Review: Bad Magic by Pseudonymous Bosch

bad magic

P. Bosch, author of the Secret books has done it again! Bad Magic is the first installment in a series that is sure to captivate young readers with mystery, promote reading, and even develop an interest in Shakespeare! Well done!

We are introduced to Clay, the twelve year-old brother of Max-Earnest one of the heroes of the Secret books. Max -Earnest has vanished leaving Clay angry, confused and no longer believing in magic. He is a graffiti artist and a skateboarder now. So when his class performs Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, he finds it difficult to write about the magic in the play. That’s when his teacher gives him a journal and challenges him to write anything. He does. He writes the words BAD MAGIC and they appear not just in the journal but as graffiti on the wall of the school as well. The term “bad magic” was an inside joke he had with his brother. Clay is nonetheless suspended and sent to a camp for “troubled teens” on a remote island in the Pacific.

Here the story goes part Holes and part Fantasy Island. He makes friends with a crew of eccentric kids, a llama that only understand Spanish, and what seems to be the ghost of a girl who haunts a library on a ruined estate. Many mysterious things happen and they all seem to have a connection to the play the Tempest. What is going on? Clay is in for a grand adventure as he tries to figure what is and what isn’t real, and in the end discovers his brother sent him to the island to remember what real magic is!

The story is told in classic P. Bosch style with many asides for useful and at times useless information. The combination of engaging characters, fast paced adventure, and clever use of the Tempest makes this a must read.


One Comment

  1. Bad Magic was a lot of fun. Although, I thought the narrator wasn’t as “talkative” as he was in the Secret’s series. Maybe because it was more of an adventure/mystery story. I really like the description ” part Holes and part Fantasy Island.”

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