Bad Magic
Bad Magic

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Series: The Bad Books   

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Annotation: Thirteen-year-old Clay, a boy who no longer believes in magic, tags graffiti on his classroom wall and, as punishment, is sent to a camp for wayward kids located on a volcanic island, where eccentric campmates abound, a ghost walks among the abandoned ruins of a mansion, and a dangerous force threatens to erupt with bad magic.
Catalog Number: #108108
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition Date: 2015
Illustrator: Ford, Gilbert,
Pages: 351 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-32039-0 Perma-Bound: 0-605-90121-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-32039-9 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-90121-6
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2014008771
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
In Bosch's spin-off of the Secret Series, 12-year-old Clay has stopped believing in the magic tricks he used to practice with his brother, Max-Ernst, calling them fake "cheese-wizardry." But Max-Ernst disappeared two years ago, and Clay has never stopped feeling abandoned. He is forced to confront the possibility that magic may be real when he is sent to a survival camp on a volcanic island full of oddities: strange campers, a swarm of bees guarding the borders, a disappearing teepee, and an abandoned library haunted by a girl's ghost. But even these things are not as they seem, as Clay discovers an elaborate stage production behind the mysteries, with his missing brother at its heart. Parallels with Shakespeare's Tempest, a play Clay performed in for school, are interesting but extraneous, and the story takes a bit too long to develop its mysteries. Still, Bosch's mix of slapstick silliness, sly authorial asides, and magical adventure will appeal to readers of Lemony Snicket and M. T. Anderson's Pals in Peril series.
Horn Book
After he's falsely accused of writing "magic sucks" on a school wall, budding graffiti artist Clay tries to unravel several weird--and possibly supernatural--mysteries at Earth Ranch, a summer camp for troubled youth on an isolated volcanic island. Humorous narration, well-placed footnotes, and allusions to The Tempest will hook fans of funny mystery and adventure stories. Full-page black-and-white illustrations are appropriately offbeat.
Publishers Weekly
Twelve-year-old Clay-s misgivings about magic are tested in this enjoyable if overlong trilogy opener. Max-Ernest, from Bosch-s bestselling Secret Series, has disappeared mysteriously. His younger brother Clay is left feeling stung and resentful, and he-s as shocked as everyone else when the words -MAGIC SUCKS!- somehow-almost magically-migrate from his private journal to a classroom wall. This inexplicable graffiti mural gets Clay sent to Earth Ranch, a summer camp for -struggling youth- located on an island with an active volcano. Bosch-s arch narrative voice carries over from his previous books, and that humor helps buoy a story that takes its time getting to the big revelations of its final chapters. From The Tempest and Lord of the Flies to shows like Gilligan-s Island and Lost, cultural allusions abound as Clay tries to understand the island-s many mysteries and meets his fellow campers. Gilbert-s watercolors bring in additional humor, especially a scene of Clay-s mother Skyping in to a family meeting. Ages 8-12. Author-s agent: Sarah Burnes, the Gernert Company. Illustrator-s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Sept.)

School Library Journal
Gr 4&11;6&12; Bosch is back with a novel that's part mystery, part adventure. This series opener features sixth grader Clay, the younger brother of the hero from Bosch's popular "Secret" books (Little, Brown). After an incident with some graffiti, Clay finds himself spending his summer at Earth Ranch, a camp for delinquent youth on a remote volcanic island. While at camp, Clay encounters a motley crew of eccentric kids; a llama that understands Spanish; a mysterious library; and, perhaps, even a bit of magic. Bosch employs, to great effect, his signature irreverence and hilarity packed into parenthetical asides and footnotes. The end result is a wacky, suspenseful mashup of Shakespeare's The Tempest and a summer camp tale that is a delight to read. Bad Magic is a clever and playful novel. An excellent addition to middle grade fiction collections.&12; Amy Koester, Skokie Public Library
Voice of Youth Advocates
Ever since his magician brother disappeared, Clay thinks magic sucks. Those words are the same he scribbles in a journal, and the same that suddenly vandalize his school's wall. Though it is in his own handwriting, Clay has no memory of committing the vandalism, yet he is suspended from school and, as a punishment from his weird, absent parents, he is sent to a summer camp for wayward youth. Everything about this camp is weirdfrom the puzzling behavior of his cabin mates to the strange parallels to Shakespeare's The Tempest to the near-perfect resemblance of his life to that of the island's former owner. Clay meets a Spanish-speaking llama, is threatened by a wild boar and a swarm of bees, and thinks he might be going crazy because he saw a ghost in the island's abandoned library.áOne adventure leads to another as Clay becomes increasingly unsure about reality and magic.As with his Secret series, Bosch breaks the fourth wall and becomes the story's omniscient narrator. It is not as full of ciphers as the Secret series but still contains threads of mystery, magic, word games, and snark. There are spatterings of interesting and odd tidbits, vocabulary words, and witticisms in the form of footnotes. It is suspenseful, humorous, clever, and most importantly, fun. Bad Magic is definitely entertaining for a wide range of readers.Jane Gov.
Word Count: 59,557
Reading Level: 5.2
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.2 / points: 9.0 / quiz: 169294 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.5 / points:13.0 / quiz:Q64941
Lexile: 730L
Guided Reading Level: W
Fountas & Pinnell: W
The magical, bestselling series from Pseudonymous Bosch, the author of the Secret Series!

Magic is BAD.
As in fake. Cheesy. Unreal. At least, that's what Clay, who has seen one magic show too many, thinks.

When words from his journal appear mysteriously on his school wall as graffiti, he never imagines that magic might be to blame. And when the same graffiti lands him at Earth Ranch, a camp for "troubled" kids on a remote volcanic island, magic is the last thing he expects to find there.

But at Earth Ranch, there is one strange surprise after another, until Clay no longer knows what to expect. Is he really talking to a llama? Did he really see a ghost? What is the scary secret hidden in the abandoned library? The only thing he knows for sure is that behind the clouds of vog (volcanic smog), nothing is as it seems. Can he solve the riddle of Earth Ranch before trouble erupts?

Elusive author Pseudonymous Bosch introduces an extraordinary new series that will have you believing in the unbelievable.

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