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The Evil Wizard Smallbone

By: Delia Sherman

In a hilarious tale reminiscent of T. H. White, a lost boy finds himself an unlikely apprentice to the very old, vaguely evil, mostly just grumpy Wizard Smallbone.

ISBN: 9780763688059

JLG Release: Oct 2016


Other Formats Available from JLG


Sensitive Areas: None
Topics: Fantasy , Seals , Small towns , Maine , Wizards , Werewolves , Bookstores

$12.00   $9.00 Member Price

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Awards & Honors

2018 Flicker Tale Award Winner, Juvenile
Parents’ Choice Award Winner, Fiction Silver
2016 Cybils Finalist, Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction
Andre Norton Award for Excellence in Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2016 Finalist

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books*, Booklist, The Horn Book Magazine, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Runaway Nick intends to stay only long enough for a hot meal and a night’s rest before moving on, but the Evil Wizard Smallbone—and his bookstore—have other plans. (“You knocked on the door and you asked for shelter. Well, you got it. And now Evil Wizard Books has got you.”) Agreeing to apprentice for the evil wizard, Runaway Nick intends to stay only long enough for a hot meal and a night’s rest before moving on, but the Evil Wizard Smallbone—and his bookstore—have other plans. (“You knocked on the door and you asked for shelter. Well, you got it. And now Evil Wizard Books has got you.”) Agreeing to apprentice for the evil wizard, Nick finds himself facing the daily threat of being turned into something unpleasant. But despite his time spent in various forms (spider, rock, rat), Nick manages to befriend the enigmatic bookstore, save some enchanted animals, and even pick up a little magic here and there. Unfortunately his precarious peace is threatened by Smallbone’s maniacal nemesis, the werewolf Fidelou, a wizard of great power and few scruples. Fidelou wants to claim Smallbone’s lands and destroy him once and for all. Can Nick find the power to stop Fidelou? Or will he be turned into a helpless slug? Or worse? Sherman’s tale takes place in the present in a sleepy Maine seaside town. The plot unfolds easily, and though a fantasy, it’s not over-the-top for fans of realistic fiction. The characters are well-developed, especially Nick, who learns to value self-knowledge. Avid readers will enjoy Sherman’s nods to other literary works, and reluctant readers will find themselves immersed in the tale. VERDICT Recommended for fans of Harry Potter, this story will captivate older readers while remaining accessible to younger ones. Recommended as a first purchase.—Rose Garrett, Cliff Valley School, Atlanta, GA

Horn Book

Twelve-year-old Nick Reynaud, a runaway escaping his abusive uncle and cousin, seeks shelter at Evil Wizard Books in Smallbone Cove, Maine. The proprietor, Zachariah Smallbone, declares that Nick will be his new apprentice, and when Nick disagrees, the wizard turns him into a spider. Back in human form, Nick looks to the bookstore for help learning Twelve-year-old Nick Reynaud, a runaway escaping his abusive uncle and cousin, seeks shelter at Evil Wizard Books in Smallbone Cove, Maine. The proprietor, Zachariah Smallbone, declares that Nick will be his new apprentice, and when Nick disagrees, the wizard turns him into a spider. Back in human form, Nick looks to the bookstore for help learning enough magic to protect himself from Smallbone’s shape-shifting whims. At the same time, something strange is going on in Smallbone Cove. Despite a protection compact with Smallbone, the town is being harassed by a biker gang called the Howling Coyotes, and the wizard’s sentries (the Lantern, the Wall, the Stream) are losing their power to keep out Fidelou, Smallbone’s evil-wizard rival. Much of the story’s momentum comes from Nick’s efforts to teach himself magic as he grows along the way from a snarky and self-interested character into someone who takes responsibility for others, including Smallbone’s previous apprentices. Well-timed revelations about the townspeople’s origins also feed the ongoing mystery, which includes the apparent contradiction between Smallbone’s “evil wizard” moniker and his periodic eruptions of decency—but by the end, even this is resolved, in a way that will satisfy wizardly apprentices and readers alike. anita l. burkam

Book Details

ISBN

9780763688059

First Release

October 2016

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

Trim Size

7 3/4" x 5 1/2"

Page Count

416

Accelerated Reader

Level 5.4; Points: 11;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 5.4; Points: 15;

Lexile

Level 820L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Candlewick

Potentially Sensitive Areas

None

Topics

Fantasy, Seals, Small towns, Maine, Wizards, Werewolves, Bookstores,

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