Great Illustrated Books

The Magic Thief

By Sarah Prineas, Illustrated by Antavier Caparo

HarperCollins, 2008
Pages : 432
Suggested Ages: 8 and Up
ISBN: 9780061375873

Nevery's apprentice, and indeed, he seems to have a talent for remembering spells, even though he can't read. Conn is brash, outspoken, truthful, ever curious, loyal, and has a natural affinity for magic. You might think of this as Harry Potter lite, but it's far more than that. Conn's spirited narration will keep readers glued as he attends school, the academicos, to learn to read, searches for his own locus magicalicus, and works to discover who or what is responsible for the unraveling magic in the city.

Interspersed between chapters of Conn's narrative are gray-toned pages of entries from Nevery's journal, providing a separate point of view on the crisis and on Conn himself. At the bottom of some of those pages are messages written in runes that readers will love to decode. (The Wellmet runic alphabet is printed at the back of the book.) Students can use it to compose notes to each other about the story. There's also a nice recipe for the biscuits that Conn loves to eat. If you are reading the book aloud, which you should, bake up some biscuits to munch while you read. At, you'll find a nicely designed website to go along with the book, the first in a trilogy.

Reviewed by : JF.


If you love this book, then try:

Bath, K. P. The Secret of Castle Cant. Little, Brown, 2004.

Higgins, F. E. The Black Book of Secrets. Feiwel and Friends, 2007.

Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Scholastic, 1998.

Scott, Michael. The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. Delacorte, 2007.

Stroud, Jonathan. The Amulet of Samarkand. Hyperion, 2003.

Yolen, Jane. Wizard's Hall. Harcourt, 1991.

Critics have said

"An uncommonly engaging young narrator kicks this debut fantasy ahead of the general run."

"This is the first in an anticipated trilogy, and since Conn has a lot yet to learn, he is sure to draw avid fans back for more."
Bulletin of the Center for Children

"What works wonderfully well here is the boy��s irresistible voice."
ALA Booklist