Monday, July 7, 2014

Book Review: The Magician's Doll by M.L. Roble

The Magician's Doll, by M.L. Roble
2013, 318p, Middle-grade fantasy
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received copy from author for an honest revieww

Fall is off to a rough start for twelve-year-old Natalie: the kids at school have begun their typical bullying, her sole friend, Phillip, has become withdrawn with the disappearance of his father, and worst of all, Natalie has started to develop an unusual ability, one that sets her apart and undermines her every effort to be normal.

It all promises to be a bummer of a school year; one Natalie doesn’t think could get any worse, until the day Beausoleil the Magician rolls into town with his daughter Louisa and his mysterious doll…

This book drew me in from the very beginning and didn't let up the entire time. Natalie is 12 years old and trying to fit in but she just doesn't. She's embarrassed by her mother's "psychic" abilities and gets bullied and made fun of because of it. Her mother's best friend, Janet, has a son Phillip who is Natalie's age. They find out the circus is coming to town and they all go together. Natalie and Phillip aren't prepared for what happens next and their worlds are changed forever. 
I like Natalie. She's curious and brave and willing to do whatever she has to in order to save those she loves. Phillip is a bit reckless and heads into situations without thinking. The two of them get into some trouble as they're trying to figure out their friendship. They also come to each other's aid. There are lots of other great characters that we get to know and they all add to the story: Mrs. Blaine, Beausoleil, Hercules, Louisa, and of course, the magician's doll. In the Prologue, we meet a father and a son, and I knew they were going to play a large part in the story, but I was taken by surprise as to who they were.

As I was reading it, I kept telling my daughter she would love it. There are some darker scenes but nothing overwhelming. There are lots of unanswered questions and I really hope there will be a sequel! If your middle-grader enjoys books with mystery, suspense, magic, family and friendship, then this is a book I highly recommend!

About the Author

M. L. Roble's desire to write a children's novel stems from the nostalgia of her own middle grade reading years where she first experienced books like "The Chronicles of Narnia" and "The Shattered Stone". There have been different books and genres since, but those years fueled an enchantment for story that continues to this day.


Unknown said...

Thank you for taking the time to read and review The Magician's Doll! I'm so happy you enjoyed it :)

Unknown said...

Sounds like a good one:). My younger daughter might really enjoy this! Thanks for sharing :)

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