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House of Many Ways
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Gr 5-10-Charmain Baker has been brought up properly-no magic allowed, it's not respectable. When her Great-Uncle William falls ill and she goes to look after his home, she is amazed to discover that it has only one door. But he's the Royal Wizard Norland, and the door is magical and can lead to the past or future. Charmain's fish-out-of-water antics when all she wants to do is read are hilarious. Running the household is complicated not only by unfamiliar chores, but also by Peter, the wizard's apprentice; a recalcitrant small blue man who is supposed to be taking care of the garden; an evil creature called a lubbock; and an exasperating yet loveable dog. Charmain tries a few spells and is ecstatic to start a coveted new job helping in the King's Library and trying to discover what is happening to the Royal Treasury. Diana Wynne Jones's charming sequel (HarperCollins, 2008) to Howl's Moving Castle (Greenwillow, 1986) and Castle in the Air (HarperCollins, 2001) stands alone quite well. Jenny Sterlin's crisp British tones make all the characters-from Charmain to the grating fire demon Calcifer to a lisping Twinkle-come to life. This terrific fantasy will be popular in school and public libraries and will send new fans to the shelves for the previous titles.-Charli Osborne, Oxford Public Library, MI Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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