Saturday, April 28, 2007

 

Of Mice and Magic by David Farland


I didn't really want to read this book after "The Scarlett Pimpernell," but there it was, the next on my A to Z list. After the first paragraph, I was hooked:
"Benjamin Ravenspell's mother liked to put things off. She never paid her taxes until the tax agents beat down her door. She could go months without mopping. And she never bothered to cook dinner--period. Instead she'd just waste away until her hungr drove her to throw Ben in the car and race to the nearest fast food restaurant. Which is how nine-year-old Benjamin Ravenspell found himself eating at McDonalds's at midnight on Christmas Eve."
All right, the first chapter of the book which deals with Ben's parents is hilarious. Ben tells his parents he wants a pet for Christmas, doesn't get it, but changes his habits to convince them he is capable of caring for a pet. This includes babysitting his friend's nila monitor lizard for a week. At the end of the week, Ben and his mom go to the pet store to buy a mouse and Ben chooses Amber. Arriving home, he learns that Amber is to be the lizard's meal. Reluctantly, he starts to drop her in the cage and suddenly finds himself turned into a mouse. Thus begins his adventures as a familiar to Amber, who turns out to be a powerful wizard. Of course, her first act of magic, transfiguring Ben, alerts the entire magical world (both bad and good) to a new magical force and they converge on the two mice. This is a such a cute, creative story, although the first chapter remains my favorite. There are some interesting characters along the way who, I hope, will show up in the remainder of the series.
It's a great book for ten-year-olds and up. I enjoyed the homilies at the beginning of each chapter. Here's my favorites:
"Everyone lives in a cage. Sometimes the cage is made by others, but mostly we live in cages built by the limits of our imaginations."
"No matter how fast you run, you can't escape your own fear. The only way to beat it is to face it."
"To be defeated, you must first give up."
Rating: 4
Posted by Framed at 7:32 PM

6 comments:
Alyson said...
This sounds like a really fun book. Another to add to my TBR list. I hope I don't turn out like that mother though, because I rarely cook, and I hate to mop. I usually do go get food before I'm starving though.
8:24 PM
Eva said...
I've checked out the non-fic challenge. However, if all goes as planned, I'm going the Peace Corps and moving to Africa in June. So, I don't want to sign up for such a late challenge. :)
9:05 PM
Framed said...
Alyson, I thought it was funny because it was so me. But I don't wait until I'm starving to go to McD's. Eva, Good luck with the Peace Corp. Even if you don't join the challenge, you may find some good book ideas.
10:20 PM
Paula said...
Sounds like a really fun book. I love to read young reader books now and again. You single-handedly keep adding to my to be read list!!
10:04 PM
SherBears said...
This sounds like something that a younger child might enjoy having read aloud to. But I'll definitely be reading - someday!
8:47 AM
booklogged said...
I think Farland must have stolen that paragraph from one of my daughter's journals! Too funny and way too close to reality.Sounds like a very fun book. On the list it goes. Love the homilies, too.

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