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Black Maria
by Diana Wynne Jones (more about Diana Wynne Jones) 80/1
Fantasy and Magic for ages 10 to 15 published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Available from:  Amazon.co.uk
* £3.99, Usually dispatched within 24 hours
Mrs Mad's humble opinion
8/10 You are working hard. Well done.
What happens?
After Mig's father disappears in a car crash, she and her brother Chris go to visit Aunt Maria in Cranbury-on-Sea. Mig finds that her aunt, who seems so gentle and civilised really rules with a rod that is tougher than iron and deadlier than poison. Things get really bad when Aunt Maria turns Chris into a wolf, suddenly Mig is all alone, except for the ghost and the green box. Mig finds herself at the centre of a terrible struggle with evil as old as time itself.
Is it easy to read?
One of Wynne Jones more complex stories, definitely for the more mature reader. Even if a younger reader feels they could cope with the language and text, I feel there is a level of maturity needed to understand this tale that could spoil it for someone not ready. Much better to wait a while and get the most out of the book.
Anything else?
Packed with detail and unceasing action. Wynne Jones has created a world turned upside-down and seen through the eyes of a young girl, who must fight against strange forces and recognise the danger she faces from the very people who are supposed to love her. A bizarre story from a very gifted author.
Other books by Diana Wynne Jones include A Sudden Wild Magic, A Tale of Time City, Archer's Goon, Cart and Cwidder, Castle in the Air, Charmed Life, Deep Secret, Dogsbody, Drowned Ammet, Eight Days of Luke, Fantasy Stories, Fire and Hemlock, Hexwood, Hidden Turnings, Howl's Moving Castle, Minor Arcana, Mixed Magics, Power of Three, The Crown of Dalemark, The Dark Lord of Derkholm, The Homeward Bounders, The Lives of Christopher Chant, The Magicians of Caprona, The Merlin Conspiracy, The Ogre Downstairs, The Spellcoats, The Time of the Ghost, The Tough Guide to Fantasy Land, The Year of the Griffin, Wild Robert, Wilkin's Tooth, Witch Week.
Who says so?
This review by Mrs Mad.
The publisher reckons...
When Mig and her family go for a short visit, they soon learn that Aunt Maria rules the place with a rod of sweetness that's tougher than iron and deadlier than poison. Life revolves around tea parties, while the men are all grey-suited zombies who fade into the background, and the other children seem like clones. The short visit becomes a long stay, and when all talk of going home ceases, Mig despairs! Things go from bad to worse when Mig's brother Chris tries to rebel, but is changed into a wolf . Mig is convinced that Aunt Maria must be a witch - but who will believe her? It's up to Mig to figure out what's going on. Maybe the ghost who haunts the downstairs bedroom holds the key?
And what do you think?
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