Monday, October 11, 2010

Middle Grade Monday: The Magnificent 12

The Magnificent 12: The Call, by Michael Grant

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 243
Reading Level: 8-12 (*Books for Boys*)
Enjoyment Level: High

It’s quite the thing these days for books, especially those for younger kids, to come complete with stuff to do online. The idea is to make it more fun for kid who love to read, and more appealing for reluctant readers. You get to become part of the adventure, which helps to bring the characters and plot to life. I could discuss this at length, but I’ll leave it alone for the time being and just give you the link to the book's website. :) Magnificent 12

From GoodReads:

Twelve-year-old Mack MacAvoy suffers from a serious case of mediumness. Medium looks. Medium grades. Medium parents who barely notice him. With a list of phobias that could make anyone crazy, Mack never would have guessed that he is destined for a more-than-medium life.

And then, one day, something incredibly strange happens to Mack. A three-thousand-year-old man named Grimluk appears in the boys’ bathroom to deliver some startling news: Mack is one of the Magnificent Twelve, called the Magnifica in ancient times, whatever that means. An evil force is on its way, and it’s up to Mack to track down eleven other twelve-year-olds in order to stop it. He must travel across the world to battle the wicked Pale Queen’s dangerous daughter, Ereskigal—also known as Risky. But Risky sounds a little scary, and Mack doesn’t want to be a hero. Will he answer the call?

It was good to know, starting out, that this book was the first of a series, because otherwise, I would’ve hated having so much left unwound at the end. (Some of you may know how much I hate cliffhanger endings these days.) Even though I was drawn into the action, I kept thinking that they’d never be able to wrap anything up by the end of the book. They did, of course, wrap a few things up, but it was easy to tell that the entire story was still left hanging.

I’m not sure how many books will be in the series, but if they can make it a full twelve, it’d be pretty interesting, considering some of the little details that are in the book – like how the monster they’re fighting has to die twelve times before she can really be killed, and the first death is in the first book. But I feel like that’ll only be cool if they make her die once in each book now.

The main character is pretty funny, and easy to connect with. He’s “got a series case of mediumness” which a lot of kids will understand, and yet he’s something of a hero right from the beginning because he doesn’t let bullies bully him, and he stands up for other people. This gives him an advantage and a head start as a hero.

The other characters are fleshed out well. The villain is properly creepy and villainous. Grimluk, the quasi-mentor of Mack, is also a little creepy, but interesting, being 3,000 years old. There’s a definite feel of ragtagness to the group who ends up together by the end of the book, and that’s fun to read.

There’s enough humor and tongue-in-cheek witticism in here to reach out to reluctant readers, plus the action keeps going and pulls the reader in quickly. The story is fun and would even make a great read-aloud selection for teachers and parents.

While I know that a lot of my blog followers tend to read more of the older teen choices, this book would make a great gift to anyone with younger brothers and sisters, or any other young person you know. And the publisher has provided me with a signed copy for a giveaway. Here are the contest rules:

  • Be a Twitter or a blog follower
  • Retweet, facebook, or blog about this contest
  • Leave your name, age, and why you’d like this book as a comment to this post

Deadline to enter is October 18, 2010. Good luck!

Until next time, go read something!

~ Vilate


  1. HI Amber, I am a goodreads friend and a Google Follower. I have a reluctant reader in my life, my son, he is a 6th grader and I would love to give him this book. Laura (Booksnob)(Forty something)
    e-mail: yo teach 24 at comcast dot net

  2. Hi Amber - I'm Mary Jo and also have a 6th grade son that would enjoy this book! I'm a blog follower and goodreads buddy and I follow U on Twitter. I'm 30-something and LOVE to read and write YA novels! mjcwriter"at"comcast"dot"net

  3. I follow your blog via GFC.

    I'm 27 and I have a nephew who will adore this book!