Saturday, August 30, 2014

Within the Pages: From the Magical Mind of Mindy Munson

I'm happy to review this middle-grade book, From the Magical Mind of Mindy Munson, by author Nikki Bennett. Authentic, funny characters and a magical setting provide a one-of-a-kind story perfect for intermediate readers.

From Amazon:
Every house has a history. This House has a mystery. When the orphaned Munsen kids move with their aunt to The House, Mindy Munsen discovers strange creatures living there already. Ghosts. Dragons. Leprechauns. And a scary Thing lurking in the basement. Mindy’s older sister Susie is determined to find out where these creatures came from and why they’re living in the Munsen’s house. With the help of the next-door neighbors and an old lady named Mrs. Wemberley, Susie, Mindy and their brothers unravel The House’s amazing secrets. And along the way, they discover some incredible secrets about themselves.
My review:
     Author Nikki Bennett has built a wonderfully-intricate setting that young readers will love in her middle-grade book, From the Magical Mind of Mindy Munson. Main character Susie has a very authentic, engaging voice, and readers are treated to her first-person account of how she and her siblings adjust to living in a large, rundown estate with their guardian, Aunt Julie. Through the imaginations of the younger kids, Tucker and Mindy, various make-believe characters such as The Thing in the basement, the Mulberry Dragon, the Leprechaun, and a purple fuzzy spider ‘inhabit’ the house, and cause a little tension for the Munson kids.
    In addition to the story, I especially loved the charming illustrations throughout the chapters. Also, Aunt Julie isn’t just a cardboard adult character in a kid’s book. Her indifference at the beginning of the book develops into genuine concern as we get deeper into the story, and the kids work through their grief surrounding their parents’ deaths. Though the dialogue between the younger Munson kids, Tucker and Mindy, sounds natural for their age, too, it was a bit distracting to read. Other than that minor point, The Magical Mind of Mindy Munson, is an enjoyable read for the middle-grade audience, and would make an ideal selection for a young reader’s book club. 

Visit author Nikki Bennett at The World of Nikki

Amazon  Also available at Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and Scribd

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