THE SECRET LIFE OF DILLY McBEAN by Dorothy Haas

THE SECRET LIFE OF DILLY McBEAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Orphaned Dilly is wealthy, can turn magnetism in his hands on and off at will, and is being raised by a bank till the mysterious Mr. Orbed becomes his guardian and sets him up in a magnificent home in a small town. So begins an adventure with the classical elements of boy making friends in new environment, mystery, learning to use a remarkable ability which must be kept secret (Dilly is helped by eminent physicist McEvoy, as intelligent as she is motherly) and an evil kidnapper who would like to misuse the ability. But Haas's satirical wit and pungent style, like Ellen Raskin's, raise this above the ordinary entertainment implied by the plot; the seriocomic interludes of the villians' plotting parody Bond, but Dilly's negotiations with the other characters in his unusual world are both wise and sensible; Dr. McEvoy's exploration of his talent is not just gee-whiz sf but orderly scientific method made fascinating. That rare combination, an approachable book that's fun to read, with lots of action and literary merit as well.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1986
Page count: 202pp
Publisher: Bradbury/Macmillan