RUFUS AND MAGIC RUN AMOK by Marilyn Levinson


Age Range: 7 - 9
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Rufus comes from a family of witches, or as they prefer to call themselves, “empowered ones,” who have to spend time studying, memorizing, and meditating, none of which Rufus wants to do. His fervent wish is that he be a normal human being with no special powers. No one wants a wizard as a friend, he thinks, even his best friend, Billy. Of course, that’s not to be. Rufus discovers his power one day when he overcomes the class bully with a trick of his own. Just by concentrating his thoughts he’s able to make Big Douggie do a double somersault on his in-line skates and land on his butt. Rufus continues his magic-making ways, doing some mind-reading, foretelling the future, looking into water and seeing what’s happening elsewhere, and casting spells. His family is concerned that he is using his power without realizing the responsibility that goes with it. After a series of mishaps, Rufus accepts the fact that he is a wizard and determines to learn all that he needs to make himself a good one. Levinson’s characters are believable and fun. Lots of humor and some suspense in this combination school story and fantasy. The class bully is not always so bad, friendship has its ups and downs, teachers and principals have their little ways, and parents sometimes know best. Unfortunately, the author adds a stereotypical fussy school librarian, but even she is redeemed. Despite the rather stiff writing, this is good fun and there are no scary parts, offering a Harry Potter substitute for the younger set. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-7614-5102-1
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2001