THE EYES OF KID MIDAS by Neal Shusterman


Age Range: 11 - 13
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 A terrifying, somewhat confused reworking of a familiar theme: When Kevin Midas, smallest kid in class, finds a talisman that grants wishes but can't reverse them, events quickly escape his control. Inspired by a legend of magic, Kevin, his friend Josh, bully Bertram Tarson, and Bertram's brain-free sidekick Hal race to the top of a mountain. Kevin, who arrives first, finds a pair of sporty sunglasses that give him anything he wants, from a Lamborghini to forcing Bertram to jump into the lake. There are, however, insidious side effects: like a drug, the shades bring both exaltation and increasing exhaustion; worse, they undermine the structure of reality so that 2+2=3, the sun sets in the east, and only the original four (three, after Kevin, in a fit of rage, tells Bertram to go to hell) notice anything unusual. Horrified, Kevin takes the glasses back to the mountaintop, where the original race is re-created with a different, disappointingly innocuous, ending: our familiar universe is reconstituted and everyone forgets the whole episode. The story resembles Beatrice Gormley's tales of magic gone wrong, but it's much more sobering: The frequent gags and gaffes seem pale compared to the nightmarish plot; and it's hard to know whether to laugh at--or be chilled by--Kevin's predicament. (Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-316-77542-8
Page count: 185pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1992


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