CIRCLE OF DOOM by Tim Kennemore


Age Range: 7 - 11
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Siblings Lizzie, Dan, and Max stir up a delectable potion of magic, cunning, and hilarity. The house across the road has horrible grownups and no children, so Lizzie, a 13-year-old aspiring witch, mixes up a potion of various kitchen ingredients and casts a Circle of Doom around it. Immediately the neighbors suffer an injury and move away. Practical Dan calls it coincidence, but Lizzie and Max know better. Hysterically funny events, suspicions, points of view, and word choice ensure that humor dominates as more potions are concocted and results suffered, though tenderness and vulnerability lurk underneath. The siblings’ delicious sneakiness causes ever-shifting alliances within the family, narrated brilliantly from all three perspectives. Despite Internet access and Post-it notes, the story feels pleasantly old-fashioned in the tradition of E. Nesbit and Edward Eager. A wickedly funny romp from an author who clearly loves words and helps her reader love them too; snap up this British gem that proves terrific writing is its own form of magic. (Fiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: May 13th, 2003
ISBN: 0-374-31284-2
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2003


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