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Wizard Abroad, A: Reviewed

Author:Diane Duane
Reading Level (Conceptual):Children 12 and up
Reading Level (Vocabulary):Children 8 and up

Fourteen year-old wizard Nita's parents are worried about her "relationship" with her wizarding partner (a boy), so they ship her off to Ireland, where she gets into much more harrowing situations (and a romantic one as well) than those she might have experienced if she'd just stayed put in the USA.

My daughter and I loved the way the tiny Bard Cat interacts with her less gifted human allies. The seeming contradiction between the way wizards look -- ordinary -- and what they have to do -- extraordinary -- might be heartening to a child who feels that his or her specialness is not reflected in appearance or circumstances. And, the cameo appearances by Celtic mythological beings are fun.

The discussions of Nita's romantic thoughts (nothing graphic, but probably not of great interest to younger children) and the responsibilities that go along with great power, and the excitement, mayhem, and death that inextricably mix with battle might make this book appealing to adolescent readers, rather than to younger readers.

My 12 year-old and I enjoyed reading this not very challenging, but plot-intensive story. We did feel that we might have liked it even more if we'd at least read the first book in this series first.

One of my cynical thoughts on reading this book was that Duane almost certainly was able to deduct a summer's vacation or maybe even a home in Ireland and use this book to prove that it was business-related. Must be nice to be a successful author.

-- Emily Berk

Other reviews: Wizard Abroad, A
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