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|Flicker of courage|
Author: Caletti, Deb
Four ordinary kids must find the courage to face their town's evil leader when he turns their friend into a naked lizard, prompting an extraordinary adventure.
Tales Of Triumph And Disaster!, 1
Kirkus Reviews (10/01/19)
School Library Journal (12/01/19)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (00/01/20)
The Hornbook (00/01/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 10/15/2019 Henry is lonely, so when he discovers his neighbor Apollo crying, he braves asking him what is wrong and finds that Apollo’s younger brother, Rocco, has been turned into a lizard by the town’s current HRM (Horrible Ruler with Magic), Vlad Luxor! Deciding that he wants to help, Henry heads with Apollo—and classmates Jo and Pirate Girl—out to the lighthouse where Henry’s grandfather, Captain Every, lives. Upon their arrival, the quartet learns that the captain is the “keeper of light,” while his companion, the Beautiful Librarian, is the “keeper of knowledge,” and they inform the four preteens that they themselves are descended from spell breakers—rare, magical people who can undo the spells cast by evildoers such as Luxor. Can the group face off against him and bring Rocco back? Caletti, known for her heartbreaking, realistic young adult novels, goes in a completely new direction with this tongue-in-cheek middle-grade fantasy, and fans of the genre will enjoy her sympathetic protagonist who, after years of self-doubt, is thrust into the role of hero. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 12/01/2019 Gr 4–8—Emotionally and physically abused by his parents, Henry relies on his vivid imagination to escape a bleak home life. But when disaster strikes for his popular classmate Apollo and his family, Henry comes out of his shell to help. Evil Vlad Luxor, who rules their town, has turned Apollo's younger brother into a lizard, and Henry recruits kids to break the spell. With the help of Henry's ingenious grandfather and a brilliant librarian, the group realizes how powerful they are, both alone and as a team. This conversational series starter deals with intense and painful emotions. The hopeful tone is encouraging, and the focus on the power of knowledge and books may lead readers back to the stacks. VERDICT This magical adventure is a good fit for fans of Brandon Mull's Fablehaven and Karuna Riazi's The Gauntlet, as well as readers dealing with a home life like Henry's.—Kerry Sutherland, Akron-Summit County Public Library - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.