Skip to main content

Boarding-school magic

chool stories, especially boarding-school stories, are back in favour with publishers since Harry Potter, after a period when they were thought to be out of touch with today's urban, state-educated child.

Jenny Nimmo's Midnight for Charlie Bone (Egmont pound;4.99) is the first in a projected series of five books about the "children of the Red King", whose descendants possess magical powers. When 10-year-old Charlie discovers his peculiar talent - he can hear people in photographs talking - he is sent to Bloor's Academy, a special boarding school for similarly gifted children.

The photograph of a man and a baby that first "talked" to Charlie leads him on a trail of deepening mystery. He discovers sinister goings-on at Bloor's and some important information about the disappearance of his own father.

Jenny Nimmo creates characters that the reader cares about immediately, and this promises to be a gripping sequence that will engage children in Years 5 and 6.

Fiona Lafferty is librarian at St Swithun's junior school, Winchester

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you