Tale of good and evil is just 'wizard';Children's books

22nd January 1999 at 00:00
Diana Hendry's Minders (Walker pound;9.99) is full-blooded fantasy - a clever story of Scully, schoolboy and wizard-in-waiting, whose clock-seller father also has the job of looking after Times Past and rescuing Ancient Knowledge.

Scully becomes the centre of a struggle between good and evil, between those who want to nurture the gene for magic and those who want to "sieve" children and drain the magic out. Witty and light, but with echoes of Philip Pullman's Northern Lights (Scholastic pound;5.99), this is a good choice for older, fluent readers. Behind the humour, there is much that is thought-provoking.

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