Reviews for Wizard Alone


Booklist Monthly Selections - #2 November 2002
Gr. 6-10. Even readers who have not followed Nita and Kit through five previous adventures will find this a fine fantasy. Duane expertly weaves in how the teens have explained their calling to their families and integrated wizard training into urban teen life. This tale is full of dark textures and the title resonates: Nita is grieving for her mother, who has recently died; Kit misses Nita's friendship and support as she turns inward; both of them are attempting to assist a young wizard who is autistic and has vanished on his Ordeal. Duane's homely magic is beautifully and fully imagined: Nita keeps some of her spells in charms on a bracelet; Kit has a buddy relationship with his dog Ponch, whose language he understands. Musings about serious subjects are an integral part of the story, but Duane's humor and her gift for the offhand quip never falter. The constellation of family and mentors around Nita and Kit are fully visible, from annoying younger sisters (also wizards-in-training) to a therapist who understands more than Nita suspects. ((Reviewed November 15, 2002)) Copyright 2002 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2003 Spring
Young wizard Kit Rodriguez is assigned to assist a wizard aspirant who turns out to be an autistic African-American boy, Darryl. Kit's partner, Nita, must overcome her grief at her mother's death to help. Duane invents some neat metaphysical concepts, but the story is bloated with irrelevant detail and a ham-handed emotionalism, and Darryl's autism and Nita's depression seem tacked on. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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School Library Journal Reviews 2003 February
Gr 6-8-Kit Rodriguez is having a rough time. His family's new DVD player and remote control are too busy yelling obscenities at each other to work the TV, and his dog is asking his mother questions about the meaning of life. Even worse, his best friend and partner in wizardry, Nita, grieving over her mother's death, shuts him out emotionally and telepathically. To top it off, Kit has just been sent on an assignment to see why a new wizard's initial Ordeal is taking so long. Upon investigation, he finds that Darryl, an autistic boy of about 11, has the ability to create complex worlds that can contain the Lone Power, but he cannot seem to end his Ordeal, and Kit and his dog must risk their lives and enter Darryl's world to save him. Finally, when Nita realizes that they might be trapped there forever, she is able to put aside her grief and help them. This sixth book in the series covers a lot of ground. Readers who haven't read the previous books may be a little lost at first, but Duane's characters and plot will quickly draw them in. The scenes between Kit and the electronics are hysterical. The incorporation of Darryl's autism is seamless and drives the plot forward. This book belongs in all libraries that have the earlier titles in the series; those that don't may want to consider buying them so they can justify adding this one.-Lisa Prolman, Greenfield Public Library, MA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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VOYA Reviews 2003 April
Nita and Kit, the juvenile wizards at the center of the Young Wizards series, find themselves dealing with their own problems. Nita, depressed over her mother's recent death, is startled by a series of strange dreams featuring a call for help from clowns or robots. While Nita is thus occupied, Kit is sent on a mission of his own to discover why Darryl McAllister, a child undergoing the ordeal to become a full-fledged wizard, has taken more than three months to complete his task. Surprised to find that Darryl is autistic, Kit is stunned when he and his dog, Ponch, travel inside Darryl's mind and find not only Darryl but also the Lone Power himself. Kit and Ponch are almost undone by the brutality with which the Lone Power is attacking Darryl and are determined to save him. Nita's dreams lead her to an understanding about Darryl's situation, but with very little time left to save Kit, Ponch, and Darryl. Readers of the series will delight in the details of magic, characterization, and continuing developments in Nita and Kit's world. Duane's explanations for the properties of magic and its workings will charm new readers in a wonderful fantasy that marries magic and wizardry with the natural world and the rules that all its denizens must follow.-Betsy Fraser. 5Q 4P M J S Copyright 2003 Voya Reviews

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