Reviews for Hatching Magic


Booklist Monthly Selections - # 2 April 2003
Gr. 4-6. When Wycca, a wyvern mother-to-be, enters a magical bolt-hole in another place and time in search of a hidden nesting place, her master, Gideon, a thirteenth-century wizard, follows and finds himself in a confusing twenty-first-century Boston. His archrival, Kobold, follows, too, hoping to locate the wyvern, who can be used as a powerful weapon against Gideon if she falls into enemy hands. At the same time, 11-year-old Bostonian Theodora Oglethorpe is facing a boring summer with the housekeeper, Mikko, while her widower father is on an expedition and her two best friends are away. Theodora, who has long aspired to join Wyvernkeeper's Circle, finds the wyvern hatchling and becomes embroiled in the battle between Gideon and Kobold for possession of Wycca. With likable characters, and laced with plenty of humor and adventure, Downer's fantasy will have solid appeal for young genre fans. ((Reviewed April 15, 2003)) Copyright 2003 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2003 Fall
Gideon, a thirteenth-century wizard, arrives in modern-day Cambridge, Massachusetts, to retrieve his wyvern, a small dragon, who has slipped through a ""bolt-hole"" in time. Theodora is a devotee of the popular [cf2]Wizards and Wyverns[cf1] game and secretly wishes wyverns existed. The plot episodes flow with inventiveness and a playful sense of humor, and all comes together in the magical showdown at the climax. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2003 #4
Gideon, a thirteenth-century wizard, arrives in modern-day Cambridge, Massachusetts, on a mission to retrieve his wyvern, a small dragon, who in searching for a place to nest has slipped through a "bolt-hole" in time. Theodora, devotee of the popular Wizards and Wyverns game (and movie, and breakfast cereal), whose secret wish is that wyverns existed and she had one, finds the wyvern card that Gideon accidentally drops--the one, as it happens, that will complete Theodora's own set. Since Gideon's enemy, Kobold, can strike him through either the missing card or the strayed wyvern, Gideon attempts a "Fetching," with some amusing modern adjustments to the spell's ingredients; meanwhile, Theodora is suspicious of a slick stranger whose interest in Gideon's card doesn't sit right. The characters in this genial summer read are always intriguing, whether the courtly Wizard of Harvard Square, Iain Merlin O'Shea; Theodora's housekeeper-with-a-past; or the wyvern herself, who develops a taste for chocolate at the Necco factory near MIT. The plot episodes flow with inventiveness and a playful sense of humor, and all comes together in the magical showdown at the climax, when Theodora finds her own wizardly inheritance--a discovery much more satisfying than any commercially packaged fantasy. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Magazine Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 2003 May #1
An earnest 13th-century wizard follows his pet dragon through a time/space bolt-hole into contemporary Boston in this lightweight, pleasant fantasy. While Gideon negotiates modern technology and city life (luckily befriended by a convenient Harvard wizard), Wycca the dragon lays her egg in a Boston tower and becomes addicted to chocolate. Also involved are Theodora, a Cambridge girl having a boring summer, and Kobold, another 13th-century wizard who is evil. Local readers may wonder why some Cambridge details are true while others aren't, but fans of wizard and dragon paraphernalia will hope that their fantasies come as true as Theodora's: an ancient wyvern card sticks to her shoe in the street and brings her the newly hatched wyvern to save. Potions and spells abound, but the narrative is over-obvious, leaving too little for readers to figure out. However, the pace quickens near the end, and several delightful closing details produce a satisfying finish. (Fiction. 8-11) Copyright Kirkus 2003 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved

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School Library Journal Reviews 2003 August
Gr 4-7-Wycca, a small dragon called a wyvern, is looking for the perfect place to lay her egg when she stumbles into a bolt-hole that transports her from 13th-century England to 21st-century Boston. Although she is quite unbothered by this change in locale and proceeds to lay her egg, her wizard Gideon needs to find her fast, before the evil wizard Kobold and his demon can locate her and use her against him. Meanwhile, 11-year-old Theodora, an avid fan of a game called Wizards & Wyverns, finds a magical card and unwittingly summons Wycca's hatchling, which draws all the other magical folk to her, as well. The delight of this fantasy lies in the interactions of the well-drawn characters and in the fluid, skillful writing. The attempts of Gideon and his 21st-century wizard ally, the pompous but good-hearted Professor Merlin of Harvard University, to work traditional magic using modern materials are entertaining, as is Wycca's preoccupation with obtaining chocolate, her newfound addiction. Theodora's part in the plot is a bit forced, as are some of the circumstances and characters surrounding her, and there are a great many coincidences, including a plethora of modern-day wizards who are always right where they need to be. Those quibbles aside, this is a charming fantasy that will appeal to fans of Diana Wynne Jones. An extra bonus is Rayyan's artwork that heads each chapter, depicting the wyvern egg and the hatchling that emerges from it.-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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