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Nita Callahan is at the end of her rope because of the bullies who've been hounding her at school until she discovers a mysterious library book that promises her the chance to become a wizard But she has no idea of the difference that taking the Wizard's Oath is going to make in her life Shortly in company with fellow beginner wizard Kit Rodriguez Nita's catapulted into what will be the adventure of a lifetime—if she and Kit can both live through it For every wizard's career starts with an Ordeal in which he or she must challenge the one power in the universe that hates wizardry than anything else the Lone Power that invented death and turned it loose in the worlds Plunged into a dark and deadly alternate New York full of the Lone One's creatures Kit and Nita must venture into the very heart of darkness to find the stolen legendary Book of Night with Moon Only with the dangerous power of the wizardly Book do they have a chance to save not just their own lives but their world


10 thoughts on “So You Want to Be a Wizard

  1. says:

    So you want to stop being bullied you just want some time to yourself to read to do what you want to do to even make a friend maybe? You find a book and it tells you how Your book will take you places Dealing with bullies after reading this book becomes such a small thing Being the person you want to be and doing the things you want to do is so much importantSo you want to learn how to do wizardly things talk to trees and suchlike make things happen meet new beings maybe find that lost pen? Your book will show you how It will turn magic into science and you will summon not a demon but a star; your new friend will have his own familiar too not a beast but a car A star and a car They will take you farSo you want to discover new worlds? How about Hell? Or a twisted version of our world full of horror and hopelessness which may as well be hell It may not be the adventure you wanted but it is an adventure nonetheless You and your friend will have to figure things out and very uickly it's a good thing you both are smart You will learn important lessons on this adventure like sometimes people you love will die And that's a hard lesson to learnSo you saw this on kindle unlimited for the remarkable price of free and you thought hey that's on my list why not? You also thought that this would be pretty okay you haven't heard much about it but then there's this surprisingly real slice of life and this surprising bit of diversity in the 80s and then that other bit of diversity a gay couple? maybe? in an 80s book for kids and the surprisingly science y way of using magic and the surprisingly bleak and hallucinogenic adventure that comes from searching for a lost pen of all things and the surprising lack of adults or aslans to the rescue but lots of trees and statues and then surprise surprise you've realized you just started a whole new series that promises a whole lot of pleasureSo you want to read a kid's book that starts off like any good kid's book but slowly becomes something resonant than you expected darker and tragic and yet still light and life affirming? I suggest you read this book


  2. says:

    Why yes yes I doBased on the title I expected something rather light and possibly silly What I got was something substantial an old middle grade bookYA book that suddenly had me recalling A Wrinkle in Time and A Swiftly Tilting Planet Somehow I missed this one when I was younger which is too bad An enthusiastic review from a friend thanks Allie alerted me to this deficiency and I decided to rectify itShe strolled between shelves looking at titles smiling as she met old friends books she had read three times or five times or a dozen Just a title or an author's name would be enough to summon up happy images Strange creatures like phoenixes and psammeads moving under smoking London daylight of a hundred years before starships and new worlds and the limitless vistas of interstellar nightNita short for Juanita is regularly bullied and abused by neighborhood kids finding herself almost helpless to prevent it As she is running away she darts into the library for safety and finds herself walking through the children's section greeting books like old friends One jumps out at her So You Want to Be a Wizard? and she finds herself intrigued by what she reads Perhaps it can help keep her safe from bullying? The wizard's book is divided into sections and the read book follows those guidelines 'Prologue' 'Preliminary Exercises' Research and Development' etc In short order she meets another bullied kid Kat and starts working with him to retrieve a pen stolen from Nita in her latest attack Events uickly escalateThere's a lot to like here; a male and female lead that aren't involved in a romantic relationship Kat's Latino heritage parents that are supportive but mildly inept astrophysics mild fart humor and kids saving the world I thought the meta themes of responsibility compassion and choices well done Added bonus for talking to trees and a view spoilerdragon with mild dementia hide spoiler


  3. says:

    The perfect fantasy novel there you are in the library and you pick up one particular book I love Kit and Nita as they struggle with being sloppy and working around their parents as young wizards


  4. says:

    This is sort of an American dark and urban version of Harry Potter While browsing shelves at the library Nita discovers a book with the title So You Want to Be a Wizard She takes it as a joke but it turns out to be the real deal The spells work and she actually is learning to be a wizardIt turns out that this is the way wizards are trained Their textbooks seek out those with the talent Nita soon finds another wizard named Kit and they go on a really twisted and somewhat scary adventure to a very dark and creepy worldWhile on the surface you might think it sounds a lot like Harry Potter but it isn't The book has a totally different tone and many people who like HP books don't like this one I liked it though It's a totally different world with totally different magic and it feels like a comic book than anything else


  5. says:

    Dear Artificer I’ve blown my uanta and gone to the Good PlaceI'm so glad that I decided to re read So You Want to Be a Wizard as part of my self imposed book challenge for this year I'd almost forgotten how much I love this bookIn fact I love it so much that I almost couldn't read it again At first I would read a couple of pages and have to put the book down because I'd get all teary and junk Not because it's sad although it does have its moments but because I would remember how much the story touched me the first time I read it And it still doesThere are so many things in this book that even as an adult I can relate to from Nita's isolation and finding solace in books to the desire to become to be and to do something something beyond imagining being so strong that even danger and death seem worth the risk I cannot even begin to count how many times or how intensely I've wished throughout my life for something to come along and turn my world upside down set me off on some crazy ass adventure and make everything new and exciting And reading about an introverted socially awkward oft misunderstood geek who stumbles across a mysterious book and suddenly finds herself immersed in a world or two of wizardry and wonder and some terror and heartache allows me to live my fantasy vicariously through a younger fictional sort of alter egoAnother thing I absolutely adore about this book and the Young Wizards series in general is that Diane Duane never assumes that the readers her target audience being kids roughly I'd say 10 14 won't get it just because they're young She doesn't dumb anything down doesn't shy away from using or making up big words and she doesn't water down her prose into that succinct but inelouent simplicity sometimes found in young adult novels Yet she's managed to weave a tale that is not only beautiful and sometimes lyrical in its elegance I truly loved how she described the trees talking in leafrustle and fireflicker but also accessibleDuane also deserves kudos for creating one of the most original characters ever I mean in what other book are you going to find a freaking white hole as a central character? And oh how I adore Fred You people are so fragile A little gamma radiation will ruin your whole day it seemsWho can not love a wise cracking and often endearingly clueless space phenomenon who has a bad habit of spontaneously emitting cosmic rays? Not I my friends not IDid I mention that I adore this book? I do And if you're looking for a fast paced action packed strangely reaffirming adventure to sink your teeth into or if you're trying to find something to fill the gaping woundervoid left after Harry Potter and the Book That Tore My Heart to Pieces Covered Them in Petrol Set Them on Fire and Danced a Merry Jig All Over the Bloody Ashes Goddamn You Joann otherwise known as Deathly Hallows I highly recommend SYWBW and the rest of the Young Wizards series


  6. says:

    Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series is an old favorite I’m pretty sure this is my third time rereading it and I enjoy it just as much if not each time So You Want to Be a Wizard defies age categorization The protagonist Nita is thirteen and from the outside everything about the book seems to fit neatly into the middle grade category But once you start reading you run into some language and concepts that when I first read this book as a preteen went over my head I would compare it to Madeleine L’Engle’s books in that respect The end result is a series I’ve been able to enjoy at every stage of lifeIn So You Want to Be a Wizard Duane introduces a complex magic system and a multifaceted world that unfolds gradually with each book She blends fantasy and science fiction in a way that’s destined to appeal to fans of both genres like myself My younger self was drawn in by the relatable characters and with every subseuent reread I’ve developed a stronger grasp of subject matter that previously escaped me There’s nothing uite like a book you can revisit again and again and still gain something from each timeSpeaking of relatable characters I have to gush about the protagonist Nita Callahan Nita is a bookish young teen bullied by her peers for her smart mouth and nerdy inclinations I had a lot in common with Nita the first time I read this book and I think that’s why she’s still to this day one of my favorite characters Her fellow young wizard Kit Rodriguez is eually likable and each side character comes to life with a uniue personalityThe only flaw in this book – and it’s not even enough of a flaw for me to take a star off my rating – is that Duane has a tendency to wax philosophical and it can get a bit much In small doses it adds to the grandiosity of the story but when laid on too thick it’s distracting and overwrought There are only a few places in So You Want to Be a Wizard where this happens though so I’m able to overlook itI would describe this book as charming and eccentric yet simultaneously dark and deep I’ve never read anything else like it I’m looking forward to rereading book two This series is definitely a comfort series for me one I reread again and again because it brings me so much joy


  7. says:

    The magic and wizardry content in this book was just too strange It's totally possible to write about things that are different from what we experience in this world but to write them in a way that you understand what's going on In this book though she uses analogies that don't help make things any clearer When I stopped reading for example the 2 young wizards are creating a thing to plug a hole in a thing to keep out a grey cloud that they somehow know wants to eat them clearly I couldn't tell what was going on The analogy she used to explain what the situation was like paraphrased It was like a cement rose unfolding or like being at a party where everyone wants to tell you their life story I just was stumped by how those analogies work together and also by how that was supposed to explain the situation


  8. says:

    When the young readers in my acuaintance complain that there aren't Harry Potter books to read I like to suggest this seriesI usually start the campaign with a few uestions to get them interestedWhat if kid wizards couldn't tell their families about their powers?What if they had to risk their lives in secret to keep the world safe?I find the pre teen and teen characters in this series to be much engaging and realistic than the self centered clueless and common sense lacking characters found in much juvenile fictionI also fell that the way Ms Duane portrays courage friendship trust and sacrifice in these books teaches a positive lesson to the young readers in an entertaining and almost subliminal way


  9. says:

    Reading this book I wished I could time travel I would hand this book to my younger self when I was Nita's age Because much as I liked this book as an adult I know that if I'd first read this in middle school I would have loved itIt is a good book a very good book I take nothing away from Duane because I think she hit every mark nearly perfectly And I did enjoy reading it even if I'm not hooked Her system of magic is interesting basically talking the world into doing what you want it to do It sounds simple and intuitive but deep enough to take years or a lifetime to truly master And yet I know that everything I liked about this book I would have loved if I'd read it at age twelve and much that I was apathetic towards I would have liked Some books should just hit you at the right time of your life or miss their chance to really take hold


  10. says:

    I started reading this book for the first time when I was grade 8 and I couldn't really get into it I've finally figured out whyI'm reading it again because it was in my house and I needed something to read and the dialogue feels forced and VERY dated It's almost a condescending mockery of how kids talk The ideas in it are really interesting but they're described by thirteen year olds who talk like little kids instead of adults so the magic is being sucked out of well the magic And then just to completely throw the reader the other characters all talk like incredibly wise people and 'Fred's' language seems pretty advanced There are passages where Nita describes Entropy which at least at my school wasn't tackled until the 11th grade but she's supposed to be 13My initial impression is that the novel can't decide what age demographic it wants to aim at and it's all over the placeOh and Carl and Tom don't seem like just room mates Just sayin' Nov 22nd 2009This book hits a huge wall around page 200 and becomes slowLike really really really slowIt's like a snail and a jar of marmalade reproduced and then that offspring mated with a slothreally boring Sunday school lecture hybridI'm not even sure how Duane pulled that off because there is so much action in the second half that it could have filled up three novels worth of climaxesThere were a couple of moments where I had to go back and reread passages because the characters suddenly had an intense knowledge of magic for no reason Well the reason was that they read about 30 chapters virtually overnight and somehow memorized it all It really took me out of the experienceAlso younger wizards are stronger than older wizards? uhh that's one of the dumbest concepts I've ever heard ofHere's why1 That would mean that as time progresses the wizard would get weaker which is not only ridiculous but makes no sense The you practice something the better you get How could you possibly be good at something you've never done before and then not improve through practice? How frustrating would that be?2 It's a cheap plot device Why are Nita and Kit able to do all this stuff but the other wizards can't? 'cause they're younger thasswhy3 It means that as the book series progresses yuck the stories would theoretically get boring because the magic is less complexThe majority of the second half of the book feels like Nita whining for Kit to save her and he does The world they fall into is supposed to be filled with nightmarish creatures and scare Nita and Kit and presumably anyone who accidentally winds up there but I've felt chills walking in downtown Montréal at night Perytons which were supposed to be horrifying creatures of blah blah blah were bland and anything but menacingNita is virtually useless except to calm down Fred who's almost as useless though occasionally he'll fart and scare the bad guys At least Fred's good for a laughNita freaks out one moment then immediately pulls herself together enough to comfort Fred umm what?Fred is the ONLY redeeming character in this book and even that statement is a stretchIf you really want to experience magic check out Harry Potter or the Bartimaeus trilogyAnd saying This book is older than Harry Potter is a BS argument because a lack of Potter influence doesn't excuse SYWTBAW from being this crappy It could have set precedent so we'd compare Harry Potter to SYWTBAW Instead it's the other way aroundSeriously Nita Kit you did all that to get a pen back?PS Redeeming features Rant ability Different Magic system though poorly described Fred LOL unintended but ever present Misogynism perfect if you have to do a project on sexist themes in Children's literature or something of the like