Middle School Magic, Vol. 1: The Kindling
by Braden Bell
All thirteen-year-old Connor Dell wants to do is pass pre-algebra, play lacrosse, and possibly kiss Melanie Stephens. He didn’t mean to set anyone’s gym shorts on fire or make school lunches explode. But now that the strange powers inside him have been ignited, Connor’s normal teenage life is about to go up in flames!
This fast-paced novel is non-stop fun for kids and parents alike. With characters you can’t help but root for, a plot that keeps you guessing, and plenty of humor, it’s a guaranteed thrill ride from cover to cover!
By Valerie , Submitted on 2015-02-25
Wow, I was so surprised on how action packed this story was, yet not containing the things you don't want your kids to read about, nothing inappropriate.
This is truly a family story.. and deal with real family issues that come about.
This is a wonderful contemporary fantasy story for tween and young teen readers (and as an adult I enjoyed it, as well). Mr. Bell has done a great job creating a unique magic system, realistic and comprehensive middle school characters, and a very fun, action-packed story.
There are plenty of summaries out there already, so I'll skip that part and just tell you what I really enjoyed: This book was solidly about good parenting so kudos to that! So much adventure in this story and I think most young teens would completely eat this up. So glad I found this and had a chance to read. Awesome job Mr. Bell for keeping it more or less real..and enjoyable.
By Cindy, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Conner Dell and his twin sister Lexa, along with their best friend Melanie Stephens find themselves involved in a battle between good and evil. Things begin to get weird for them at school when Conner accidentally sets the school bully's gym shorts on fire. They have no idea how this happens and then wonder what is up as they hear several of the teachers conspiring against them, becoming convinced that they are out to kill them. Little do they know what is really going but it doesn't take long for them to find out. This is a story about an ultimate battle between good and evil.
As I read this story two things kept going through my mind. First, I was thinking how cool it would be to be in Conner's place. It's not too often that I think this way but this book was one time that I would love to have traded places with him. Second, I was trying to picture this as a movie. After reading the book I happened to be looking at the author's web site and that's when I realized that my idea of what the characters look like was way out of whack. Although I was fully aware that they are only 13 I actually had much older teens pictured in my mind. Now, after reconsidering, I think that this would be very scary for kids so young.
By Cathy, Submitted on 2015-02-25
This book was amazing. I loved the engaging plot. I wanted to find out just what was going to happen next and the plot kept me guessing too. I enjoyed the characters, they seemed real to me, and I cared about what happened to them. I love this book, I think that this book will be an amazing book for kids to read, I can't wait to read more of this series!
By Rebecca, Submitted on 2015-02-25
This book was a lot of fun. The characters are easy to love and unexpected. I loved the family aspect of it, as well as the good vs. bad teachers. It took me back to my middle school days. Definitely recommend!!
By Margot, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I loved this middle-school romp--age appropriate, hitting all the right marks for kids this age.
By Gina, Submitted on 2015-02-25
My kids loved this, particularly the scenes at Disneyworld - they loved the idea of a battle in it's a small world! Adventurous, age appropriate and fun.
By Karl-Erik, Submitted on 2015-02-25
This book was a great paced adventure. It teaches some important principles - good vs evil, obedience, love for family, self-sacrifice in a way that makes sense and how those things are implemented.
I bought the kindle edition and will also buy the hard copy for my family library. I am looking forward to the next installments.
By Mary, Submitted on 2015-02-25
The Kindling by Braden Bell is exciting and intense. It is written for mid grade readers, but as an adult it kept me fully engaged and wanting to keep reading.
The story features twins Connor and Lexa and their best friend Melanie, all normal 13 year olds until they all Kindle (develop magic powers) at the same time attracting the attention of both the forces of light and darkness.
The kids know something strange is happening, its not everyday you wish the school bullies shorts catch fire and then they really do, or you see a man all in black, that no one else can see, watching you, but they don't know what. In addition it appears to them that the teachers want to kill them.
There is so much action, adventure, suspense and intensity. I almost jumped out of my skin, when someone walked up behind me while I was reading.
I think young readers will love the magic and the action. Who doesn't dream of being able to get back at the school bully, a good food fight or a vicious attack Unicorn.
As an adult I liked all of that too. I also like how family values take priority and the Magi honor the wishes of the parents when they say to back off. I like that the teachers are portrayed as caring human beings, too often the adults in mid grade books come off as uncaring or stupid.
I am anxiously waiting for Volume 2.
I would recommend The Kindling by Braden Bell for kids age 10 and up and adults.
By Mindy, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Conner, Lexa, and Melanie are noticing strange things that keep happening around them. A creepy guy that no one else can see, kids being set on fire, and teachers that are acting really odd. The three notice that the teachers seem to be getting them in trouble on purpose. That's when they start to really worry.
That is the only summary I'm going to give you, I don't want to give anything away. There are some great twists and turns, and so much action. You are just going to have to read it and see. I will say this, my favorite part is when the kids go to Disneyworld, and they have quite an adventure in It's a Small World.
This is such a fun book, with some great action scenes and dangerous tense moments. It also has great humor, and lots of heart. I loved the relationship between the 3 kids, and the teachers. The author writes teenagers very well, and you can tell has had experience in that area. A very fun read that will keep you turning pages until you are through, and wanting more.
4 out of 5 stars.