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Jinx Hardcover – January 8, 2013

Book 1 of 3 in the Jinx Series

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 620L (What's this?)
  • Series: Jinx (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (January 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780062129901
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062129901
  • ASIN: 0062129902
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4-8-"In the Urwald you grow up fast or not at all," readers learn in the opening of this rich and fecund fantasy. Jinx is that staple of children's literature: the scorned, ill-used orphan who proves to be so much more gifted and important than he ever imagined possible. He occupies a world that is simultaneously original and familiar, influenced by centuries of folklore, but newly envisioned and vividly created. This eldritch, primeval forest that Jinx has been warned to shun is, nevertheless, where he has been abandoned by his heartless stepfather. Blackwood has populated this magical place with convincingly conflicted wizards and witches who seem uncertain as to how much they should be using their skills to control events or the beings around them. Jinx is slow to recognize his own powers as he digs his bare toes into the earth of the forest and feels the pulsing heartbeat of its life, or finds that he can call up fire. He is even slower to divine the motives of the various people he encounters, including Elwyn and Reven-youths under mysterious curses of their own-who navigate the Urwald beside him. Readers will thrill to the journey with Jinx as he discovers and grows into himself. Though they will not feel abandoned at the edge of a cliff at the book's end, they won't be surprised-and will be delighted-if sequels are in the offing.-Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Library, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Nearly abandoned in a forest by his stepfather, young orphan Jinx lands, instead, in the home of a wizard, Simon. There Jinx, who has always had an ability to see others’ feelings in colors and symbols, develops the ability to communicate with the forest’s trees. But after Simon performs a spell, Jinx loses his capacity as an emotional seer. Setting out into the forest to look for a counterspell, Jinx joins company with a girl and a boy, both of whom are suffering under their own curses. In this expertly paced, beautifully written book, Blackwood elevates familiar fantasy elements with exquisitely credible characters who inhabit a world filled with well-drawn magic and whimsy—witches travel by butter churn, for example. Rounding out the exciting story are terrifying dangers, delightful bouts of wordplay, and vivid settings that will appeal to readers’ imaginations, senses of humor, and desire for fair play. A literary cut above Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl books but with no less tension or bravado, this exciting, thought-provoking debut will leave readers eager for follow-up adventures. Grades 4-7, --Francisca Goldsmith

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Customer Reviews

HIGHLY RECOMMEND this to people wanting a fun, engaging read.
Pam
Jinx is very well written, the flow is great: The chapters are nice and short which allows the story to be read quickly.
TAB
Read the next one in the series, and am looking forward to him finishing it up.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is my review about Jinx. I think it's good for you or your children if you have any. I like that there's a lot of magic in it, and it's not that scary. I like when he goes through the wall with the secret of Knowledge Is Power and when he escapes from Bonesocket. His deep Urwald magic is cool.

(Ben, age 8 ... the first book big book he read by himself!)
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Rene Duguay on January 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This looks like the beginning of the best new series to come along since Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan. It offers likable, human characters (even the ones who may not be altogether human), a sense of humor, and enough moral and intellectual complexity to keep adults as well as kids involved and entertained.

Jinx lives in what looks at first to be a terrible world; he loses both of his parents (dead or missing) in early childhood, and some step-parents as well; by the time we meet him he's living with a new set of step-parents, to whom he's barely connected, and who are so desperately poor that they plan to leave him in the forest to die in order to be able to feed their new baby. Needless to say, things don't turn out that way (or this would be a very short book). He meets up with Simon the maybe-not-evil wizard... and revealing anything more would involve spoilers.

Jinx, Simon, and the other characters - especially Sophie, Reven, Elfwyn, and Dame Glammer, all think and act - unlike too many characters in children's fantasy novels - just as real people in the same situation might think and act. The story's main villain, the Bonemaster, is clearly Evil with a capital E (as Jinx points out to Reven, he has a bridge made of human bones) - but what's less clear is what it means to be Good. The characters are united in their opposition to the Bonemaster (most of the time), but when left to their own devices their goals and beliefs are often at odds. But there's nothing didactic or preachy about the presentation of these quandaries; this is a very witty book, inspiring frequent smiles. (I'd love to give examples here, but, well, spoilers.)
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. Green VINE VOICE on January 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Jinx lives with his stepparents in the Urwald forest where small communities live in the clearings and people learn quickly to stay on the path (as it says on the cover, you grow up quickly or you don't grow up at all). But when his stepfather takes him off the pathway in an attempt to abandon him he ends up being taken in by Simon the wizard, who is cranky but seems to be a safe guardian. He even tries teaching Jinx a little magic, but it turns out Jinx has his own magic.

Although I'm a fan of The Hobbit and the Harry Potter series, I was never a fan of the fantasy genre or other such books. Nonetheless, this one was quite charming and I actually found myself entertained. Although Jinx is young, he's hardened to life and has learned to survive and you quickly learn to like him. Simon the wizard is interesting, though, and the issue of whether or not he (or any other grownup, for that matter) is trustworthy becomes an interesting wrinkle in the story. Eventually other kids his age are added to the story, but they have their own challenges as well, making them more than just stick-figures in the story. And that seems to be one strength of this story - its characters. It's not Tolkien or Harry Potter, of course, but I enjoyed it and I think a lot of kids will, too. (I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By bored99 VINE VOICE on April 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My 8-year-old snagged this book when it arrived, and was engrossed in it until the end, before I even had a chance to look at it. Once I started reading, I could see why--from the first line "in the Urwald you grow up fast or not at all," the storytelling is captivating, the plot unique, the characters multi-dimensional, and the world believable. Although the ending is satisfying and complete, the author leaves room for another story set in the same world, and I look forward to seeing the next one--this book is bound to become a classic.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Half Fast Farmer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My 12 year old stayed up all night to read this in one fell swoop when I asked her what she thought she clutched it to her chest and said, 'It's better than Percy Jackson." That is high praise. She doesn't even think I am better than Percy Jackson.

So when I sat down to read it I was interested to see if I like it as well. I did. This is your basic perfect fairytale. There is a poor unfortunate boy with evil step parents. His stepfather tries to kill him but ends up as troll food instead. Add in witches that ride butter churns (now I want one) a married couple that literally live in different worlds and the amazing landscape of Urwald and you have as original a take on the old poor unwanted kid makes good meme as you can get.

One of my chief delights about this book is that Sage Blackwood can write. The language is rich and the imagery is vivid. It will improve your child's own writing to read things these well written.

It goes without saying that there will be another. That usually annoys me but I will be happy to meet Jinx again. I now also kind of (really) want a butter churn.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By LoveGuitar VINE VOICE on March 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My eleven year old girl is eating this book up! She even came to me the other day and told me how much she liked it. She's really into stories about witchcraft, wizards and werewolves. This story really does make her imagination flourish and it's so nice seeing her sitting and reading a book instead of looking at the TV set. Lots of magic and mystery and totally engages an 11 year old. I will look for more books by this author. I asked my daughter what star level she thought this book deserved and she immediately said, "TEN!!! But 5 is has high as it goes.
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More About the Author

Sage Blackwood was born in Chicago and grew up in New York State. She graduated from Antioch College and the University at Albany, and taught ESL for many years. Her first fantasy novel, JINX, was selected as a Best Book of 2013 by Kirkus, Booklist, School Library Journal, and Amazon.

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