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The Magnificent 12: The Call Hardcover – August 24, 2010


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The Magnificent 12: The Call + The Magnificent 12: The Trap + The Magnificent 12: The Key
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 710L (What's this?)
  • Series: Magnificent 12 (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books; First Edition edition (August 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061833665
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061833663
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #977,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Tongue firmly planted in cheek, Grant sends a lad with a serious case of mediumness up against not only the minions of an ageless and evil Pale Queen but also a truly impressive list of phobias in this opener to the Magnificent 12 series. Prompted by the urgent warnings of an ancient, spectral mage (In just a few months the Dread Foe will be loosed in all her fury, all her rage, all her sphincter-clenching, heart-clutching, throat-gobbling, spit-drying, blood-freezing, bowel-loosening terror!), a murder attempt, and the arrival of plane tickets with a million-dollar debit card, Mack sets out for Australia. This is just the first leg of a mission to gather the other 11 supposed Magnifica necessary to defeat the evil that is about to escape 3,000 years of imprisonment. Hooking up with the first of his allies entails not only long, screaming drops into the ocean (Mack is powerfully thalassophobic) and down a shaft into a cave beneath Uluru (he is also awfully claustrophobic) but also battles with a variety of the queen’s magical warriors and an encounter with her daughter, Ereskigal—an insanely beautiful young sorceress with the eating habits of a female praying mantis. Grant fills out the historical backstory for this promising scenario in alternating flashback chapters, provides a sturdy supporting cast for his reluctant young hero, and keeps up the rapid pace from first page to last. A terrific start, with an elaborate website festooned with games and contests to ease the wait for sequels. Grades 5-8. --John Peters

Review

“A terrific start, with an elaborate website festooned with games and contests to ease the wait for sequels.” (Booklist (starred review))

“A lighter-than-usual fantasy action-adventure that is sure to win many fans and fly off the shelves.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

“The story’s abundant action and humor…should win over readers.” (Publishers Weekly)

“A laugh-out-loud story full of adventure and magic great for grades 4-7.” (Morning Call, Allentown, PA)

“Grant’s brand of action and humor should satisfy both those readers who get down with fantasy and those who prefer to send it up.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

More About the Author

Michael Grant was born in a manger.

Okay, no he wasn't. And that was a stupid thing to say. There was no manger. It was a log cabin. A log cabin in Los Angeles.

Or possibly a trailer.

And then while defending his country (technically it was his father, he was just an Army brat,) he moved all over the country and to France and became the incredibly well-educated, well-rounded, well-adjusted . . .

Yeah, okay that last part's a lie, too. The moving everywhere thing is true. But the sad reality is that Michael's a rootless, disconnected, indifferently-educated, sullen, obnoxious, disaffected misanthrope. With no hair. I mean seriously: look at the man's head. Do you see hair? No.

Where was I? I mean he.

Michael Grant is married to Katherine (K.A.) Applegate. They've been together for 30 years. Which doesn't say much for Katherine's judgment does it? And they've been writing for 20 years, sometimes as partners -- BOYFRIENDS/GIRLFRIENDS, ANIMORPHS, EVERWORLD -- and sometimes on their own.

Michael and Katherine have two kids, Jake 12 and Julia 9. (Feet tall. Get it? 12 feet tall? Ah hah hah. Yeah, okay: not funny.) Anyway, the point is that Michael Grant is the author or co-author of 150 books. Yeah: 150. Most recently the critically-acclaimed GONE and HUNGER.

No, really: critically-acclaimed by VOYA, Booklist, School Library Journal, KLIATT and Publishers Weekly. And best of all by Stephen Freaking KIng himself! Oh, yeah: THE Stephen King. Of course Kirkus dumped on him, but Michael would like to make it clear that Kirkus is in no way a collection of illiterate halfwits. No! Never would Michael say such a thing.

Michael can be reached on Twitter @theFAYZ, or on Facebook as "authorMichaelGrant."

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Customer Reviews

I look forward to the next book.
Alex Till
I don't think the characters are meant to be well developed in this story because the more realistic you make them, the less laughable they seem.
Jennifer Scarpa
This engaging read is one both book lovers and reluctant readers will enjoy.
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids Book Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By P. Creeden on August 13, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read most of the books my son reads before handing them to him. This is the first book he's ever seen me read where I was giggling by every 6th or 7th page. He couldn't wait to get his hands on it, and he giggled throughout as well. Unfortunately the last 3rd of the book became a little too rushed for my taste, and lost the humorous writing.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By SciFiChick VINE VOICE on September 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Mack MacAvoy is an average 12-year-old except for his long list of phobias. But one day an old man named Grimluk tells Mack that he is one of the Magnificent Twelve. Mack is destined to be a hero and stop an ancient evil. But first, he has to gather the rest of the Twelve. The only problem is that he has no idea who or where to find them. And Mack isn't even sure if he wants to be a hero.

This is the first in a new heroic fantasy series for middle readers. This first installment is a very quick and easy read. As a fan of Grant's Hunger series, I had high hopes. Perhaps too high, as the humor and pacing of the story fell flat for me. The relationship between Mack and his bully-turned-friend is fun to read. And the flashbacks to Grimluk's story 3,000 years in the past is cute, but could have been tied up in one flashback in one chapter, instead of throughout the entire book. I thought the flashbacks would somehow tie-in to the current happenings with Mack, but never did. Maybe I was turned-off to the humor right away, and it ruined the book for me. But there are too many other fantastic series out right now for me to be able to recommend this one highly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Stevenson VINE VOICE on October 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When the world is threatened by the Dread Foe, only twelve kids can save us. And only Mack MacAvoy can lead them to victory. Hopefully. If he doesn't get beat up by the school bullies first. But Mack will face many more dangers than a fist pummeling his jaw: The evil Pale Queen is trying to rise once again, and Mack is only one of twelve who can speak a magical language and defeat her. Mack will have to find the other eleven kids, and figure out how to destroy her forever. Otherwise... he'll end up being dinner to one of the Pale Queen's evil creations.

Michael Grant drops down an age group to the magical world of middle-grade novels, and begins a new series: THE MAGNIFICENT 12. Book one, THE CALL, starts things off on an interesting foot. Grant definitely is playing a humor card here -- trying to make things fun along the way with some quirky middle school-type humor. Some of the laughs come off well, but some don't quite make it. This was the main reason I didn't end up loving THE CALL. It was still a fun read and Grant pulls off the action scenes very well. Even the main character, Mack, is fairly likable. But even putting all that aside, the quirky humor style just didn't seem to work for me.

The plot is interesting enough: Mack ends up being one of twelve kids who can speak a magic language. And he's contacted by a three-thousand year old guy who pushes him onto his quest to defeat the Pale Queen, who is pretty evil. The story switches back and forth between present day and "a really, really long time ago" following the story of the old man when he was twelve years old. The switches are often, and a little bit jarring at first, but after a few chapters, the alternating storyline becomes easier to follow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Madison Maler on November 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love Grant's Gone series, but I couldn't even finish this one. There may have been nothing wrong and I'm just too old for the content, but it did seem a little over the top childish. But again that's just me; I know many people who love this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susan on August 20, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is hilarious. It's the story of a 12 year old who is riddled with dozens of phobias (everything from the fear of blue cheese to the fear of fear), along with his bully turned bodyguard, who has to find 11 other 12 year olds to band together and destroy The Pale Queen--a being who has been imprisoned for the past 3000 years.

This book is wonderful for young adults, but also for adults! The writing is fantastic, I didn't find any typos, only a couple of editing issues.

I highly recommend this book. Be warned though, it's the beginning of a series, so don't expect closure!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Lee on June 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
As a mother who screens everything her 12-year-old daughter reads, I just knew "The Call", the first book in Michael Grant's new series, would be a hit with her. It's like reading Garth Nix and Gordon Korman together, and I only have two peeves with it: one, that the book was such a laugh-out-loud thrill ride, said daughter finished it in less than an hour, and started clamouring for a sequel. Not a good value for money in that case! The other issue, apparently only an issue with me, because I had just come from reading about the forced marriages of child brides in Yemen and other countries, is how the "not-normal old dude" (see below) was not just married, but a father as well, at *12-years-old*!!! I didn't think it was necessary to state the age of Grimluk - but I suppose it was meant to drive home the point that people in his world didn't know how to count past 12. Nevertheless, I guess that was completely lost on said daughter (for which I am grateful), who really enjoyed the book:

"The book, `The Magnificent 12: The Call' by Michael Grant was a funny and interesting book.

"Twelve-year-old Mack is one of most normal people in the world: normal curly brown hair, normal 21 phobias and a normal curiosity and no fear of trouble. However, when a very not-normal old dude tells him he has to save the world from the most beautiful girl in the world and go to Australia to find 11 other kids to help him, you can be sure Mack is in for an adventure. But can claustrophobic and thalassophobic Mack survive crossing the ocean and the beautiful and very evil Risky??

"My favorite part was when Mack meets Jarrah, an Australian girl who also has to save the world from Risky.

"I would give the book five stars: two stars for the characters, two stars for the plot and one star for the humor. I would recommend this book to all of my friends - girls and boys alike."
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