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Children of the Red King #3: Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy Hardcover – July 1, 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 97 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

British boy with catchy name and unusual powers, check. Wild hair, check. Students at boarding school, check. Owls and funny street names, check. Mysterious shape-shifting enemies out to get the affable boy protagonist, check. Jenny Nimmo's "Children of the Red King" series (starring Charlie Bone) has so many of the same trappings as the Harry Potter series that, unfortunately, comparison is unavoidable. Rowling's books clearly trump these simpler fantasies for younger readers--but the Charlie Bone books are finding their audience in those who need a boy-wizard fix and need it now.

Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy, the third book in the author's planned quintet, begins when the magically "endowed" Charlie and his friend Emma discover a mostly invisible, strawberry jam-loving boy named Ollie Sparks imprisoned in the attic of the Hogwartsian Bloor's Academy. Ollie's plight is part of a seemingly amorphous Larger Evil Plot involving school authorities, a blue boa, and Charlie's three horrible great aunts. Charlie Bone and his friends are eager to fight wrongdoing with their combination of special powers, but obstacles in all shapes and sizes abound. Can the children rescue Ollie, Charlie's uncle, Ollie's older brother, and the other hapless victims...or are the enemies too plentiful and powerful? Despite the likeable Charlie and a plethora of magical happenings (raining frogs, sorcerers who escape paintings, etc.), reading this 408-page fantasy feels like a bit like running a marathon where the finish line feels farther away with every step. Thankfully, the ending is a happy one. (Ages 10 and older) --Karin Snelson

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7–In this third installment in the series, another semester at Bloor Academy is about to begin, and, as usual, chaos ensues. At home, Charlie's Uncle Paton disappears, then returns ill and powerless. Charlie's friend Benjamin heads off to Hong Kong, and his grandmother Maisie leaves to take care of her sick sister. At the same time, a new and sinister student named Belle arrives and quickly establishes herself as a force to be reckoned with. A new art teacher has joined the staff to find his younger brother, Ollie Sparks, turned invisible by a blue boa (snake, though there are feathers involved) controlled by the evil Ezekiel Bloor. Charlie and his friends try to come up with ways to help Ollie and Billy Raven, the poor orphan being manipulated and tormented by the Bloor clan. One of the strengths of this story (and the whole series) is the way both regular people and those who are magically endowed work toward common goals. A weakness is the lack of progress toward identifying and rescuing Charlie's father, who is barely mentioned in this outing. Still, it's a wild roller-coaster ride of a story, and will more than satisfy not only fans of this series, but those who are exhibiting symptoms of Harry Potter withdrawal.–Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Children Of The Red King (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Orchard Books (July 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439545269
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439545266
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #413,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book was a really interesting book. When I went to my school fair, and saw this book on the shelf, I just knew I had to buy it. After I read the first two (which I finished in a day) I knew this one would be equally as good. I was right. I couldn't put it down and finished the book in a day. I read til 11 o'clock at night, it was that good.

This book is about a boy, Charlie Bone, and his friends and how they find an invisible boy in the attic, Ollie Sparks. A shape-shifter, Yolanda Yewbeam, takes the form of a 12-year-old-girl named Belle. She tries to stop Charlie Bone and his friends from rescuing Ollie Sparks.

If you have not read the first two books- Midnight for Chanrlie Bone, and Charlie BOne and the Time-Twister- you should read those books before reading this one. OTherwise, you will be a bit clueless about some of the concepts and people in this book. For fans of Harry Potter, you should DEFINITELY read this book and these series.
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Format: Hardcover
I wish I had some way to get this message to Jenny Nimmo! If I could I'd love to express my thanks for writing such a wonderful series. My son whom is 10 has NEVER liked reading. He always acted as if I was dealing out punishment everytime I asked him to read even for 15min.! I didn't have that problem with any of the books in this series. The first book Midnight for Charlie Bone he read it in a Month which is a miracle in itself. The first thing he wanted to do after reading that one was go and purchase the second book Charlie Bone and the Time Twister. He read this on in only 2 weeks!! And BEGGED for the third book. This one, Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy, he read in only 3 days!!! I cannot express my gratitude to Mrs. Nimmo for opening up the world of books to my son!! You were able to reach him and allow him to succeed where countless other books have failed!! He was so excited after finishing these he said, "Hey Mom, why don't you read them? They are really great stories!" So, of course, I have also read all three! I can't agree more. Jenny Nimmo is a wonderful storyteller you don't want to put the book down!


I am one greatful Mom!!!


McDonough, GA
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I first read Midnight for Charlie Bone I was on a trip and bought it as a second hand book on tape. I bought it because I expected it to be like HP.

Next I read the Time Twister, and then the Invisible boy. One of the things I like most about them is that each book is one school term so there is more story per school year. Another cool thing about them is that the kids have individual powers unlike HP where thay all can do everything.

One very interesting thing I like about this book series is that the people know about the endowed kids. Over all, these are very good books. So are HP and the Bartimaeus Trilogy. To me all three are the greatest series ever made. Student age 15
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A Kid's Review on January 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am a 6th grader at CCMS. The book I read was Charlie Bone and the Invisible boy. It all starts off as Charlie Bone starting off a new semester at Bloor's Academy. Everything starts off normally as Charlie and his friends hanging out and having fun. His friend Ben, who is unendowed has to go to China with his parents. Then Charlie finds out that his Uncle Paton, a power booster, has to leave town and go on a secret mission to stop some one from coming. His Aunt Maisie has to go out of town because her sister is really ill. So, whenever Charlie is home on the weekends he has to be alone with Grandma Bone, who is very mean. But anyways, Charlie finds something very mysterious when he and his friends are exploring the secret passages of Bloor's academy. All the sudden a door slams and they think it was the wind, but then they remember the letter Emma found on the desk of Mr. Boldova. So they call out the name Ollie, who is the invisible boy, and they start talking, Charlie says he promises to get him out of there and visible again. A little later on, Billy Raven one of Charlie's friends, sees something crazy. Mr. Boldova, the new Art teacher and Belle, a strange new student have a weird interaction. All of a sudden Belle transforms into an old person called Yolanda who is a shape shifter. Mr. Boldova throws fiery stones at her but she some how makes him forget who he is. If you want to find out more about the book then read it. The reasons I liked this book is because it is very mysterious. I also like this book because Charlie and his friends always work together so good to help people other become visible or go back to there time period. My favorite character is Tancred Torrsen because he is a storm bringer and he can create lightning, thunder, rain, and high winds. He plays a key roll in this book but you'll have to find out what by reading the book. The auther of this book is Jenny Nimo.
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A Kid's Review on December 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Charlie Bone: Great "Page Turner!"
Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy, by Jenny Nimmo, is a great book because it has an interesting plot that keeps you in suspense and an amazing writing style that creates detailed pictures in your mind. I really couldn't put it down (except then I had to because my mom said I couldn't stay up all night). The main characters in this fantasy book are Charlie Bone, of course, and his friend Billy. They live in a small town, in present time, where Charlie's most famous ancestor, the Red King, used to live a thousand years ago. Ten year-old Charlie has special powers which come in handy while he attends Bloor's Academy, a school where about ten students, including Billy, have similar endowments and, like Charlie, they use them to help people. (I don't want to give away what these special powers are, because that would spoil the ending!) One day Charlie goes up into the attic, hears a voice, and finds an invisible boy, named Ollie Sparks, who got that way after being squeezed by a blue boa. Charlie promises he will make Ollie visible again. Meanwhile, there is a new kid in school, named Belle, who seems to have strange energies, including my favorite: the ability to change the color of her eyes any time she wants.
I think the author's writing style of using very descriptive words makes you feel like this imaginary story really exists. For example: "A silvery mist surrounded Charlie and when he blinked, he found himself caught in the gaze of six golden eyes." When I read this sentence I felt uneasy as I visualized those eyes - did they belong to animals or a fantastic creature? I wondered why they appeared so suddenly and I sure didn't want to be in Charlie's shoes at that moment! What would happen next?
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