Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Evil Wizard Smallbone Hardcover – September 13, 2016
From timeless classics to new favorites, find children's books for every age and stage. See more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From School Library Journal
Gr 3–7—Runaway Nick intends to stay only long enough for a hot meal and a night's rest before moving on, but the Evil Wizard Smallbone—and his bookstore—have other plans. ("You knocked on the door and you asked for shelter. Well, you got it. And now Evil Wizard Books has got you.") Agreeing to apprentice for the evil wizard, Nick finds himself facing the daily threat of being turned into something unpleasant. But despite his time spent in various forms (spider, rock, rat), Nick manages to befriend the enigmatic bookstore, save some enchanted animals, and even pick up a little magic here and there. Unfortunately his precarious peace is threatened by Smallbone's maniacal nemesis, the werewolf Fidelou, a wizard of great power and few scruples. Fidelou wants to claim Smallbone's lands and destroy him once and for all. Can Nick find the power to stop Fidelou? Or will he be turned into a helpless slug? Or worse? Sherman's tale takes place in the present in a sleepy Maine seaside town. The plot unfolds easily, and though a fantasy, it's not over-the-top for fans of realistic fiction. The characters are well-developed, especially Nick, who learns to value self-knowledge. Avid readers will enjoy Sherman's nods to other literary works, and reluctant readers will find themselves immersed in the tale. VERDICT Recommended for fans of Harry Potter, this story will captivate older readers while remaining accessible to younger ones. Recommended as a first purchase.—Rose Garrett, Cliff Valley School, Atlanta, GA
Sherman captures perfectly the slow transition of a kid steeped in grief and misery to a boy who is slowly starting to trust, love, and hope again, and it’s endearing to see Smallbone evolve as well. Fans of McCoola’s recent graphic novel Baba Yaga’s Assistant (BCCB 10/15), which cleverly looked at one girl’s quest to join up with a threatening individual, will appreciate this similar and equally splendid tale featuring Nick and his wizard.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)
Though Fidelou and his crew of biker werewolf minions add some dramatic distraction, it is Nick's evolution into a young wizard that commands attention. Readers journey with Nick as he stumbles through what was real in his world, his grief at losing his mother, into a magical world that gives him a sense of purpose. Fans of fantasy will be captivated—and hoping for a sequel.
Avid readers will enjoy Sherman’s nods to other literary works, and reluctant readers will find themselves immersed in the tale. Recommended for fans of Harry Potter, this story will captivate older readers while remaining accessible to younger ones. Recommended as a first purchase.
—School Library Journal
Much of the story’s momentum comes from Nick’s efforts to teach himself magic as he grows along the way from a snarky and self-interested character into someone who takes responsibility for others, including Smallbone’s previous apprentices. Well-timed revelations about the townspeople’s origins also feed the ongoing mystery...by the end, even this is resolved, in a way that will satisfy wizardly apprentices and readers alike.
In her entertaining modern-day fantasy set in Maine, Delia Sherman (Changeling; The Freedom Maze) examines whether an evil wizard can also be good; the qualities necessary for success; and the importance of writing one's own story...The Evil Wizard Smallbone is a terrific middle-grade fantasy from a skillful, witty, always-inventive storyteller.
—Shelf Awareness Pro
Readers will be hooked early on with the numerous spells, enchanted animals, dueling wizards, and constant action in this fantasy tale. A couple plot twists add to the action.
—School Library Connection
In an imaginative contemporary landscape of magical pelts and powerful tomes, Sherman (The Freedom Maze) delivers a cast of richly developed characters...Themes that include the importance of self-confidence and self-knowledge, as well as the power of appearances and of reading, should resonate with a broad range of readers.
This is an unassuming but very smart story of created family and dedication to duty, laced with prickly warmth and humor and populated by people that you wish lived next door...The story is never dull and would make a good read-aloud. Try this with fans of Angie Sage’s Septimus Heap series or Susannah Appelbaum’s Caux books.
Top customer reviews
The plot is engaging and full of surprising twists that I never saw coming. The characters avoid falling into any stereotypes while still being excellent fantasy characters. My favorite thing about this book was the true-to-life portrayal of emotions. My son felt like he could really relate to Nick's outbursts of temper and his difficulties with the concentration and control required to cast spells. All in all, a great book. He's already asking if there's a sequel!
Why does The Evil Wizard seem more grumpy than evil?
What happened to all the previous apprentices that disappeared, and is Nick going the same way?
What's with Smallbone Cove, the perfect little town that time forgot - and the townies can't leave? (Read the book, I don't want to leave spoilers here!)
And can Nick stop the shapeshifter Fidelou and his gang of coyotes from eating them for breakfast? Even with a magical education managed by the bookstore?
Great book for readers who enjoyed the Sword in the Stone or Harry Potter or Diane Duane.
We start off conventionally. Twelve year old orphan Nick runs away from his abusive uncle and finds himself wandering around in the woods. He comes across a creepy bookstore in the middle of nowhere and figures he can con the owner, stay and warm up, and maybe even steal a few necessaries on his way out. Wrong. The proprietor is The Evil Wizard Smallbone, who is a wizard and is evil. He basically traps Nick on the property and sets him to work.
Now, your hero kid isn't usually quite so much a streetwise crook. Your wizard isn't usually evil. And your setting isn't usually a claustrophobic bookstore in which the hero kid has to slave away for fear of being turned into a spider. At this point, which is still fairly early on in the book, you wonder if it's going to open up or lighten up, or is this some psychological hostage/captor thriller. Then it gets weirder. The Evil Wizard Smallbone is engaged in a battle to the death with another, even more evil, neighboring wizard. And Smallbone controls a little village that he keeps isolated from the rest of the world and that feels like something out of "Children of the Corn".
No spoilers, except to promise that if you read the entire book everything will become clear, characters' true natures will be revealed, and mysteries will be solved and questions answered. There will also be small magic and big magic, small action and big action. Lots will be going on.
But here's the really good part. This is exceptionally well written. Nick grows up in a convincing and satisfying fashion, and even given the whole magicky angle his growth feels authentic. Smallbone is a great and complex character, and his dry humor, casual evil, and long game make him a fascinating focus of the action throughout. Minor characters, villagers, the other evil wizard, henchmen, and various were-animals all command the page when present. There is a lot of humor here - dry throwaway lines, prickly observations, clever bits of dialogue. This is not by the numbers stuff.
So, I was a little doubtful about this as I started, but quickly became a convert. There is much that is original, edgy, clever, and unexpected here. It was a nice find. (Please note that I received a free ecopy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)
Most recent customer reviews
It is an enduring, unforgiving Maine winter when 12-year-old runaway Nick Reynaud seeks shelter on a frigid night by knocking on the door...Read more