From School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Ten-year-old Rufus Breckenridge has always had problems: he's the target of the class bully and unlucky enough to be the son and grandson of witches. Then he discovers the worst problem of all-he has magical powers, too. Rufus just wants to be a normal kid who hangs out with his normal best friend, Billy, and who survives the taunts of Big Douggie with normal skills, like running away fast. However, his magical powers creep up on him and before he realizes it, he's reading minds, propelling Big Douggie to trip on his own feet, and using ponds and puddles to "scry" events happening hundreds of miles away. Then Rufus gets into a mess of trouble when Big Douggie finds out about his talents and bribes him into fixing the All Star baseball tryouts. Everything comes to a satisfactory conclusion when he learns to handle the bully without using magic, though he decides that, with help from his family, being a wizard won't be so bad after all. Throughout the book, Rufus handles some difficult dilemmas with a typical mix of disaster, luck, and hard work, all common experiences to the intended audience. His magical powers are realistic and will appeal to kids interested in "Harry Potter"-style wizardry, though Levinson's story is on a simpler scale and lacks J. K. Rowling's dramatic flair. Still, Rufus is a likable hero with intriguing dilemmas and abilities.
Linda Bindner, Truman State University, Kirksville, MO
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
"With humor and tight plotting, Levinson shows us the downside of magic whether it's in Rufus's relationships with friends or foes. Who wouldn't want to be able to best a bully? Thought provoking, humorous and a compelling read! Readers will want to find out what happens next even as the book ends!"
"My child enjoyed it and didn't want to put it down."
steven raymond gaines