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A Wizard Alone: The Sixth Book in the Young Wizards Series Hardcover – October 1, 2002
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Kit and Nita return to join forces against the evil Lone Power, this time over the heart and mind of a young autistic, in Diane Duane's sixth installment of the Young Wizards series. Initially, Kit finds himself flying solo as Nita has sunk into a deep depression over her mother's recent death. Luckily, his telepathic pooch, Ponch, is happy to fill Nita's niche temporarily, as long as biscuits are involved. Kit tries to understand why autistic wizard-in-training Darryl McAllister has been stuck in his Ordeal, or initiation, for over three months. Is it merely the fault of his autism? Inside Darryl's mind, Kit and Ponch find complex landscapes of weird beauty that belie Darryl's rocking, vacant exterior. But they also find the Lone Power, attacking Darryl with an unrelenting brutality that is excessive, even for the Source of all Evil. Meanwhile, Nita is distracted from her sadness by trying to discover the meaning of a series of strange dreams in which a being is pleading for her aid. Could the dreams be a call for help from Darryl? And if so, will Kit and Nita come together in time to destroy the Lone Power before it destroys them?
Though a novice to the series would definitely benefit from reading the previous books, Duane's latest mix of science and spell casting is thought provoking in its own right. She slips enough facts into this fiction to ensure that young readers will not only enjoy the quest, but also learn something along the way. (Ages 10 to 15) --Jennifer Hubert
From School Library Journal
Grade 6-8-Kit Rodriguez is having a rough time. His family's new DVD player and remote control are too busy yelling obscenities at each other to work the TV, and his dog is asking his mother questions about the meaning of life. Even worse, his best friend and partner in wizardry, Nita, grieving over her mother's death, shuts him out emotionally and telepathically. To top it off, Kit has just been sent on an assignment to see why a new wizard's initial Ordeal is taking so long. Upon investigation, he finds that Darryl, an autistic boy of about 11, has the ability to create complex worlds that can contain the Lone Power, but he cannot seem to end his Ordeal, and Kit and his dog must risk their lives and enter Darryl's world to save him. Finally, when Nita realizes that they might be trapped there forever, she is able to put aside her grief and help them. This sixth book in the series covers a lot of ground. Readers who haven't read the previous books may be a little lost at first, but Duane's characters and plot will quickly draw them in. The scenes between Kit and the electronics are hysterical. The incorporation of Darryl's autism is seamless and drives the plot forward. This book belongs in all libraries that have the earlier titles in the series; those that don't may want to consider buying them so they can justify adding this one.
Lisa Prolman, Greenfield Public Library, MA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
In this latest Young Wizards' novel, Nita is only partially through the process of recovering from her mother's untimely death from cancer. Her doubts about her own wizardry keep her from getting involved when her best friend and wizard partner, Kit, gets assigned to see what's holding up the Ordeal of a young autistic boy named Darryl. But it's pretty clear, soon, that Nita won't be able to stay on the sidelines as she forges a link of understanding with Darryl and Kit begins to get trapped in Darryl's internal world.
This was a pretty good read. I really enjoyed getting to know Kit, in particular, better. Our main characters here are getting experienced with wizardry, so it may not seem quite as new or exciting. The real point of the book, however, is what's going on in the characters. How both Nita and Kit are handling their situations. What it's going to take to get Nita back in the saddle and engaged with the world again.
I was slightly irritated that the Lone Power didn't get a little more credit here. (He can be a great baddie when he's written right.) I was also irritated that Kit got sent into a situation only Nita really had the skills to handle right. (Because of the way Kit gets into Darryl's world and the nature of Darryl's universe, Darryl starts warping him. Only Nita knows how to get through to Darryl in a way that won't hurt her.) Typical of Duane to underestimate Kit and always let Nita save the day somehow. But, overall, plenty of fun. And by now, you really care about the characters.
As part of this exciting, engaging series, "A Wizard Alone" is best read after the other five. The concept of autism is creatively presented as part of the continuing story of Nita and Kit.
Most recent customer reviews
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