Poor Henry. It’s not enough that his mother has sent him away from home to learn magic. It’s not enough that everyone at his new school calls him Thornmallow because he’s “prickly on the outside, squishy within.” It’s not enough that the only talent he shows at Wizard’s Hall is an ability to make messes of even the simplest spells. Now, when Wizard’s Hall is threatened by a cruel sorcerer’s fearsome beast, it is up to Henry--er, Thornmallow--to figure out how to save not only his new friends but also the entire school for wizards.
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Henry is a small fellow, thin as a reed, without much talent for magic. But he tries. He really, really tries. And, as it turns out, that's the most important thing. Upon entering Wizard's Hall, the school for young wizards in training, Henry is promptly given a new name: Thornmallow--prickly on the outside, squishy within. And although his curses tend to "splatter or dribble around the edges," and he's not quite mastered his changes or spells, and he simply cannot chant on the dominant, Thornmallow is bound and determined to do the best he can. As the 113th student to arrive at Wizard's Hall, he quickly learns that he has a mysterious extra burden of responsibility that no one will explain. The horrifying secret? The future of Wizard's Hall depends on him, regardless of his magical bumbling.
Prolific, award-winning author Jane Yolen has a delightfully witty and dynamic way with words. This touching, funny, and exciting tale reminds maladroit magicians and mortals alike of the wisdom of an old adage: If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Yolen's other magical adventures include Passager and The Dragon's Boy. (Ages 8 to 12) --Emilie CoulterAbout the Author:
Jane Yolen is a highly acclaimed children's author who has written hundreds of books for adults and children and has won numerous awards. She and her husband divide their time between Massachussetts and Scotland.
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