Georgia Byng, Author . HarperCollins $16.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-051406-8

Byng creates a lively symphony of hilarious escapades and madcap chases by adding some unexpected nuances to the time-proven theme of the mistreated orphan. The fun begins in a small British library, where desolate orphan Molly Moon stumbles across a book on hypnotism written by a local doctor. After successfully mesmerizing the spoiled pug dog pet of the orphanage mistress, Miss Adderstone, Molly sets out to change the course of her life—which has become even bleaker since her best friend Rocky departed for America with his new adoptive parents. First, Molly overpowers her enemies, the horrid Miss Adderstone, the equally nasty cook and assorted other bullies. Next, she wins an amateur contest by convincing the entire audience that she is the most talented child in Hardwick village; she uses the prize money to cross the Atlantic, in search of Rocky and further fame and fortune. Despite her "useless" tap dancing feet, Molly quickly rises to stardom as a Broadway actress, but evil Professor Nockman ("I'm no professor, well... a Professor of Crime, perhaps," says he) is watching her every move, anxious to snatch Molly's precious book and take control of her power. In the tradition of a Roald Dahl novel, this bigger-than-life tale offers delightfully dastardly villains, a sympathetic heroine who lives out every child's dream and plenty of fast-paced action. Both humor and moral lessons are played at a loud volume, reminding readers in a light-hearted way that instant success can be a burden as well as a blessing. Ages 8-12. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/10/2003
Release date: 04/01/2003
Hardcover - 349 pages - 978-84-348-9076-3
Hardcover - 384 pages - 978-0-06-051407-5
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-078547-5
Prebound-Glued - 371 pages - 978-0-7569-3484-2
Ebook - 978-0-330-47662-1
Compact Disc - 3 pages - 978-1-4050-8866-4
Paperback - 371 pages - 978-0-06-051409-9
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-30673-7
Prebound-Glued - 371 pages - 978-1-4176-1934-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 407 pages - 978-0-06-075976-6
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-081401-4
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-06-054273-3
Paperback - 330 pages - 978-0-330-39985-2
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-203407-6
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