cover image Archie Greene and the Magician’s Secret

Archie Greene and the Magician’s Secret

D.D. Everest. Harper, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-231211-2

In his first book for children, Everest launches a fanciful series about a secret organization dedicated to protecting the legacy of the Library of Alexandria. When Archie Greene turns 12, he receives a mysterious package: an ancient book, with instructions to return it to a certain bookstore. There, he’s inducted into the Flame Keepers as an apprentice bookbinder and introduced to the Museum of Magical Miscellany, where magical books are stored. As he becomes acquainted with the wonders and perils of his new role, he gets to know the cousins he never knew existed. But the Flame Keepers have enemies—such as the Greaders, who want the books’ magic for themselves—and ominous events suggest that a traitor is working to release a long-imprisoned evil. Only Archie, with his newfound ability to speak with books, can save the day. Many of the novel’s elements are familiar (a hidden, magic-based society; a predestined hero with a special power), but Everest uses them to deliver a fast-paced tale full of mystery and excitement. Ages 8–12. Agent: Jo Hayes, Bell Lomax Moreton. (Apr.)