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GRIMOIRE: TRACKED BY TERROR


By Brad Strickland

Dial Books for Young Readers (A division of Penguin Young Readers Group), 2007 ($15.99)
ISBN-10: 0803730616
ISBN-13: 978-0-8037-3061-8
Ages 8 and up

Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel

Twelve-year-old Jarvey Midion wakes up from yet another nightmare to find himself in his own bed. He creeps down the hall and is relieved to hear his dad snoring. All is back to normal. Or so he thinks, until a firm hand shakes him and tells him to wake up. Itís his new friend Betsey Dare. The nightmare is not over after all. He is still lost in the pages of a magical and dangerous book called Grimoire, and his parents are in peril somewhere within it too.

It all started when his father, Dr. Midion, and mother Samantha take him to London to claim an unexpected inheritance. Siyamon Midion, an evil distant relative, tricks them into stepping inside the book, which is a portal to unknown worlds. At the last minute, Jarvey grabs the book and takes it with him. They end up in a strange town called Lunnon. Jarvey is separated from his parents, but meets Betsy, another distant relative, granddaughter of the magician Zoroaster. Jarvey learns that he is descended from a family of magicians, and is himself a magician. His abilities are still forming, and his magic is "wild" -- he canít really control it to do what he wants to do.

Zoroaster helps the children escape, but warns them that the Grimoire is dangerous, capable of enslaving its users or sending them to places they donít want to go. Itís the only hope for finding his parents, so Jarvey takes the chance and Betsy comes along.

Their quest takes them down endless marble halls, with scary sights and sounds all around them. They encounter a family of actors for whom all the world is literally a stage. This family, also called Midion, does not like outsiders, and soon the kids are scrambling to find a safer place. They donít find it. They are at sea in a strange and frightening ocean. On they go through danger and many close calls. They are tested, and they prove able to meet the test.

This is the second book in the Grimoire trilogy. Younger readers should enjoy reading the series.

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