One of my favorite book displays to attempt is what I call “First in a Series.” I like to put it at the end of the school year to get kids hooked on a good series for the summer. I love, especially, the anticipation of waiting for the next book in a series, so it’s often fun to put out new series, along with those that are completed.
I know already that I am going to display Jinx by Sage Blackwood next time I do a series display. The second book in the series—Jinx’s Magic–is out but there’s bound to be at least one more book.
Jinx has some of the usual suspects – an orphan with great unknown powers who is in training to be a wizard, an evil wizard, a wizard that we’re not quite so sure about, and various companions. But Jinx is special and defies stereotypes. His magic is rare. And the host of secondary characters is good. It’s a series preteens will undoubtedly enjoy reading and they’ll identify with Jinx (especially when he’s sarcastic).
Jinx is the orphan who is about to be left in the Urwald (a large primeval forest) to die when he is rescued by the wizard Simon. He gradually becomes the Simon’s apprentice and learns that the power he draws on to work his magic is different than that Simon – and other wizards — use. In the course of the story, Jinx meets two young people (Reven, a would-be king, and Elfwyn, a would-be witch) who are making their way (separately at first) through the Urwald to rid themselves of curses. They end up at the house of an evil wizard who attempts to use them to capture Simon. Simon saves Jinx while Jinx in his way saves Simon. It is a complete book and could be read as a stand-alone novel.
Jinx’s Magic picks up where we left off – with the Jinx, Reven, Elfwyn, and Simon traveling again. The group separates midway and we follow Jinx on his quest to find out more about knowledge and power. Jinx is so very brave and determined. And he’s often a bit confused and overwhelmed too. He’s a genuine teen. I think that’s why I like him so much. By the end of Jinx’s Magic, all of the players are in place for what promises to be a climactic battle between fire and ice, life and death. I’m really looking forward to it.
–Marie Drucker, Malverne Public Library