Book Review : The Magnificent 12, The Call by Michael Grant
Mack MacAvoy has a serious case of mediumness. Medium looks, medium grades, in fact everything is medium expect for his many phobias. He is even has a fear of phobias. One thing he is not afraid of, even though he should be, is bullies. When Mack’s encounter with the lead bully, Stefan Marr, results in him being taken in under Stephan’s wing, Mack believes his life just might be different than he had expected. When Grimluk, a gnarly three-thousand year old man appears in the boy’s bathroom to tell Mack that he is one of the Magnificent 12 who must save the world from the Pale Queen and her evil daughter, Ereskigal – also known as Risky, he knows his life has changed. Can a medium boy really do something extraordinary even if he is under Stephan’s wing?
Adult Point of View
My first reaction to The Magnificent 12, The Call would be odd, however, odd in a good way. It was off the wall funny and will tickle many kids imaginations. I had to read the sentence twice when we hear that Grimluk was married with a child at 12 and could no longer be carefree like he was when he was only nine years old. I certainly didn’t expect that little odd twist.
The story line jumps back and forth from present day with Mack and three thousand years ago with Grimluk when the problems with the Pale Queen were ramping up. Both story lines have funny moments, though Grimluk’s life is by far stranger.
The Magnificent 12, The Call is written for upper elementary school children, I have also listed it as a young adult novel because it is so funny it could appeal to older children, particularly kids who need a high interest and low reading level book.
This is an example of when the literary device of an ordinary hero works, because really Mack is far from “medium”. Mack’s many quirks make him endearing though also implausible as a real boy. It is always easier to imagine someone with special characteristics as being heroic.
3.5 out of 5 stars
– the Mother
Teen Point of View
My daughter has been working on some other novels and hasn’t read this one for review. The one line I read aloud to her about bullies, where the emo bully is sick and so the goth bully is filling in, had her laugh out loud.