Another Review at MyShelf.Com

No Castles Here

by A.C.E. Bauer

      Augie Boretski spends a lot of time trying not to get noticed. He doesn't want to be noticed by his scary teacher. He doesn't want to be noticed by the bullies at school or the neighborhood gangs. And he definitely doesn't want to be noticed when he ducks into a strange bookstore to get out of the heat. Then Augie accidentally steals a book of fairy tales and it seems a lot of people are beginning to notice him. Augie isn't a perfect kid - sometimes he lies, he doesn't always mind his Mama - but he has a good heart and more people on his side than he thinks. I didn't expect to like this book. I expected it to be depressing and grim. It wasn't. It has surprising magic from the fairytale book, and from the bookstore lady - magic that mirrors the changes in Augie's life. I liked being reminded of how much each person matters - even in situations that seem hopeless. The characterization was particularly good in the situation with the bully - the bullies undergo believable change rather than the easy change we see in too many bully stories. Not everything in Augie's world turns out perfect, but Bauer takes readers on a wonderful trip through one young man's life from fear to hope - and I enjoyed the trip tremendously.

The Book

Random House Kids
October 2007
0375839216 / 978-0375839214
Fiction / Children, Ages 9 - 12
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The Reviewer

Jan Fields
Reviewed 2008
NOTE: Reviewer Jan Fields is the editor of Kid Magazine Writers emagazine and has written dozens of stories and articles for the children's magazine market.
© 2008