Today I am reviewing a Middle Grade book titled From the Magical Mind of Mindy Munson, by Nikki Bennett. First, let’s get to know the author a bit more:
Nikki Bennett is an author and world traveler currently living in Japan. She loves traveling, and incorporates all the culture and folklore she can from the countries she visits into her stories.
Nikki has two books out right now. Her first book, FOUR FIENDS is a MG fantasy adventure and her book, MUKADE ISLAND is a YA adventure/fantasy (think Lord of the Flies meets LOST, it it was set on a different world!)
Find out all about Nikki’s books at www.worldofnikki.com.
Every house has a history. This House has a mystery.
When the orphaned Munson kids move with their aunt to The House, Mindy Munson discovers strange creatures living there already. Ghosts. Dragons. Leprechauns. And a scary Thing lurking in the basement.
Mindy’s older sister Susie is determined to find out where these creatures came from and why they’re living in the Munson’s house. With the help of the next-door neighbors and an old lady named Mrs. Wemberley, Susie, Mindy and their brothers unravel The House’s amazing secrets. And along the way, they discover some incredible secrets about themselves.
I found the summary of this book really interesting. The background of the book cover, the incorporation of golden lines and stars throughout, is magical. It goes very well with the title. However, I found the face of the little kid to be a bit too unnatural, too doll-like.
Mindy Munson is a 5 year old girl, who has a magical mind!. The book is written from the POV of Mindy’s elder sister, Susie, who is 11 years old. They have two more siblings, Tucker who is 9 and Jesse who is Mindy’s twin brother. Mindy doesn’t talk, even though she is 5. She, however, whispers all the time to Jesse. Mindy sees strange creatures in their haunted house and conveys them to others through Jesse!
One thing that was disconcerting for me is that this is a book meant for 7 – 12 year old children. It might make them believe that monsters exist for real!. From the title of the book, I just assumed that Mindy has a magical mind and she imagines about these strange creatures!. However, the story is written in such a way that Mindy is shown to be always right about her thoughts. It even goes ahead to prove that these creatures do exist for real. An example would be a creature called Goony bird, that Mindy talks about. The rest of the children climb a tree to find the bird and at exactly the spot Mindy talked about, they found a red feather!. It acts as a confirmation that that particular creature exists. This might really spook kids who read the book!.
Throughout the book, Mindy whispers to Jesse, who then conveys that to the others in a really garbled way that only Tucker understands and he then translates that for Susie. It’s cutesy in the beginning but then when there is a lot of repetition, it doesn’t seem great. There are a lot of creatures that Mindy introduces to the group in this book. However, I didn’t find it exciting enough.
Now onto the positive parts of the book. These 4 children are orphaned and staying with their aunt. Not many children’s books talk about a tragedy like the loss of a parent or both!. The book goes on to show how these four adjust to that fact and how they support each other really well. The character development of each child is shown well too. The kids undergo bullying at school, but they adjust to that later on. The author portrays these issues very well. Susie also shows a maturity beyond her tender age of 11 years old. The way they interact with other children and with adults is nice. Tucker could be extremely rude at times but then again a 9 year old dealing with being a orphan could be like that!.
What I loved the most is the ending of the book. They all unite as a family and there is a scene where they get rid of ‘The Thing’ living in their basement, symbolic of casting out unhappy thoughts from their life. That was really beautiful. It teaches children to look at the positive things in their life.
Overall, I give this book 3 out of 5 which by Goodreads standards mean that I ‘liked it’.
Link to the book
Goodreads ~ Amazon
Source: I was provided a complimentary e-book copy of this book for review purpose. All opinions are 100% my own.