Book Review: The Secret of the Magic Cards by Ken Bottomley

The Secret of the Magic Cards
by Ken Bottomley
Illustrated by Karl Riley
ISBN: 9-780953-1804247
Ages 7-11, 133 pages, paperback
Note: All profits from the sale of this book will be donated to Airedale Breast Cancer Support Group.

The story begins at Benjamin's birthday party.

Benjamin--or Ben--is excited to have all his friends come over to enjoy the fun, but he's a bit worried that the party might turn out to be boring. Luckily, Ben's eccentric grandfather comes over to do some magic tricks. In the beginning, the kids seem bored with his common tricks... That is, until Grandpa decides it's time for some real magic.

A black magic hat and some magic cards send the children whisking away inside Grandpa's hat and a parallel world of live toys, fairgrounds, and an evil clown. The clown has an agenda--to destroy as many toys as he can gets his hands on, and it's up to Benjamin to save the toys and fight the clown.

Middle-grade readers who love fantasy with a light twist of horror will enjoy this tale of magic and adventure. The story isn't horror per say, but some of the segments with the evil clown--and the illustrations--may be quite creepy for some tender minds. The action doesn't let go and there are enough twists and turns to keep young readers interested.