Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Charlie Bone And The Red Knight - Jenny Nimmo

The seventh and final book of the Charlie Bone series brings this wonderful story to a satisfying close. I won’t discuss plot, because that cannot be done with spoiling this and other books in the series. Suffice it to say that amongst the expected victories, there are surprises.

It has been a wonderful journey. I have loved these books from the start in a way I never managed with another seven book series about a boy with magical talents. Rowling’s books always felt contrived, to me, and they were none of them particularly well written. Jenny Nimmo, on the other hand, is a superb writer. Her books are pitched at just the right level. They are engaging and warm, even though there are some quite horrible events. They are tightly plotted and consistent. And they are imbued with a gentle sense of humour.

Book production also plays a part. With the Charlie Bone books there has been a rare and truly wonderful melding of content and presentation. The interior of each book is lush, with a page header that makes the text feel almost hand-written. The end-papers are full of information and beautifully drawn. And the covers… Sam Hadley is to be congratulated for his excellent illustrations, each of which is relevant to the book and printed on a glossy cover that sparkles. The whole package is what books should be about – a joy to hold, own, and read.
If you haven’t read Charlie Bone yet, please go out now and make a start.