We’ve been fans of Louie’s convention-smashing Kit The Wizard Series illustrated by Davide Ortu since whispers of The Dragon in the Library brought a proof to my doorstep and into my heart.
A perfect adventure and fun filled series snuggling into that post early chapter but not quite ready for full on middle grade range it offers the 7-9 market something very different but with a quiet presence of depth should you wish to look there.
This all-action episode is a beautiful and fitting way to pause on the series, leaving just enough room to return for further adventures should they be commissioned but satisfying enough to sashay away on.
The summer of magic is coming to a close and Faith has some surprise news for the trio; a new library will be born at their school and Kit is tasked with delivering the new dragon egg to the cavern underneath the grounds.
But on the first day of school, Kit, Josh and Alita discover that the egg has been stolen. It is now up to the friends, Faith and new librarian Ben to discover what has happened, and whether dark forces are afoot.
You may be aware of how much I love Kit. She challenges everything that we usually expect to see in a girl protagonist and definitely in this age range.
Kit is certainly a girl, just one with short hair and likes to wear sporty and practical for climbing clothes and doesn’t really like to read or sit still and whilst not struggling doesn’t particularly do or want to do well in school.
You can read into this as deeply or as lightly as one wishes but to see the range of femininity being celebrated here is a brilliant thing.
The plot itself is an interesting one as it proposes a hard question to the reader, the question of what it really means to be free, from the control, will and intentions of others and whether that is even possible. And also how much we knowingly or subliminally imprint and project our own will and intentions upon others for good, bad to protect or for glory.
And again it’s pitched in a way that the reader can dismiss the question and just enjoy the plot or you can ponder your own opinion on the problem that Kit and her friends have to face and make their own decisions of where they stand and what their stance tells the world about themselves.
I really like that about this book that you can take what you want and need whether that be a great adventure or a philosophical journey.
Davide has done a sublime job of the art in this book with especially the graphic novel section capturing my imagination. Littlefae has been quite taken with graphic novels recently so this is delightful to see the medium given credit and legitimised by an author through a librarian character when so many parents and teachers seem to dismiss these as ‘not proper reading’ (not us!!!).
Overall this is a lovely way to round up this fictional summer of adventures with a throughly exciting and friendship filled finale. I know I look forward to seeing much more from the creative mind of Louie Stowell.
The Wizard in the Wood by Louie Stowell and illustrated by Davide Ortu is published by Nosy Crow
Thank you for my review copy.