I don't review books I don't like!
An all-time favorite
**The Ogre Downstairs
by Diana Wynne Jones
HarperTrophy, 2002. First published in 1974. 212 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (JF JON).
This one’s fun to read, though not necessarily Diana Wynne Jones at her best. Knowing that Diana Wynne Jones writes fantasy, you’d expect the ogre in the title to be an actual ogre, but he is only Caspar, Johnny and Gwinny’s new stepfather. However, the Ogre does unknowingly give Johnny a magic chemistry set--and he gives a matching set to his own boys, Malcolm and Douglas.
Things get interesting when both sets of kids independently figure out how to make a chemical that lets them fly. The magic goes on from there, eventually helping the two halves of the family understand each other better.
This is a good book, but I thought that some of the mean-spirited
bickering at the beginning was a little too realistic! Still,
it did make me happier when they worked things out, but I almost quit
reading before it got to that point. I also thought the reference
to Lps was silly, until I looked closer at the copyright date and realized
that the book was written 25 years ago. Things have changed since
then, but aside from that one situation with records, this still seems
like a modern family.