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***Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism

by Georgia Byng

Reviewed November 4, 2003.
HarperCollins, New York, 2002.  371 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (JF BYN).

Molly Moon is a downtrodden orphan, living in an orphanage in Brierside and picked on by the staff and children alike.  Her only bright spot is her best friend, Rocky, and Mrs. Trinklebury, who looked after Molly and Rocky when they were small and had been left on the orphanage steps.

Then Molly finds a book on hypnotism.  She discovers that the same qualities that other children tease her about, her droning voice and her huge eyes, make her a gifted hypnotist.  She can get anyone to do whatever she wants them to do.

Molly begins with rather greedy and grandiose plans, but we can’t help rooting for her since it seems like the least she deserves after her dismal life in the past.  Her adventures take her to New York, looking for Rocky, who had been adopted just before she found the book.  Unfortunately, there’s a shadowy dark figure looking for her, and he has something different in mind for her hypnotism.

This is a fun first novel, with some delightful plot twists.  Molly does learn to think about the moral implications of her hypnotism.  I like the way Georgia Byng finishes the book with every character, even the villains, better off than at the beginning.

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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