The Midnight Charter

9781596433816David Whitley

Hardcover, $16.99

Roaring Brook Press

September 2009

319 pages

I really don’t think that saying this book is brilliant would be overstating things.  David Whiley is a fantastic young British author who already has several prestigious accolades to his name.  The Midnight Charter, though, will undoubtedly be his breakout success.  I can see kids and adults alike lining up for the release of its sequels and dressing up as its characters, the new standards for book sales.

In this book Whitley has created an intriguing other-world in which everything has a price, even children.  Our guides through this world are Mark, whose dying father sold him, and Lily, an orphan.  Bother are servants in the house of Count Stelli, a famous astronomer.  Both long for something more.  As time passes, the children learn, grow, and drift apart, but they are always brought back together by the mysterious Midnight Charter, a document that links their fate.

Whitley’s voice is fresh and his characters compelling.  The book screams out for at least one sequel, and I can only ask that the author not keep us waiting too long.

(Thanks to Dustin from Macmillan for lending me an advance copy!)

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