I’m conflicted about this book. I like the idea of living in a town where it’s perpetually Halloween. I’d previously read another book in this series, Harry’s Christmas Carol, and quite enjoyed that so I had fairly high hopes for this, the first book in the series.
Harry is performing his magic show at his school’s annual Scary Talent Show but Titus, school bully and the evil mayor’s son, has other ideas. Titus is desperate to win and is prepared to do whatever it takes to make Harry withdraw from the show. Add to that a strange mix of magic and Christianity, a talking rabbit and some questionable content.
Quite a few things had me scratching my head including:
- Why this quote was included in the first place and how it made it through the editing process. Hao was the newbie when he moved to town in the third grade. “Are you black or Asian or Indian or what?” asked Bailey when Hao came into the third grade classroom.
- When Harry gets told he needs to rise above name calling after telling his parents about the school bully accosting him on his way home from a rehearsal, lifting him into the air and cutting off some of his hair with sheep shears.
- I’m not sure what 16 year old girl is going to be excited about being a magician’s assistant for a 13 year old boy she used to babysit at his middle school talent show. I’m also not sure how I feel about them kissing.
- There are multiple obvious Harry Potter parallels, the most obvious of which is the whole wizard in training called Harry thing. Harry also manages to walk past people undetected because he was able to make his cape and anything under it invisible.
- It’s mentioned that Harry is aware of another boy being physically abused by his father, which is then passed over with Harry thinking about how lucky he is that his father doesn’t hit him. Meanwhile this other kid is wandering around with welts.
Despite my problems with this book I quite liked the illustrations. My favourite was the row of pumpkins, with the one on the end winking.
Thank you to NetGalley and Diamond Book Distributors for the opportunity to read this book.
Once Upon a Blurb
Harry Moon is up to his eyeballs in magic in the small town of Sleepy Hollow. His archenemy, Titus Kligore, has eyes on winning the Annual Scary Talent Show. Harry has a tough job ahead if he is going to steal the crown. He takes a chance on a magical rabbit who introduces him to magic. Harry decides that the best way forward is to DO NO EVIL and the struggle to defeat Titus, this battle turns epic.