Midnight for Charlie Bone (Children of the Red King - Book #1)

by Jenny Nimmo

Hardcover, 2003



Local notes

Fic Nim





Orchard Books (2003), Edition: 1st Scholastic ed, 401 pages. $9.95.


Charlie Bone's life with his widowed mother and two grandmothers undergoes a dramatic change when he discovers that he can hear people in photographs talking.


Utah Beehive Book Award (Nominee — Children's Fiction — 2005)
Sasquatch Book Award (Nominee — 2005)
Nēnē Award (Nominee — 2005, 2006)


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

401 p.; 8.36 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member FlowerFairy
A very, very bad Harry Potter wannabe. This book is what Harry Potter would have been if JK Rowling didn't have talent.
LibraryThing member drebbles
Ten year old Charlie Bone discovers he has a unique talent - he can hear the thoughts of people in photographs. Charlie's Grandmother Bone and her sisters are delighted that Charlie has inherited powers, the gift runs in the family and his late father also was one of the "endowed". They insist that
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Charlie attend Bloor's Academy where he can further develop his powers. Charlie reluctantly goes and soon realizes there are odd things going on at Bloor's. Before he quite knows exactly what is going on, Charlie is deep in a mystery involving a case with something mysterious inside it and a missing child and also discovers his father may not be dead after all.

"Midnight for Charlie Bone" was a good first book in what looks like a promising series. Comparisons with Harry Potter are inevitable but the book should be judged on it's own merit and it's not bad at all. Charlie is a strong character, a good friend to misfit Benjamin, and his struggles with his newly developed powers are very real. The other children in the book are well written, especially the delightful Olivia. The adults in the book are either just plain bad, or, with the exception of Charlie's Uncle Paton, good but ineffectual.

Even though the book is 400 pages long, parts of it felt rushed, especially the ending and the surrender of the bad guys. And, perhaps it's just me, but some of the happenings in the book seemed unexplained, like who initially opened the door and let Emma out of her "prison". Still, the book makes me want to continue reading the series, especially to see if the person I suspect is Charlie's father really is.

A good beginning.
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LibraryThing member cfrederick
I like this book because there is alot fo adventure and caouse.
LibraryThing member Livana
Nice read, but people who wrote that Charlie was the new Harry Potter were way off, in my opinion.
Charlie Bone is intended for a younger audience.
LibraryThing member ACleveland
this book is great for children my teacher suggested it to me and i bought all three books because i enjoyed the first one so much

i would say that the book is for elementary kids, but i can still enjoy now, today.

so as it turns out charlie has special powers and he goes to this school for gifted
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kids and learns how to use them. thats it thats all im saying just read them
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LibraryThing member missmath144
If you liked the Harry Potter series, you will probably like the Charlie Bone series as well. In this school, children are either highly gifted or they are children of the Red King, in which case they inherited one magic power. Charlie's magic power is the ability to look into a picture and know
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what the people were saying when the picture was taken. One student can create weather phenomena. Another can fly. Great fun!
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LibraryThing member Robinsonstef
Ever since his father died in a car accident, Charlie Bone has lived with his mom, uncle, and two grandmothers (one who is horrible and another who is much more grandmotherly). His family is definitely an interesting mix of personalities. When Charlie starts hearing voices, he thinks he's going
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crazy, but he soon finds out that he has a special gift. As a descendant of the Red King, he's able to look at pictures and hear the thoughts of the people in the pictures at the time they were taken. What he hears makes him wonder about a girl who went missing years before, and he decides to track her down using clues brought back from the past. If only he had time to work on the mystery! Now that his endowment has been revealed, his crazy (and seemingly evil) aunts stop by, and they're thrilled because it means he's been “chosen”. Charlie is not so happy about this because he has to leave his house, his best friend, and his uncle to start attending Bloor’s Academy. Although he can come home for weekends, he's now surrounded by people he doesn't know, and it's hard to fit in. Everyone at Bloor's has a "special gift", and he isn't sure about anything. With every step he takes Charlie seems to be in more danger, plus a strange box that he must protect comes into his possession. Will Charlie be able to solve the mystery of the missing girl? What secrets does Bloor’s Academy hold? Is the strange box worth holding onto, and what's inside of it? One thing is for sure, Charlie has a few mysteries to uncover that will keep him guessing!

I didn’t know much about Midnight for Charlie Bone (Children of the Red King: Book One) by Jenny Nimmo when I started reading it. I enjoyed her writing style and the magical elements in the book. Can you imagine looking at a photograph and hearing the people’s thoughts? The secrets revealed to you would be crazy! I found myself on the edge of my seat, as there was a new twist and turn at the end of each chapter. Charlie is a kid that I would be friends with because he seems nice and clever. He is also very easy-going, so I felt especially bad for him that he had one mean grandmother and a set of aunts that gave me the creeps- definitely made me thankful for my grandmothers! It was fun trying to solve the mystery myself, and I liked the fantasy elements. There are some parts of the book that will appeal to Harry Potter fans, but the story is different. The only thing I was unhappy about was that the book didn’t answer all of my questions in the end because it ended with “To be continued”. But, on the plus side, the book is part of a series, and the whole series is finished. So I will have to read Charlie Bone and the Time Twister, and I recommend you have it nearby if you start the first one. If you're a fan of fantasy, and you're between fourth and seventh grade, I think you will enjoy this book.
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LibraryThing member books4uandme
It's about a boy named Charlie who is endowed by the Red King. He goes to a special school. His gift is hearing people inside pictures and paintings. In this book he finds out about his powers and about his father, who is missing. I really liked it!
LibraryThing member okmliteracy8
Great turn paging book, with imagination out of this world, read all about the unknown world of endowed kids that go to Bloor's Academy. Hypnotising novel with great characters and plots!!
LibraryThing member afmteacher
Fans of "all things magic" will enjoy the first book in this series by Jenny Nimmo. Charlie comes to grip with his magical powers, and the threat they are to the members of his family who don't want him to uncover the mysteries of his past.
LibraryThing member Inky_Fingers
Oh, if you liked Harry Potter you will like Charlie Bone! That's what people told me. Actually, the opposite is true. I love Harry Potter, so I can tell how derivative Charlie Bone is. It was published 5 years after Harry Potter, so you cant claim that Nimmo did not know Rowling's work. There is
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not that much suspense and little surprise in the book. One of the characters might be a werewolf -- oh, guess what, he is! And Nimmo is not half as good a writer as Rowling, so this book really has little to recommend it, and I'm just sorry I read the whole thing when I could have moved on to something more interesting.
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LibraryThing member jodyjlittle
Charlie Bone is surprised to discover that he has the power to hear voices inside photographs. His Grandma Bone immediately enrolls him at Bloor's academy, much to Charlie's dismay. When Charlie gets a visit from a mysterious man, named Mr. Onimous and three cats, he becomes embroiled in a strange
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mystery. He is given a case from a woman named Ms. Ingledew, who claims the case holds the secret to finding her long lost neice. Once at Bloor's academy Charlie soon discovers that other students hold special powers as well. He also discovers that he is a descendent of the Red King, a highly powerful magician. With the help of his new friends, Charlie discovers the missing girl is a student at Bloor's. Together, with his old friend Benjamin, and a few new friends at Bloor's, they are able to reunite the girl with her aunt.
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LibraryThing member wmshub
The good: Charlie is a likable character. Some interesting magic stuff.

The bad: Everything else. Other characters have zero personality and only show up to help or hurt Charlie when the plot needs it. Plot is often nonsensical; for example, bad guys are terrifyingly powerful, until for no reason
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they become helpless and scared of Charlie. Overall, it reads more like an outline or rough draft for a story than a completed one.
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LibraryThing member ASBiskey
This is a fantistic story simply told. This book shows that thoughtful and sophisticated plot do not necessarily need complicated prose. This is not to say the book is poorly written, because it is not. It is an easy read the that my kids will probably get tired of me encouraging them to read. I
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really enjoyed this book and look forward to finding the next one in the series.
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LibraryThing member Darrol
Although there is a very superficial similarity to the Potter book, this is really a different story. There is little or no endowed v. normal prejudice. The moral struggle is less cosmic. I found the motivations a little unclear. But maybe I did not read carefully enough.
LibraryThing member dee_kohler
Mystery, fantasy - first book in the series. Like Harry Potter, young boy discovers he has ability to look inside snapshots and see what was going on when picture was taken. Boy is sent to special school by his weird aunts (the moonbeams?) to encourage his unique capabilities.
LibraryThing member iamagirldork
The first of the Charlie Bone series. Charlie discovers he has special powers and nothing is the same in his life after that. He is sent to Bloor's Academy where trouble awaits him at every corner.

Very quick, fun read!
LibraryThing member sara_k
Midnight for Charlie Bone is the first in the Charlie Bone series. Charlie is a regular kid who lives with his mother, uncle, and two grandmothers. He has a best friend, Benjamin, who lives across the street and while it isn't an easy life it suits him. Then one day Charlie looks at a photo and he
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can hear the people in the picture speaking. Suddenly Charlie's paternal grandmother and her two sisters are very interested in Charlie. It seems that strange talents run in his family. His Grandmother and Great-Aunts insist that he leave his day school and attend the creepy Bloor Academy boarding school for geniuses. Strange talents are a sort of genius, I guess.

Charlie meets wonderful friends and abusive enemies at Bloor. He finds a great mystery of a missing girl and works with his old and new friends and his Uncle Paton to save the little girl and to make things right. A mystery about Charlie's dead father also pops up but is not solved in this book. I figured out who his father is, will you?

This book was fun and not very scary.
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LibraryThing member nm.fall.07.bbowling
A boy nemed charlie bone has a very weird life. his family is split up into to familys that dont like eachother and on top of that he is born with a gift of being able to hear conversations and voices in photographs and pictures. this gift gets him accepted into a school called bloors academy. this
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school is for children who are "endowed" or gifted in a way such as charlie but not in the same exact way. when he arrives at the school a series of events happen that are anything but normal and they all are related in a way that makes sense later in the story......
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LibraryThing member StephanieWA
Fans of the Harry Potter series will want to give this magical series, about a boy who discovers he's got magical powers and is sent off to school to develop them, a try although the similarity between the two stories ends there. In this story Charlie does not accept his powers and does not like
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his school, and readers may like the conspiracy aspect of this story. Although the plot is a bit predictable, I think that fantasy fans will enjoy this first book in the series, and may want to go one to read the sequels.
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LibraryThing member tjsjohanna
This was an enjoyable read - somewhat similar to "Harry Potter" in that there is a young boy who is thrust into an unfamiliar world of magical happenings - though not quite so dramatically. I liked watching friendships develop and seeing Charlie begin to interact with adults in new ways. I also
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enjoyed the exploration of trust and figuring out who to trust.
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LibraryThing member yamatos
I adored how well Nimmo showed the world Charlie Bone and his adventures at Bloor's Acadamy.Just reading the book made me feel as if i was in the book and traveling with Charlie.The secrecy and trouble Charlie had to go through was intriuging enough to make me want to read through the whole series.
LibraryThing member dfullmer
A great fantasy series for those that enjoyed Harry Potter.
LibraryThing member caro488
Nimmo, Jenny, Midnight for Charlie Bone, Chldren of the Red King Book 1

Descendants of the Red King have strange Powers - at ten, Charlie finally discovers that he can hear people in pictures. He is sent to Bloor's Academy, where he meets others with strange talents - some good, some evil.
LibraryThing member Mendoza
I can't help but make comparisons to Harry Potter - what with the 'magic' school, British feel, Young wizards finding their way....

But I stop there with measuring them. Charlie Bone stands alone and taken for what it is - does very well. While I think aimed at a young middle school age there are
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still very dark images and not everyone is as they first seem - or ought to seem.

I don't care for Charlie's crappy life at home - yet is does make for entertaining reading.

The writing is deft, most of the characters are intriguing, and Charlie Bone is an appealing boy. The story is marred by some predictability, and the role of the endowed in this otherwise contemporary, unmagical society is not clear. Many aspects of the book are not fully thought out, making it less compelling than it might be. But this is the beginning of a series and as it is written with a younger set in mind I think this is purposeful and we will be privy to more information as the series goes on.
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