If you like magic stories, I think you'll love this one about Otto and his twin sisters, Zeborah and Hepzibah.
There's trouble brewing in the mysterious and magical City of Trees. It's to do with the difference between the Karmidee people and the 'Normals'. I wonder which you would rather be? If you are a Karmidee, you might have a rare magical gift. You could be a mat-flyer, or a shape-changer, or you might have lamp-eyes. But although your people built the City of Trees a very long time ago, you would not actually live in it now. The City is occupied by the 'Normals' and you have to be very respectable to live in the City. If you are a 'magico' you are probably rather poor, and you might live out on the mud flats somewhere, on the edge of the City.
Otto lives in Parry Street, so he's alright. He's very respectable. But it isn't very nice living in a city that is being torn apart from the inside. The Minister for Modernisation, Councillor Elfina Crink, is oppressing the Karmidee. The Normal Police are everywhere. It's a good job they don't follow Otto home:
Hepzibah was in the playpen holding on to the rail. He sat next to her and she grinned and then she simply lifted one leg and then the other into the air behind her, like a swimmer holding on to the side of a swimming pool.
She kicked gently, giggling.
'Mum,' said Otto, not very clearly because something had happened to his voice.
Sounds of washing from the kitchen.
'What is it?' Dolores shouted back.
Hepzibah pulled one hand free.
Otto clung on tight to the other. She felt like a kite, or one of those balloons that float to the ceiling when you get them home.
'Hepzie's flying,' he said.
Hmmm. Seems pretty magico to me. The thing is, the Normals have lived in the City of Trees for so long that they don't really know what is normal any more, and what isn't. And some magicos opt for the quiet life, and settle down into respectability, forgetting their Karmidee origins. They are called sleepers. As you will see, that is actually what Otto's father did when he was a young man. Oh yes, and maybe Otto's mother isn't quite as respectable as she always thought she was ...
The Karmidee have got a lot to do. They need to find their King, who will save them from calamity. They will know him when they see him, because he has a birthmark. He's a sleeper somewhere in the city ...
I think you will absolutely love the magic in Otto's city and Otto's family. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Highly recommended!
Han, girl, age 13, from Newcastle, Australia, on 9th March 2006. Rating: 8/10
I thought the book was a good example of the fantasy genre. i read it for school and found it to be insightful, magical and full of adventure, it prompts you to examine yourself, and who you really are. Overall, a good read!
Emma, girl, age 12, from Preston, United Kingdom, on 6th November 2005. Rating: 10/10
It was an intresting book, I read it at school and It brightened up my English lessons! My English teacher made really funny voices for all the characters - it made us all crack up! There are really good bits in it and some sad ones, but if you haven't read it then, go to your nearest bookshop - trust me - it's really good and buy a book!
Katie, girl, age 10, from Brisbane, Australia, on 6th October 2005. Rating: 10/10
I love this book, it is the best book in the world. I saw this book when I was 7 and have been looking for it every where ever since. One day I found it and I was delighted. I read about12 times and leant it to my teacher and school mates. The moment I heard the second book had come out Mum and I ordered it so that the second it came out I would get it. I love this book more than Harry Potter. Charlotte Haptie is a clever and imaginative lady and is a great role model. She is the one who encouraged me to write and if my book ever gets published I will probebly dedicate it to her. I even dressed up as Mab for book week!!! I love you Charlotte and to anyone who hasn't read it yet, go to a book store and get it bacause it is not like anything you may have come across before. If you have it or if you don't either way you should tell all your friends and family so that Charlotte will get the well earnt money and publicity that she deserves.
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This is Charlotte Haptie's first book. I think it is brilliant, and I hope she writes some more for us.
Otto lives in such a lovely world, and is so sage, he reminds me rather of Hazel Green. You could have a look at these books by Odo Hirsch:
If it is the magic which you really enjoy reading, obviously you should enjoy J K Rowling's Harry Potter, if there are any left that you still haven't read:
If you really enjoy the completely different world that Otto inhabits, I think you might like to look at the Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell:
One final suggestion. You could have a look at The Wind on Fire Trilogy by William Nicholson:
OK. that wasn't my last suggestion. This is. If you really like magic, have a quick look at this one by Peter Dickinson:
For a more thoughtful follow up, this book actually reminds me very strongly of one I have recently read by Irene N Watts, about the way Germany fell apart from the inside out, just before the Second World War. It is about a young Jewish girl and her German friend: