Charlie Bone Book Series: Book Review

C is for Charlie Bone

*For Ages 9 and up

I first came across Charlie Bone in 2010. I had just finished reading the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage, and was on the hunt for another fantasy series to fall in love with.

Midnight for Charlie Bone, is the first book in a series of 8 books by Jenny Nimmo. In this book, we are introduced to Charlie Bone, who discovers he has a strange power: he can hear people thinking and talking in photographs. As soon as his Grandma Bone and her sisters (a truly mean and obnoxious bunch) discover his unusual talent, the reveal that it is part of his Yewbeam heritage. They force Charlie to attend Bloor’s Academy, a weird and mysterious school which other Endowed Children (children with special abilities) also attend.

Charlie Bone Books 1 – 6

As the story progresses, Charlie makes new friends—and enemies, and uncovers more mysteries and unravels more secrets.

Some people have compared Charlie Bone to Harry Potter. (Both are interestingly enough, published by Scholastic) Although there are some similarities such as school, magical powers and villainous adults, Charlie Bone has its own charms.

While Harry Potter has the fate of the whole world hanging on his shoulders, Charlie only has the fate of his whole town to contend with. In this aspect, Charlie Bone is simpler and has a less complicated storyline.

Charlie Bone Book 7

Jenny Nimmo has done a great job of choosing whimsical character names to suit the setting and the general tone of the book. She’s also managed to craft detestable villains, and heroes that you just can’t help but cheer for.

I listened to the whole series on audiobook while commuting to and from work. I found myself easily absorbed into Charlie Bone’s world. I found myself feeling disappointed whenever I had reached my destination and had to stop listening to the story.

It was easy to get invested in the characters and the plot. Sometimes I’d try to guess what would happen next, but the twists and turns of the story were often unexpected.

Charlie Bone Book 8

Charlie Bone is right up there on the list of my favorite fantasy book series. It’s definitely something both children and adults can enjoy.

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31 Responses to “Charlie Bone Book Series: Book Review”

  1. mooderino says:

    Hadn’t heard of this series before. Might have to pick it up for my nephews.


  2. I read about 4 of these to my son, but he lost interest. The author swears she never read Harry Potter. But I think these have a different feel. And Rowling didn’t start off at Scholastic, so I think them both winding up there was for different reasons. But I didn’t think they were as a good as HP, though sometimes I wonder how it all ended. I thought it was pretty obvious the guy who played the piano was Charlie’s father. Am I right?

  3. Melissa Bradley says:

    My nephew would love these Charlie Bone stories. I’ll have to tell him. thanks for sharing these.

  4. Brandi says:

    I haven’t head of these books before but may pass them onto my friend who has older kids and keep them kn my list for when my kids are bigger for read allude.

  5. Bish Denham says:

    I haven’t heard of this series before. Sounds like a good one!

  6. Simon Kewin says:

    Ooh, must read those – I’ve seen them but never tried them. Thanks for the tip. And thanks for dropping by my blog!

  7. Wow. I haven’t heard of this series. I will have to check the library now. What age group do you think they are appropriate for?
    Thanks for the info.

  8. I have never heard of this series or author. Can’t say it would be up my alley, but it does take all kinds to go round! I do like his name however, “Charlie Bone.!”

    Gregg Metcalf

  9. This series is new to me, but sounds wonderful. Great B post.

  10. Katie says:

    I haven’t read this series, but do remember it from my days as a cub scout leader. One of the cubs was obsessed with Charlie Bone, another with Harry Potter and the two of them would argue ad naseum about which books were better. Our den even donated a copy of one of the Charlie Bone hardcovers to the local library for literacy week – they already had plenty of copies of Harry Potter 😉

  11. Brinda says:

    I love the premise in this one! Talking in photographs? Too cool. This is a series I’ve never heard of before today. Thanks!

  12. Laura Barnes says:

    Those sound awesome. I know my daughter would love them. I’m requesting them from the library now.

  13. jabblog uk says:

    This sounds an interesting series. With a grandson’s birthday looming these might be good books for him to read.

  14. Julie Daines says:

    I liked the Charlie Bones too, although I only read the first two. (I don’t read a lot of middle grade) But they were fun and my kids enjoyed them.

  15. Average Poet says:

    Hi, I never heard of these books but after your convincing review I may have to have a go at them, enjoyed your post.

  16. Spacerguy says:

    You’ve got me curious now. Charie Bone sounds like a captivating read. Great C post!

  17. tara tyler says:

    i wish my boys liked fantasy. but i read enough for all of us…thanks for the rec!

  18. I think it would be cool to be able to know what people were thinking, especially in the photographs. Thanks for an introduction to the series.

  19. I hadn’t heard of this series. Thanks!

    A-Z @ Elizabeth Twist

  20. What an amazing power to have; so ripe for abuse in the wrong hands! I’d never heard of the series before either. Do you know if it’s suitable for a 7 year old? I can’t seem to find an age range on the Scholastic website!

  21. Nate Wilson says:

    Thanks for the recommendation! I keep my kid lit to a minimum these days, but I’ll certainly add it to the list I have for when my young son is older. (Right now he’s much more likely to taste the book than to read it.)

  22. We’ve got the first three books of this series. Read the first, started the second — and my son’s interest faded. Might try again with him. Will certainly do so with my daughter when she’s older.

  23. Nicki Elson says:

    I hadn’t heard of Charlie Bone before – thanks for the tip on this series!

  24. Laura Eno says:

    I hadn’t heard of these before. They sound like something my grandkids would like.

    Laura A to Z of Immortals, Myths & Legends

  25. Kelly Polark says:

    I’ve heard wonderful things about this series. I have two boys, so I really should get them!

  26. Dawn Malone says:

    I actually have one of the books in my TBR pile. Sounds like a great series! Thanks for sharing.

  27. Lynn says:

    Wonderful – I love YA.

  28. This series sounds wonderful. Thanks for introducing Charlie Bone as part of your A to Z posts. I hope you’re having a lot of fun with the challenge.

    Patricia Stoltey

  29. I’d never heard of this series before. Thank you for introducing me to it — and thank you for commenting on my blog!

    Continue to enjoy the A to Z challenge.

  30. I hadn’t heard of these before – I do love these covers :-)

  31. The series is indeed very wonderful and fascinating but unfortunately, I was not able to read the PART 4.

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