Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Book Review: The Wednesday Wizard

A Fair Trade Book

Title: The Wednesday Wizard

Author: Sherryl Jordan

Date: 1991

Publisher: Scholastic

ISBN: 0-590-46759-X

Length: 149 pages

Quote: “Beware of Spy Wednesday! Beware of the large town! And, Weasel, most of all, beware of the dragon!”

Denzil, whom the village wisewoman calls Weasel, is about to travel through time (and possibly between universes) from a world something like a medieval English village to a world something like a modern city. “The dragon” in her vision will later be identified with a train. Denzil is a wizard’s foster son and apprentice, and has some real magical power, but not, of course, enough to keep him out of comical misadventures in a twentieth-century-type environment.

The use of this book is, so far as I can see, strictly entertainment. It’s not real history; it has little to tell us about our real world today either. It’s merely funny. Denzil, who can change himself into any other animal in a moment and avoids trouble by turning into a flea, was bored (possibly a bit hyperactive) in his own world and might almost be happier in the twentieth century watching science fiction movies.

The Wednesday Wizard is recommended to all readers who want a short, easy book to chortle over. The main characters are children but some of the comedic appeal seems especially meant for adults; the vocabulary is accessible to determined third grade readers, but the more history you’ve read, the funnier the story is. So, if you’re looking for a good clean laugh, with this book it hardly matters whether you’re nine or ninety. It’s hard to suspend disbelief—this is one long shaggy-dog story—but some readers think the comedy is worth that effort.

According to Bing, Sherryl Jordan is still alive and writing in New Zealand, so The Wednesday Wizard is a Fair Trade Book. That means that if you send $5 per copy + $5 per package to either address at the very bottom of the screen, below the blog feed widget, we'll send $1 per book to Jordan or the charity of her choice.