Susan, Henry, Roy and Emma stumble upon a wall in the oddest of placesâ€”the middle of a cornfield. To their delight, it turns out to be wishing wall, complete with a key, capable of whisking them away to fascinating times and places. Itâ€™s not all fun and games, though, at least not at first. The kids have to puzzle out how the magic works and then contend with some mysterious visions granted to them by none other than the famous Merlin. The visions, along with the particular wishes each child makes, unfold into a unique life lesson for each of the children. Unfortunately, these lessons can feel a little contrived, particularly when it comes to Susan, the oldest of the group, who is desperately trying to grow up without losing the childlike qualities of imagination and adventure that are a fundamental part of her spirit. Nonetheless, the fast-paced plot and glib narratorâ€”fond of making asidesâ€”will keep readers turning pages and looking for magic in their own corners of the world. (Fantasy. 9-12)
Ah, Kirkus.Â Why are you so wedded to that nasty penultimate destructo-line?