Thanks to Tasha over at Kids Lit for the link to Slide into summer reading: a pool of inviting kids books is now open. It's a great list of books for kids of all ages.
On the list is the fourth volume of the Charlie Bone series by Jenny Nimmo. I just finished reading the first of these, Midnight for Charlie Bone, and I loved it. I linked to the Amazon page because there are a number of editorial and customer reviews worth reading.
Nimmo's characterization is particularly strong. I especially liked:
1) Charlie's best friend Benjamin. What a great character. While other children don't like him, the reader does immediately.
2) Charlie's Uncle Patton. A great adult character. I can't wait to read more about him. His "endowment" is the ability (or curse) to break glass. This has made him into a bit of a recluse over the years, but when he is needed for the greater cause, he responds with brilliance and courage.
3) Olivia Vertigo. Fabulous, outrageous, strong female character.
Jenny Nimmo's writing is very straightforward and almost plain. But I found myself falling under her spell quite quickly. My favorite line is from Chapter Three ("The Flame Cats") when Charlie visits Miss Ingledew's bookshop. The room behind the shop "was a cozy room, for all that; it smelled of warm, rich words and very deep thoughts."