Reader Reviewed Bad Magic by Pseudonymous Bosch

Bad Magic

Written by Pseudonymous Bosch
Part of the The Bad Books Series

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Fans of Lemony Snicket will feel themselves in good authorial hands with Pseudonymous Bosch. Dire warnings about calamities to come, knowing asides, footnotes and appendices abound, giving the book a distinct feel and putting the reader on the inside of the jokes. Its hero Clay is struggling to cope with the disappearance of his stage-magician brother Max-Ernest (of Bosch’s best-selling Secrets series) when an unfortunate case of wrongly-attributed graffiti lands him in trouble at school. Sent to Earth Ranch, a camp to help children ‘outgrow problem behaviours’ set on a desert island, complete with volcano, things get mysteriouser and mysteriouser. What are his fellow camp inmates up to, can the island really be haunted, and what’s the secret of the burned out buildings at the island’s heart? Readers will want to find out, and there are plenty of surprises along the way. ~ Andrea Reece

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.  You can read their reviews here.

  • Rose Hopkins, age 9 - 'Never a dull moment in this book.  Constant adventure, a reasonable amount of fantasy and an element of mystery, just the way I like it.'
  • Charlotte Cassidy, age 9 - 'An adventurous page-turner of a book...I would mark this book a definite 10 because I couldn’t put it down once I started it.  It was chilling one moment and exciting the next.'
  • Fiona Sutherland, age 11 - 'Bad Magic is a very gripping book and if you liked his Secret Series you would like this too. It is filled with jokes and odd language I would recommend it to anyone who likes the Harry Potter Series.'
  • Lola Frary, age 11 - 'Bad Magic is weird, well written and funny. I recommend it.'
  • Sam Harper, age 11 - 'Full of totally unexpected twists and turns, brilliantly original, crazy and very weird (but in a good way!).'
  • Lucy Minton, age 11 - 'Bad Magic is a brilliant book.'
  • Chloe Mcilroy, age 14 - 'This is the first book in a new series. If you loved the other books then you will enjoy this. It is witty, funny and scary at the same time.'
  • Heather Greenan, age 11 - 'This is an exciting story full of mystery and adventure. I would recommend it as a great read.'
  • Isaac East, age 8 - 'This book is really very good.  It's got humor, adventure, magic and a lot of fun!'
  • Daisy, age 13 - 'I would rate this book 4.5/5 and I would recommend it to anyone who has read the Secret series, or who likes mystery.'
  • Rachel Ilsley, age 12 - 'I thought this book was amazing; I love the plot...I have read all of Pseudonymous Bosch’s books, they were really good but I think this is the best. So far!'
  • Sarankan, age 11 - 'This book is very interesting and hilarious and suitable for all ages I rate this 10/10.'
  • Lily Fry, age 12 - 'Bad Magic is about a boy called Clay, who is blamed for vandalizing his school and is sent to a summer camp on a mysterious island...'

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Bad Magic by Pseudonymous Bosch

This book is incredibly BAD. It does not contain MAGIC. Or a strange ghost girl. Or spontaneous combustion. Or Spanish-speaking llamas. It's just an ordinary tale of a boy going to summer camp on a desert island. Nothing EXCITING or WEIRD happens and there are no SECRETS or MYSTERIES at all. (Or maybe there are. You'd better read it to find out.)

A brand-new series from New-York-Times bestselling (and intriguingly secretive) author Pseudonymous Bosch.


'The perfidious and puzzling Pseudonymous Bosch is on top form in this stupendously surreal and marvellously mysterious adventure. Throw in a ghost girl, spontaneous combustion, a nod at J.M.Barrie's Peter Pan and the great William Shakespeare, plus some devilishly good plotting, and you have the funniest and craziest reading experience this side of Neverland' - Lancashire Evening Post 'An unputdownable read with a very clever mix of suspense and humour.' - Primary Times 'Bad Magic is a fun, page-turning, magical mystery that is sure to thrill and engage young readers.' - Inis magazine'

About the Author

Pseudonymous Bosch

DISCLAIMER: Usborne books and Pseudonymous Bosch cannot be blamed for the effect of reading his books. You have been warned - there may be consequences!

Many people laugh in the face of danger but not Pseudonymous; his story had to be dragged from him with threats and bribery but now it is here written down. It is up to you whether you have the courage to follow this story of mystery, murder, strange powers and evil foes, although if you do not you may miss out on a BIG secret.

But who is PSEUDONYMOUS BOSCH? Pseudonymous Bosch is a pseudonym, or as he would prefer to call it (because he is very pretentious), a nom de plume. Unfortunately, for reasons he cannot disclose, but which should be obvious to anyone foolhardy enough to read this book, he cannot tell you his real name. He describes himself as impetuous, immature, immodest and immoderate and likes to spend his spare time eating but admits to a deep-seated fear of mayonnaise.

Writing is not his only trade; he is also a spy for a very small country but of this, for your sake and his, we can say no more. Pseudonymous writes in the dark as his words tend to scare him, the subject matter being so terrible. However the dark also scares him so the only thing that gets him through the trauma of writing is chocolate. Pseudonymous is carrying on with his writing for Usborne, despite the danger. This bravery has paid off to some extent as he has recently been nominated for a Juvenile Edgar Award in the United States, although if he wins it is doubtful he could attend in case this jeopardises his cover.

A short interview with mysterious author Pseudonymous Bosch

Q: Is chocolate really your favourite food?

Q: Why do you not like mayonnaise?

Q: Have you written anything else?
A: Lists, mainly. Shopping lists, laundry lists, that sort of thing. A few thank-you notes when my mother made me. Oh, and when I was a kid I wrote a story about a mouse detective and a missing piece of cheese. Cheese, of course, being my second most favourite food.

Q: Do you plan to write anything else?

Thanks for the great questions, but remember, the books are meant to be secret. Please don't repeat a word I've said. Or if you must, repeat only the most boring ones. And repeat them over and over until you drive everybody away.

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Book Info


352 pages


Pseudonymous Bosch
More books by Pseudonymous Bosch

Author's Website


Usborne Publishing Ltd

Publication date

1st February 2015




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