The magical, bestselling series from Pseudonymous Bosch, the author of the Secret Series!
Magic is BAD.
As in fake. Cheesy. Unreal. At least, that's what Clay, who has seen one magic show too many, thinks.
When words from his journal appear mysteriously on his school wall as graffiti, he never imagines that magic might be to blame. And when the same graffiti lands him at Earth Ranch, a camp for "troubled" kids on a remote volcanic island, magic is the last thing he expects to find there.
But at Earth Ranch, there is one strange surprise after another, until Clay no longer knows what to expect. Is he really talking to a llama? Did he really see a ghost? What is the scary secret hidden in the abandoned library? The only thing he knows for sure is that behind the clouds of vog (volcanic smog), nothing is as it seems. Can he solve the riddle of Earth Ranch before trouble erupts?
Elusive author Pseudonymous Bosch introduces an extraordinary new series that will have you believing in the unbelievable.
Twelve-year-old Clay's misgivings about magic are tested in this enjoyable if overlong trilogy opener. Max-Ernest, from Bosch's bestselling Secret Series, has disappeared mysteriously. His younger brother Clay is left feeling stung and resentful, and he's as shocked as everyone else when the words "MAGIC SUCKS!" somehow almost magically migrate from his private journal to a classroom wall. This inexplicable graffiti mural gets Clay sent to Earth Ranch, a summer camp for "struggling youth" located on an island with an active volcano. Bosch's arch narrative voice carries over from his previous books, and that humor helps buoy a story that takes its time getting to the big revelations of its final chapters. From The Tempest and Lord of the Flies to shows like Gilligan's Island and Lost, cultural allusions abound as Clay tries to understand the island's many mysteries and meets his fellow campers. Gilbert's watercolors bring in additional humor, especially a scene of Clay's mother Skyping in to a family meeting. Ages 8 12. Author's agent: Sarah Burnes, the Gernert Company. Illustrator's agent: Steven Malk, Writers House.