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The Lives of Christopher Chant (The Chrestomanci Series, Book 4)
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Glorious new rejacket of a Diana Wynne Jones favourite, exploring the childhood of Chrestmanci -- now a book with extra bits! Discovering that he has nine lives and is destined to be the next 'Chrestomanci' is not part of Christopher's plans for the future: he'd much rather play cricket and wander around his secret dream worlds. But he soon finds that destiny is difficult to avoid, and that having more than the usual number of lives is pretty inconvenient -- especially when you lose them as easily as he does! Then an evil smuggler, known only as The Wraith, threatens the ways of the worlds and forces Christopher to take action! Key title Includes PS Section / Diana Wynne Jones is the Godmother of children's fantasy fiction and has inspired contemporary heavy weights such as Neil Gaiman / Diana Wynne Jones' Chrestomanci series has a dedicated legion of fans and has now sold over 250,000 copies in the UK (Source: Bookscan TCM Chart) / Also the author of HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE, now an Oscar-nominated animated movie by Hayao Miyazaki / 2008 sees the completion of the rejacketing of the Chrestomanci books. This edition has a new 'More than a Story' section, featuring bonus material from the author, trivia, games and all sorts of tantalising extra bits! / Diana Wynne Jones first conjured up the enigmatic and embroidered dressing-gowned enchanter Chrestomanci in 1977. The adventures in his magical universes (for, as every budding sorceror knows, there are many series of parallel worlds) continue to enthrall readers internationally. / She has written over 40 books and has been translated into more than 20 languages. / Competition: Harry Potter, Philip Pullman, Terry Pratchett

About the Author

Diana Wynne Jones (1934-2011) spent her childhood in Essex and began writing fantasy novels for children in the 1970s. With her unique combination of magic, humour and imagination, she enthralled generations of children and adults with her work. She won the Guardian Award in 1977 with Charmed Life, was runner-up for the Children's Book Award in 1981 and was twice runner-up for the Carnegie Medal.

Reviews

Gr 6-9-In Diana Wynne Jones's magical coming-of-age story (Greenwillow, 1988), Christopher Chant manages to lose most of his nine lives as he comes to accept his destiny. His magical powers and his nine lives put him in line to be the next Chrestomanci (head enchanter) so, against his will, he is taken out of school to Chrestomanci's castle to be trained. There he realizes, to his horror, that his Uncle Ralph, whom he idolizes, is the Wraith, a notorious and wicked smuggler of magical goods. When Uncle Ralph tries to destroy the current Chrestomanci, Christopher joins forces with a young Goddess, a spirit traveler, and an ill-tempered temple cat to save him. This word-for-word reading will have high appeal for middle school fantasy fans. Actor Gerard Doyle's rich voice and English accent suit the story perfectly. His excellent expression and conviction draw listeners into the tale and help them follow the complex plot, giving each character's voice just enough distinction. The narration is slow enough to facilitate reading along but a good pace for listening as well. Both public and school libraries will find this an excellent addition to their audio collections.-Louise L. Sherman, formerly Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"!Her hallmarks include laugh-aloud humour, plenty of magic and imaginative array of alternate worlds. Yet, at the same time, a great seriousness is present in all of her novels, a sense of urgency that links Jones's most outrageous plots to her readers' hopes and fears!" Publishers Weekly "Truly magical -- guaranteed to leave you gasping -- even hotter than Potter" The Bookseller "Diana Wynne Jones could teach Stephen King and JK Rowling a thing or two ! [she] has a skill for inserting just the right amount of detail in her written words, leaving you satiated but not stuffed." SFX

Young Christopher Chant has very unusual dreams: he gets out of bed, walks to the corner of the nursery and enters a lush, green valley that can lead him to any one of the hundreds of worlds that comprise what he calls the ``Almost Anywheres.'' Christopher doesn't tell anyone about his dreams because he thinks everyone has them. When his father loses all of his money, Christopher and his mother must go live with Uncle Ralph; he is ecstatic to learn that Christopher can bring solid objects back from the worlds he visits, and so uses him to perform some experiments. Then Christopher's father forces him to go live at Chrestomanci Castle, where Christopher is told he must become the next governing magician. Jones has written a mesmerizing account of the boyhood adventure of the famous magician who starred in Charmed Life. Her ability to mesh magic and realism results in an enthralling story about a boy just discovering his powers. Ages 12-up. (May)

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