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Editorial Reviews

Why You Should Download This Audiobook: The most famous young wizard of all time (who shall not be conjured here) has quite a few precursors: Ursula K. Le Guin's The Wizard of Earthsea is one, and Nita, in this delightful book, is another. If you appreciate fun fantasy filled with adventure and wonderment, we won't harry you. We simply and emphatically recommend you don Ms. Duane's brilliant gem.

Publisher's Summary

Because she insists on fighting with words instead of her fists, 13-year-old Nita is regularly tormented by a gang of classmates. One day, running to escape their blows, she hides in the only safe place nearby: the library. When a book about wizardry catches her eye, Nita finds the help she needs in its pages. As she moves from chapter to chapter, Nita learns more sophisticated spells. Soon, stepping through a worldgate, she enters a shadowy city swirling with vicious taxicabs and carnivorous fireplugs. What begins as a simple quest quickly becomes a struggle to keep a powerful and ominous force from passing back into Nita's world.

Ranked with the best of Madeleine L'Engle and Diana Wynne Jones, Diane Duane's magical tale of wizardry and wisdom has become a modern fantasy classic. Christina Moore's delightful narration captures all the excitement and danger in this thrilling fantasy adventure.

You can listen to Diane Duane's entire Young Wizard series.
©1983 Diane Duane (P)2002 Recorded Books, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Not quite Harry Potter ... better

This series has been compared time and time again to the Harry Potter books, and, though I love HP, these series are NOT the same. You have a set of young friends, who are wizards, who fight against dark forces and deal with life's issues. But that is where the similarity ends. The wizardry books are more imaginative, filled with different beings, different worlds, creative and twist turning adventures that will leave readers wanting more and waiting impatiently to download the next edition. Not only is the story incredible but the narrarator is the best I've heard yet. Each character's voice is distinct and believable and allows you to immerse yourself completely in the story. This is a great series for for children and adults alike. I love it.

32 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cather
  • Cumberland, VA, United States
  • 03-30-07

I'm hooked.

I'd have to say this is better than the first three Harry Potter books, but it seems to me that the comparison isn't a very good one. I'm a Potter addict, mind you, but where the HP books sometimes fall into silliness, in particular with the magic, this is more like one of the Heinlein Juveniles, except with fantasy instead of sci-fi. (And there's just a hint of sci-fi.)

The story is intelligent and well thought out, and the characters are convincing and endearing. Like the Heinlein Juveniles, it doesn't talk to the reader like a baby or stick to one-syllable words.

Oh, and the reader is superb to the point that when I finish this series, I will look at what else she has done to see if anything gets my attention.

High hopes for this series-- I bought the second and third immediately after finishing this one.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Roger
  • Ontario, Canada
  • 05-01-12

Loved it!

If you could sum up So You Want to Be a Wizard in three words, what would they be?

Fun, Gripping, Youthful

What about Christina Moore???s performance did you like?

Excellent voices and she really keeps the story moving along. One of my favorite readers so far. Awesome job Christina!

Any additional comments?

The story is great for young readers and old alike. Listened to it with my kids (8 & 9) and they really liked it. What a fantastic novel, I really enjoyed this one.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An Old Favourite Come to Life

My mother read Diane Duane's Young Wizard Series to me when I was a child and I love them every bit as much now as I did then. The series has a timelessness to it that make's it a pure joy for readers of any age. Having 'So You Want to Be a Wizard' read out loud to me again for the first time in years was wonderful fun. Christina Moore, the narrator, does a beautiful job of bring Nita, Kit, and Fred to life. I'm certain to buy the others in the series now and am really looking forward to listening to them.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent listening!

I am 29 years old and I loved this book! The narration is excellent and brings this wonderful series to life. Diane Duane's "The Young Wizards" series ranked 4th in a recent online article about books that are better than the Harry Potter series.

26 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful beginning to a great series

This book, and the others in the series, pose interesting challenges to young people (or middle-aged adults!) about power, good and evil and lots of ethical questions. Because the writing is so good, and the characters so real -- the two heroes are a young teen-aged boy and girl -- you're drawn into the story without realizing that all along, you're wondering "what would I do? do I agree with this?". There's humor and sadness. There are well-drawn human characters and others which are, er, unusual... The reader, Christina Moore, is one of the best interpreters of books I've ever encountered -- she's great in other things I've listened to, but in this book, and the subsequent books in the series (all of which she reads), she brings nuances to the comments and descriptions and events that enhances an already terrific book.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jason
  • KCMO United States
  • 02-17-07

Exquisitely done.

I bumped into this series entirely by accident, and was thoroughly impressed. I'm 26, very well read in the fantasy genre, and normally favor things like Jordan, Martin, Brooks, Pratchett, etc. (though I take an illicit pleasure in the Harry Potter-esque books of the world).

This was amazingly well done. It's not Harry Potter. Not better, not worse. It's easily AS good though. Parents, be prepared to have to define a few words to your kids (the main antagonist is the anthropomorphic personification of entropy).

It gets better throughout the series as well. If you're not totally thrilled with this book, give the next few a chance as well. Once knit together, you'll find a rare gem.

I strongly recommend this series; I've purchased it in hardbound for when my children are old enough to appreciate it.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jean
  • Garden Grove, CA, USA
  • 10-23-04

A book to spark the Love Of Reading!

Not every child likes to sit down and pick up a book as a Freetime activity.
Infact, those parents who have a child like that, feel blessed. This book though is one of the few books I have found that get my reluctant readers to want to open a book and read ahead. I can tell you it is a real delight to see 10 copies of this in the laps of children at recess, independent reading time, and before/after school waiting for parents.

This is delightfully read and well written. (Written much better than any review I could give it).

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

good reading for kids of all ages

I chose this book for my nephews, Harry Potter fans, but listened myself before giving them the disks. I had read several of Diane Duane's adult s-f titles, but like these even better. There are elements of Christian allegory without heavy handedness. A word of caution--Nita and Kit find themselves in quite dangerous situations and this could be quite scary for younger children. But my 8 and 10 year old nephews are eager to hear the next installment, which I just gave them.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mari
  • Pembroke Pines, FL, USA
  • 03-18-06

Before Harry Potter

Before Harry Potter there was Nita and Kit. This story is wonderfully diverse and does an outstanding job of explaining just how magic and wizards might exist in our own reality. Well worth the listen, for both children and adults.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful