Author: Brian Falkner (Illustrated by Donovan Bixley)
Published: October 1, 2012
Genre: Childrens (Middle Grade), Fantasy, Adventure
Maddy West has a special talent; she has the ability to speak every language! At first her mother is sure there is something wrong with Maddy and takes her to the doctor, but the doctor convinces her mother that there is nothing wrong with Maddy and that this could be a very valuable talent. As a result of this conversation, Maddy’s mother becomes a little money-hungry and sets Maddy up to be on a talk show.
Word spreads of Maddy’s talent and soon a professor shows up at their house asking for Maddy’s assistance in translating ancient scrolls. The only problem is that the scrolls are in Bulgaria and Maddy’s mother is too scared to fly while her father can’t take any more time off work. So they agree to let the professor take Maddy and act as her guardian for a few days.
Everything seems to be going great and Maddy is having a fun time on her adventure to Bulgaria until her best friend Kazuki causes everything to change. Kazuki is a ninja and has the ability to become invisible (he’s good at sneaking around so no one realizes he is there). He wants to be Maddy’s protector on her trip so he snuck on to the plane to be with her. Once they are in the air, Kazuki is caught and is told that he must return back to his parents once they land in Bulgaria.
Feeling like this trip was a failure, Kazuki decides that he isn’t going to abandon Maddy no matter what. So once they land and the flight back to his parents is being arranged Kazuki sneaks away again to be with Maddy. The only problem is that now his disappearance has become a huge problem and Maddy is asked to return home to her parents as well.
Maddy is in the air port waiting for her flight back home to be arranged when she is kidnapped by two goth girls that she saw at the airport in London! Soon Maddy realizes that these girls are the daughters of a witch that wants to use her ability to translate old languages to obtain the magic spells on the scrolls.
The rest of the story is Maddy’s journey as she tries to get away from the evil witch and her daughters while also saving the world from the witch’s spells. I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a fun story with a lot of humor thrown in to make a reader of any age enjoy it. Brian Falkner has very quickly become my favorite kids author.