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Midnight Magic
Scholastic, 1999
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Midnight Magic

Night after night, a ghost appears in the royal castle of Pergamontio, terrifying the princess. Mangus the Magician doesn’t believe in ghosts, but that doesn’t stop him from being charged with finding this one. The King demands that Mangus free his daughter from the torment of the ghost … otherwise, the magician will pay with his life. Mangus’s only hope is his faithful, street-smart servant boy, Fabrizio, who must solve the mystery of the ghost using logic and reason—and a bit of magic of his own.

Story Behind the Story

Sometimes writers write just for the fun of it. Midnight Magic is me having fun with the idea of a ghost story. I had been reading some ghost stories, (I don’t recall which) and thought I’d play with some of the classic ghost story notions: A haunting, a magician, an ancient city. As for the ancient city, I had recently visited the fascinating city of Naples (the Italian one) and used its unusual placement—a steep hill—for the setting of the book.

As I may have said before, I don’t believe in ghosts, but I do believe in ghost stories. read more

Awards and Honors

Children's Choice award, Utah, 2002
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
YALSA Quick Pick, 2000
IRA Children's Choice 2000
IRA Teacher's Choice 2000
Children’s Choice nominee, North Carolina
Children’s Choice nominee, New Mexico
Children’s Choice nominee, Florida


Kirkus Reviews:

“Conspiracies, intrigue, murder, deceit, apparitions, dusty passages, false identities, a clever investigator, and his loyal if credulous young servant, Avi’s new page-turner has it all … Readers … will be riveted from page one.”

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