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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
The Munchkins is a children's book written by Candice Zee. How many times did your parents tell you never to talk to strangers? I know mine did a lot. Perhaps the adoptive father of thirteen extraordinary children should have told them as well. When a new neighbor moves in and threatens the children, harassing them repeatedly, CC (as the children refer to their adoptive father) is concerned and tries valiantly to stand up to this man who calls himself Big Boss. This stranger knows too much, like the children’s names and their mysterious special powers. And he wants their powers for his own nefarious intentions. The drama intensifies as Big Boss infiltrates the unusual family in ways they never anticipated, and for which they were not prepared.
Candice Zee’s middle-grade novel The Munchkins is a Harry Potter-type fantasy that will keep young readers enraptured from beginning to end. Told mainly in the first-person narrative from Capricorn’s perspective (she’s one of the thirteen children), it reads like a memoir in many respects because she’s telling her story and that of her siblings from her direct perspective. At the same time, she’s imprisoned by this evil Big Boss. As the personal narrative unfolds, the story incorporates lots of dialogue typical of this age group (the children have all reached the age of 10 and are no longer aging). The narrative, dialogue, and descriptive passages are engaging and make young readers feel like they are part of the story. The good-versus-evil conflict is evident, and the importance of a strong family bond shines through. And why are they called the Munchkins? Well, that’s an interesting story in itself and adds to the overall flavor of the plot—a great read.