Before Harry Potter was even a thought in his creators mind, there was another very popular child wizard book published called ‘So You Want to be a Wizard.’
Written by Diane Duane, the first of nine books was published in 1983 and the last, some twenty-seven years later, was released in early 2010. Duane has been an important writer in the world of science fiction for twenty-five years, having written four top selling Star Trek novels, written for comics and computer games, and published over 20 other science fiction and fantasy novels.
Written for children over the age of ten, the books are about the adventures of Nita, a 13 year old girl, and Kit, a 12 year old boy who becomes her friend, as they learn how to use their new found wizard powers to save the world and humankind from evil—something kids of all ages love to imagine doing. Throughout the books, the friendship between the two, as well as important themes such as responsibility, good versus bad, and putting yourself in the other person’s shoes—even if that other person is your enemy — are blended into the stories.
In the first book, Nita, while hiding out in the library from a group of bullies who delight in tormenting her, finds a dusty old book and is surprised to find that it is a guide to how to become a wizard. The next day, she meets Kit, who says that he too has found a wizard training book. The two decide to use the books and come to the attention of the mysterious “forces of light” and are surprised to find that, as wizards, they are expected to help fight evil when called upon. The two end up stepping through a mirror into an alternate Manhattan, where they must locate an important book known to be in the possession of the Lone One.
Children will enjoy the developing friendship between Nita and Kit, the right mix of suspense and humor, and the feeling that everyone, even kids, can do their part to make the world a safe place for everybody.