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Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 09/2019
  • 9781097952779 1097952770
  • 176 pages
  • $6.99
Ebook Details
  • 04/2019
  • B07QNMGTVQ
  • 169 pages
  • $0.99
Ryan Cowan
Author
Mr. Moonbeam and the Halloween Crystal
Ryan Cowan, author
Elliott attends his third-grade class like any other boy, except that Elliott isn’t like any other boy. Endowed with magical powers, Elliott belongs to a secret world called Moonstone – and trouble is brewing. When the evil witch Noir steals The Halloween Crystal, it’s up to Elliott and his third-grade teacher, Mr. Moonbeam, to stop Noir from invading the non-magical world on Halloween night. But can Elliott learn to master his powers in time?
Reviews
Kirkus Reviews

In this debut middle-grade adventure, a young witch learns the value of teamwork and sacrifice from his favorite teacher.

Elliott Keene is a third grader in the small, nonmagical town of Wolf’s End. His parents, Greta and Christian, are witches from a magical place called Moonstone. They all live in the ordinary, human world under orders from Enchantra, Moonstone’s ruler, so that they can protect average people from magical harm. Sloan Moonbeam, another guardian witch, is Elliott’s teacher. He begins to suspect that Elliott is psychic, and he warns the boy that he must keep his powers secret, even from his best friend, Lucas. Elliott’s life grows more complicated when Mr. Moonbeam and his parents learn from Syballine, another guardian, that Noir, ruler of Moonstone’s Dark Lands, is hunting for the Halloween crystal—an artifact that would allow him to unleash a horde of monsters and potentially rule both Moonstone and the nonmagical world. Thankfully, Noir can’t enter Wolf’s End, but he has his sights set on kidnapping Syballine’s talented daughter, Sabrina. Mr. Moonbeam takes Sabrina into his care, placing her in his classroom, while the guardians hide the Halloween Crystal. Greta looks into the crystal and sees the Mossy Mansion on Rose Hill, so the magicians go there on a mission—but they seem to encounter Noir’s agents at every turn. Cowan’s middle-grade fantasy celebrates Halloween as both a colorful holiday and as a spiritual event; indeed, the plot revolves around stopping Noir on that night—a time when the “veil between the two worlds is paper thin.” Sabrina is a well-developed, egocentric character who notes that, “I’ve always gotten everything I’ve ever wanted.” But later, when Elliott complains about being an imperfect witch, his teacher says, “Nothing worthwhile comes easy,” a statement that remains valid beyond childhood. Cowan also engagingly reveres the seasons—especially fall: “Life is nature and nature is life.” A dazzling, creature-filled finale leaves possibilities open for further adventures.

A tale with plenty of spooky trappings and valuable lessons for young people.

Moonbeam Children's Book Award

Moonbeam Children’s Book Award for Pre-Teen Fiction, Ebook (Bronze) 2019

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

There is good magic and bad magic all around us and when witches and warlocks plot their battles, good against evil, anything can happen, especially on Halloween. Elliott is a boy growing up in a non-magical world. But he has the potential to do magic. Both his parents and his teacher, Mr. Moonbeam, have magical powers. But Elliott’s magic seems to be out of control. He never knows when something he thinks will happen, like throwing a book at the mean girl at school, Allison. He only thought about it; he hadn’t actually intended for a book to go flying into the back of Allison’s head. With magical powers out of control, how is Elliott ever going to learn? With the king and the gentle guidance of his wise teacher, Mr. Moonbeam, Elliott learns a valuable lesson, that “Each mistake is a learning opportunity and life is full of mistakes, or learning opportunities.”

As a retired teacher myself, I have to admit I can see the markings of a teacher-written masterpiece in this work. Perhaps that’s what makes this story so genuine and complete and a powerful tale for young readers to enjoy. Author and teacher, Ryan Cowan’s novel, Mr. Moonbeam and the Halloween Crystal, has all the ingredients of a great adventure: magic, witches and warlocks, dragons and mermaids, and so much more. The plot develops at a rapid pace, keeping the reader on the edge of their seat, waiting for the next unexpected twist. The characters are both believable and lovable, except for the evil characters, which are believable, but certainly not lovable. With great dialogue, narrative and character description, the reader is thoroughly immersed in this story from beginning to end.

As an author, I know that sometimes the most difficult thing to do is choose the right name for each character. Ryan has chosen wisely. In particular, his choice of Mr. Moonbeam for the teacher whose light and magic shines its greatest underneath the light of the moon which breaks the darkness of night. Noir is French for the color black but is also associated with crime fiction and all things evil and is the perfect name for the evil warlock who threatens the stability of many worlds on Halloween with his evil magic. The other names were also well-chosen, but these two specifically stood out as being symbolic of the good versus evil plot of the story. A great read.

News
11/15/2019
Kirkus Review

In this debut middle-grade adventure, a young witch learns the value of teamwork and sacrifice from his favorite teacher.

Elliott Keene is a third grader in the small, nonmagical town of Wolf’s End. His parents, Greta and Christian, are witches from a magical place called Moonstone. They all live in the ordinary, human world under orders from Enchantra, Moonstone’s ruler, so that they can protect average people from magical harm. Sloan Moonbeam, another guardian witch, is Elliott’s teacher. He begins to suspect that Elliott is psychic, and he warns the boy that he must keep his powers secret, even from his best friend, Lucas. Elliott’s life grows more complicated when Mr. Moonbeam and his parents learn from Syballine, another guardian, that Noir, ruler of Moonstone’s Dark Lands, is hunting for the Halloween crystal—an artifact that would allow him to unleash a horde of monsters and potentially rule both Moonstone and the nonmagical world. Thankfully, Noir can’t enter Wolf’s End, but he has his sights set on kidnapping Syballine’s talented daughter, Sabrina. Mr. Moonbeam takes Sabrina into his care, placing her in his classroom, while the guardians hide the Halloween Crystal. Greta looks into the crystal and sees the Mossy Mansion on Rose Hill, so the magicians go there on a mission—but they seem to encounter Noir’s agents at every turn. Cowan’s middle-grade fantasy celebrates Halloween as both a colorful holiday and as a spiritual event; indeed, the plot revolves around stopping Noir on that night—a time when the “veil between the two worlds is paper thin.” Sabrina is a well-developed, egocentric character who notes that, “I’ve always gotten everything I’ve ever wanted.” But later, when Elliott complains about being an imperfect witch, his teacher says, “Nothing worthwhile comes easy,” a statement that remains valid beyond childhood. Cowan also engagingly reveres the seasons—especially fall: “Life is nature and nature is life.” A dazzling, creature-filled finale leaves possibilities open for further adventures.

A tale with plenty of spooky trappings and valuable lessons for young people.

10/24/2019
Mr. Moonbeam and the Halloween Crystal by Ryan Cowan

BOOK REVIEW

    Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

    There is good magic and bad magic all around us and when witches and warlocks plot their battles, good against evil, anything can happen, especially on Halloween. Elliott is a boy growing up in a non-magical world. But he has the potential to do magic. Both his parents and his teacher, Mr. Moonbeam, have magical powers. But Elliott’s magic seems to be out of control. He never knows when something he thinks will happen, like throwing a book at the mean girl at school, Allison. He only thought about it; he hadn’t actually intended for a book to go flying into the back of Allison’s head. With magical powers out of control, how is Elliott ever going to learn? With the king and the gentle guidance of his wise teacher, Mr. Moonbeam, Elliott learns a valuable lesson, that “Each mistake is a learning opportunity and life is full of mistakes, or learning opportunities.”

    As a retired teacher myself, I have to admit I can see the markings of a teacher-written masterpiece in this work. Perhaps that’s what makes this story so genuine and complete and a powerful tale for young readers to enjoy. Author and teacher, Ryan Cowan’s novel, Mr. Moonbeam and the Halloween Crystal, has all the ingredients of a great adventure: magic, witches and warlocks, dragons and mermaids, and so much more. The plot develops at a rapid pace, keeping the reader on the edge of their seat, waiting for the next unexpected twist. The characters are both believable and lovable, except for the evil characters, which are believable, but certainly not lovable. With great dialogue, narrative and character description, the reader is thoroughly immersed in this story from beginning to end.

    As an author, I know that sometimes the most difficult thing to do is choose the right name for each character. Ryan has chosen wisely. In particular, his choice of Mr. Moonbeam for the teacher whose light and magic shines its greatest underneath the light of the moon which breaks the darkness of night. Noir is French for the color black but is also associated with crime fiction and all things evil and is the perfect name for the evil warlock who threatens the stability of many worlds on Halloween with his evil magic. The other names were also well-chosen, but these two specifically stood out as being symbolic of the good versus evil plot of the story. A great read.

    Formats
    Paperback Book Details
    • 09/2019
    • 9781097952779 1097952770
    • 176 pages
    • $6.99
    Ebook Details
    • 04/2019
    • B07QNMGTVQ
    • 169 pages
    • $0.99

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