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Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 10/2021
  • 9781737233909
  • 306 pages
  • $7.99
Ebook Details
  • 10/2021
  • 978-1-7372339-1-6
  • 339 pages
  • $4.99
Candice Zee
Author
The Munchkins
Candice Zee, author

Middle Grade; Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror; (Market)

When Capricorn Munch and her twelve siblings appear outside a children’s home, no one, including themselves, knows who they are or where they came from. At ten years old they stop aging, as she and her siblings develop powers that gift them with incredible abilities, like healing wounds and manifesting objects. They keep these powers secret and their adoptive father restricts their use. Capricorn strives to live a normal life, blissfully playing with her favorite sisters, witty and bold Allie, empathic and wise Breezy, and giddy and sweet Hazy. But a sudden threat intrudes on their carefree lives: Their next-door neighbor, a man who calls himself Big Boss. Capricorn watches fretfully as Big Boss encroaches on her family like a malevolent force, feeding hostility between her siblings and causing them to be reckless with their powers. Capricorn knows Big Boss is plotting something sinister and can only pray it doesn’t end in ultimate doom for her and her family.
Reviews
Amy Lignor for Reader Views

This has all the “ingredients” for a fantastical, magical, YA story that also caters to adults who absolutely love the Potter-esque world that happens maybe twice in a lifetime. First, you have that magic number: 13. Yes, there are 13 children in this book who all possess specific extraordinary powers. Are we talking the X-Men here… just in a different package?

Well, instead of having Professor X oversee these kids, you have an actual protective, adoptive father who wants to makes sure that this “family coven” stays safe; he loves them with all his heart. What Dad doesn’t know right off the bat, however, is that there’s something special about these kids and that the neighbor living next door to him and his family is, quite frankly, a sociopath. Big problem? This particular psycho knows more about these 13 children than perhaps they know about themselves.

All of a sudden readers are shot into a plotline that is mysterious, suspenseful, and sometimes downright terrifying. The voice of this author is fast, so as not to ever let the story lag in any way for any amount of time; however, the voice is also informative without being boring. In other words, Ms. Zee makes sure the reader does understand the complexities of each quirky character so you’re never lost or wondering “who the heck” someone is, but she never writes paragraph upon paragraph just “explaining.” Even better is the fact that there’s true emotion in this. I liked the Potter series because of the underlying friendship and love the characters had for each other all throughout the story – which is exactly why I really liked this book. These are not only friends, they are siblings. Therefore, their support for each other is strong.

When Capricorn Munch and her twelve siblings simply “appear” at the doors of a children’s home, not one of them knows who they are or where their real home is located. Even odder is that at the age of ten the kids seemed to stop aging completely, which is when the powers and abilities started manifesting for each one. Those powers start out simply, such as fixing wounds when they’re hurt or “calling up” objects from out of nowhere. When they’re adopted, they decide to keep their powers quiet and work hard to live a normal life. But when the man-next-door (who has named himself “Big Boss”) starts to intrude on their childhood, things go seriously wrong. He has the power to make someone hostile, and when the siblings are angry, they become reckless with their abilities. When this occurs, Capricorn has to strive even harder to stop this man from destroying her family and utilizing her siblings’ powers for his own evil.

You will pick at least one character to fall in love with here. Capricorn is highly intelligent; Allie has the humor; Hazy is absolutely sweet…and the list goes on. This was written well enough to see at least a TV or Internet series created from this fantastically fun cast. 5-Stars!

D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Book 1 of the series The Munchkins introduces a rather large, magical family of children left outside a children’s home. Capricorn Munch and her twelve siblings are a mystery. At ten years old, each stops aging and develops extraordinary powers.

Narrator Capricorn provides the first-person story of their lives, which have been completely changed. The story opens with a tragic outcome of this change, but Capricorn rewinds her memories to provide readers with what she can recall of their mysterious origins and how she came to be in a cage, imprisoned with her sister Kitty.

Her decision to review their story and how they fell into the hands of a psychopath traverses their adoption, their magical abilities, and their lives. This provides young adults with all the information needed to enter their world.

Neighbor Big Boss is dangerous. He seems intent on dividing their family with adversity and threat, and as Capricorn observes his influence, little does she know that these devices of division are only the beginning of the end for her happy life.

This story will appeal to middle grades and older; but because of the references to psychopathic behaviors, cruelty, and other psychological insights, earlier grade readers will ideally be more mature, and capable of handling the depths that The Munchkins probes.

Candice Zee injects reflections on growth and problem-solving into her magical adventure that often give satisfying pause for thought: “Chase, stop calling yourself dumb. You’re not dumb. You know, you should really work on your self-esteem issues. It’s okay. I know you don’t always see how serious things are.”

As the siblings struggle to confront a growing evil and support one another, readers are drawn into a tale replete with magic, insight, and unexpected twists and turns, all woven into an adventure of connection and evolving abilities.

Although the Munch children face endings and new beginnings, Zee leaves the door wide open for another adventure, with a cliffhanger.

Readers who like stories of family relationships, changing abilities, magic, and adversity will find all these elements and more in The Munchkins. Its action-packed story is more firmly rooted in family and interpersonal connections than most, and creates a satisfying adventure as siblings fight to preserve their family.

Collections strong in stories of magic and family evolution will find The Munchkins a fine addition.

Readers' Favorite

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.

The Prairies Book Review

Magically mesmerizing and moving… A thrilling ride

.Zee’s debut installment in The Munchkins series is an emotional roller coaster of a close-knit family in crisis, tempered by a touch of magic and resilience and highly likable protagonists. With their past memory lost, Capricorn Munch and her twelve siblings have no idea who they are or where they come from. But the children soon find their forever home after Casey Munch adopts them together. At ten, all of them stop aging and develop magical powers. But their life stays fairly normal otherwise, with school, studies, and play. When a sinister stranger, who calls himself Big Boss, moves next door, the Munchs’ carefully constructed life begins to shatter. Capricorn knows Big Boss is plotting something sinister but has no idea how to stop the evilness. The mind-boggling plot is compelling, and the characters are sketched skillfully. The measured narrative expresses the siblings’ struggles with conflicting thoughts and emotions while keeping the action rolling. Zee carefully establishes Capri’s confusion and feelings of fear, her dread at Big Boss’s creepy ways and his relentless attacks at the Munchs. Twisty, Justin, and Kevin remain interesting throughout. Becky and little Carlie are equally compelling. Add in whip-smart and bold Allie, empathic and wise Breezy, and giddy and sweet Hazy, and you have a thoroughly entertaining cast of characters. Particularly endearing throughout this roller-coaster ride is Casey Munch, a tender-hearted, fiercely protective father, who’s ready to go to any length to protect his children. Big Boss comes out as a thoroughly creepy, intimidating villain. The siblings’ bond is etched in reality, and it is in this bond that they find hope and meaning that sustain them when they get entangled in Big Boss’s sinister scheming. There is plenty of suspense, and the action never slows down: Zee constantly jacks up the tension, ricocheting from catastrophe to disaster. The chapters detailing the siblings’ everyday lives are compelling. But once Big Boss enters the scene, it’s siblings’ struggle against him that drives the action. Zee’s exploration of sibling bond, parenting, courage, resilience, strength, patience, trauma, and what it means to be family serves as profound philosophical commentary. The cliffhanger climax provides both a satisfying ending and a great set-up for the next in the series. Told in a fast-paced narrative voice with complex characters, the exhilarating fantasy will keep readers guessing until the very end—all while falling in love with the quirky cast. The book deserved to be made into a movie or a web series.

News
04/14/2022
Cleveland Debut Author Candice Zee Wins 2021 Story Monsters Approved Award in Tw

Cleveland, OH – The upper middle-grade dark fantasy novel The Munchkins by Cleveland-based author Candice Zee, published in October 2021, just won a 2021 Story Monsters Approved children’s book award from Story Monsters LLC. The award was in the category Tween Novels (Ages 10-14) Fiction. This is the second book award for The Munchkins, as last month The Munchkins won the Gold Award in the Teen Category of the 2021-2022 Reader Views Literary Awards.

 

This suspenseful story about thirteen adopted siblings with mysterious powers and their malevolent neighbor is Zee’s debut novel, and it has been receiving high praise from readers and reviewers alike. In a 5-Star review for The Munchkins, Amy Lignor of Reader Views said The Munchkins "has all the "ingredients" for a fantastical, magical, YA story that also caters to adults who absolutely love the Potter-esque world that happens maybe twice in a lifetime." 


In the book, Capricorn Munch and her twelve siblings all stop aging at 10 years old and develop powers that give them incredible abilities. They strive to live a normal life with their loving adoptive father, hiding their powers, until a sociopathic neighbor moves in next door. As the dangerous neighbor encourages them to be reckless with their powers, the siblings realize he’s up to something more sinister and they need to find out what—before it’s too late.⁠ The book is the first in a series and is available nationally and internationally through brick-and-mortar stores, online retailers, and libraries.

 

Candice Zee is a middle-grade and young adult (YA) fantasy writer who first dreamed the idea of The Munchkins as a child while playing make-believe with her brother in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The two siblings would make up Munchkins stories, act them out, and imagine them into being. She is an early childhood teacher and lives with her wife and dog in Cleveland, Ohio. The Munchkins is her debut book.

03/10/2022
Debut Author Candice Zee Wins Gold Award of Teen Category in the Reader Views Li

Cleveland, OH – The upper middle-grade fantasy novel The Munchkins by Cleveland-based author Candice Zee, published in October 2021, just won the Gold Award of the Teen Category in the 2021-2022 Reader Views Literary Awards, announced on Monday, March 7th. This story about thirteen siblings with mysterious powers and their malevolent neighbor is Zee’s debut novel, and it has been receiving high praise from readers and reviewers alike.

 

In a 5-Star review for The Munchkins, Amy Lignor of Reader Views said The Munchkins "has all the "ingredients" for a fantastical, magical, YA story that also caters to adults who absolutely love the Potter-esque world that happens maybe twice in a lifetime." The full Reader Views review can be found here: https://www.readerviewskids.com/reviewzeethemunchkins/


In the book, Capricorn Munch and her twelve siblings all stop aging at 10 years old and develop powers that give them incredible abilities. They strive to live a normal life with their loving adoptive father, hiding their powers, until a sociopathic neighbor moves in next door. As the dangerous neighbor encourages them to be reckless with their powers, the siblings realize he’s up to something more sinister and they need to find out what—before it’s too late.⁠ The book is the first in a series and is available nationally and internationally through brick-and-mortar stores, online retailers, and libraries.

 

Candice Zee is a middle-grade and young adult (YA) fantasy writer who first dreamed the idea of The Munchkins as a child while playing make-believe with her brother in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The two siblings would make up Munchkins stories, act them out, and imagine them into being. She is an early childhood teacher and lives with her wife and dog in Cleveland, Ohio. The Munchkins is her debut book.

Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 10/2021
  • 9781737233909
  • 306 pages
  • $7.99
Ebook Details
  • 10/2021
  • 978-1-7372339-1-6
  • 339 pages
  • $4.99

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