Illustrator: Robert Spies
What an extraordinary accomplishment for a ten-year-old. To write a story is hard, to write a long, novel length story is even harder. And yet that is exactly what Ben has done. As it says on the cover, his story is an action-packed adventure where the hero and his friends blitz from one dangerous situation to the next on a quest to save the world from destruction. It all starts when Bob finds an innocent-looking pencil (innocent but for the piece of tin foil attached) which turns out to be magic – anything it draws becomes real. Which in turn means a gang of bad people want it for their own dastardly plans. Bob is soon on the run to keep the pencil safe, aided by his friends and a strange but helpful Old Man. Their adventure is full of rockets, explosions, time travel, dinosaurs, rescues and space travel, and along the way the adventurers meet the Queen, a pharaoh and Einstein. Eventually they return home just in the nick of time to prevent the baddies from destroying the planet. Whew! Full of imaginative scenarios, this is a children’s story written by a child and as such features much of the things they love – action, narrow escapes, good guys and bad guys, and lots of high energy. When it comes to writing, a lot of new writers tend to forget that they need a plot with a beginning, middle and most importantly, an end, however this is not a trap that Ben has fallen into – his plot follows a good thread with mounting action and a nicely closed loop at the end. He has also done a fine job of dealing with multiple characters and keeping them all in the right place at the right time.”
Review by Vanessa Hatley-Owen
Find the eBook edition of The Magic Pencil here.
Meet Kiwi author Ben Spies
Ben Spies is a young author living on the beautiful Kapiti Coast.
Ben’s passion for writing led him to become a published author at the young age of nine with his first book, Weirdo. The Magic Pencil followed soon after at age ten, and The World of Greek Mythology at age eleven.
Find out more about Ben and how to contact him on his author profile.