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Pure Dead Magic (Pure Dead)


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A brilliant gothic romp involving family feuds, web-surfing and a touch of magic.

About the Author

Debi Gliori is the author and illustrator of many books for children, including the very popular Mr Bear series. She won the Children's Book Award picture book section, and was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal in 1997. Her backlist in Doubleday/Corgi includes Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go to Sleep and The Very Small. Pure Dead Magic, which introduced the Strega-Borgias, was her first novel. It was followed by Pure Dead Wicked, Pure Dead Brilliant, Deep Trouble, Deep Water and Deep Fear. Debi lives in Scotland, near Edinburgh.


Gr 4-6-Ever since Signor Luciano Strega-Borgia disappeared three weeks ago, kidnapped (unbeknownst to his family) by his evil inheritance-seeking half brother, the household has coped as best as it can. Signora Strega-Borgia decides to brush up on her magic at the Institute of Advanced Spelling, leaving Titus, Pandora, and Damp to the sensible ministrations of their new nanny, Mrs. McLachlan. Through a combination of misused magic, sibling rivalry, and an interesting interpretation of computer technology, baby Damp gets lost in the Internet and must be rescued by the household spider, who is a natural Web expert. Filled to bursting with an eccentric cast of characters, this extravagant tale combines magic, mafiaesque villainy, mythical beasts, foible-filled humans, and humor into a mixture that will appeal to fans of Diana Wynne Jones, J. K. Rowling, and even Lemony Snicket. There is a little too much going on, there are some characters with too little to do, and some elements go over the top-several stereotypical bad guys expire in gruesome and ludicrous ways, for instance-but the outrageous, tongue-in-cheek tone makes up for any plot deficiencies. Speechless baby Damp and Tarantella, the lipstick-wearing spider, whose trip through the Internet is short but enthralling, are particularly intriguing characters. Readers who want more of this clamoring clan will be happy to know that this is the first of a trilogy. Pure dead fun.-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

"Gliori's debut novel follows events after a 10-year-old waves her mother's magic wand and loses her baby sister in the modem, merging traditional fantasy with high technology," PW said. Ages 10-up. (Aug.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Debi Gliori's first novel is an unbridled fantasy with elements of the Addams family, a hint of Gormenghast and overtones of the mafia, together with computer technology and some parody, all blended into a heavy brew that is laugh-out-loud funny * The Bookseller *
It's a gallimaufry of ghastly, giggly stuff * Financial Times *
Fluent and energetic * The Sunday Times *
Features one of the most eccentric families in children's fiction . . . A rollicking red, which rapidly draws the reader into its strange and gothic world * Waterstones Books Quarterly *
Wonderful stuff * Daily Telegraph *

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