The Ability

The AbilityI really enjoyed everything about this book First off, the style reminded me of the kind of books I read in elementary school that were written in that magical period of the 1950s 1970s Second, I know a lot of people will want to compare this book to Harry Potter, but for me it felt like Matilda meets X Men First Class, by way of The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids series.So here s the premise 6 twelve year olds are chosen to attend a special school where they can learn to strengthen their Ability What exactly is their Ability, you ask Well, it s a combination of telekinesistelepathy mind controland speed readingThe kids are set up as a kind of task force against a set of creepy twins and their adopted gothic mother, a former student left for dead on a mission 30 years ago who is now back for revenge.This is one of the best MG books I ve read in a while It s well written, smart, and has the feel of a modern classic It was just everything that I ve been looking for in a book in this genre. Wow Great book If you love anything about England like me this book is a must have Really fun Bit like Harry Potter but older I really recommend it i can t wait for book 2 Delve Into The Extraordinary Abilities Of The Twelve Year Old Mind In This Thrilling Start To A Middle Grade Series That Expands The Possibilities Of PowerNo One Has Any Confidence In Twelve Year Old Christopher Lane His Teachers Discount Him As A Liar And A Thief, And His Mom Doesn T Have The Energy To Deal With Him But A Mysterious Visit From The Ministry Of Education Indicates That Chris Might Have Some Potential After All He Is Invited To Attend The Prestigious Myers Holt AcademyWhen Christopher Begins At His New School, He Is Astounded At What He Can Do It Seems That Age Twelve Is A Special Time For The Human Brain, Which Is Capable Of Remarkable Feats As Also Evidenced By Chris S Peers Ernest And Mortimer Genver, Who, At The Direction Of Their Vengeful And Manipulative Mother, Are Testing The Boundaries Of The Human MindBut All This Experimentation Has Consequences, And Chris Soon Finds Himself Forced To Face Them Or His New Life Will Be Over Before It Can Begin I am a total sucker for middle grade novels about special schools and kids with powers Perhaps it s because I grew up reading Harry Potter, and am still on the hunt for that elusive book that will mean as much to me, though I know that will likely not happen, because I m an adult now and less able to appreciate the magic Still, for all that I m not likely to find something as amazing as Harry Potter is, my middle grade choices have yet to fail me The Ability is a darker than usual middle grade novel with humor and action aplenty.The main hero of The Ability is young Christopher Lane, just turning twelve years old and at wit s end for how to take care of himself and his mother, ruined by the death of his father Like so many scrappy heroes, everything falls to Chris He struggles in school, marked as a troublemaker and is finally expelled for a weird incident where he somehow beats up a bully without touching him But, thankfully, salvation comes in the form of a test to study at an elite, strange prep school, Myers Holt Academy, which Chris passes with flying colors After his test, the proctor presents him with a surprise birthday cake.Note Chris is not a wizard.Now, there are certainly a few shades of Harry Potter obviously, like the cake, but The Ability does not read like a retelling What s most similar is actually the tone, than the story itself Harry Potter begins as a fairly light story for children, but then becomes progressively darker as the children age The Ability is not a kid s book and I would recommend it for the upper end of the middle grade age group There s some death and injury, and some ethical lines that get crossed I really liked how dark this was, and that there are shades of gray to the characters The bad guys aren t just evil they have backgrounds that explain how they became the way they are Similarly, the children and their teachers are flawed and imperfect.There s a lot of humor in The Ability too Most of the funny moments center around Rex, definitely the least likable of the six kids in this class at Myers Holt Academy However, just like the other five students, the readers can t help but be glad that Rex is there, because he s so funny, both accidentally and on purpose, even if many of his jokes are rather mean spirited There are also some standard middle grade jokes, like food fights and that sort of thing The funniest moment for me, though, was this scene where Chris is sent to a fancy department store to buy some new clothes and the salesman is all snooty telling him to get his grubby hands out of his department, until a manager comes and tells him who Chris is.I wanted him to storm out while saying this.Anyway, the powers that the kids have are also really cool See, Myers Holt Academy, as one expects, is totally not a normal school In fact, they train kids to work for the government in the super secret branch MI18 In this world, twelve year olds have unique abilities, where they can use a larger portion of their brains What s really cool and unique is that these powers only manifest for a single year, though any information learned during this period will be retained for life Basically, these kids are selected because they have potential, but all kids age 12 have increased capacity At Myers Holt Academy, they learn telekinesis, distance viewing, and mind reading control This is both cool and terrifying because I would not want children to have that much power, which is also why Sir Bentley, the head of the school, gives them lectures about using their power responsibly all the time.Speaking of how terrifying kids with powers are, the kids they are fighting are so creepy They re these twins who will stop at nothing to please their crazy step mother Yet, as evil as they are, you sort of get how they got that way and it s just sad all around, but they do need to be stopped Vaughan does a great job setting up the bad guys and not making them laughable like so many middle grade villains are, because they don t run around spouting monologues about their evil plans.The only drawback to The Ability is that the opening chapters are a bit confusing, because you re immediately introduced to a whole bunch of characters, and it takes a while to sort out who s who and how everything connects The first chapter takes place 30 years before the rest of the book, and is important set up, and it s followed by a few chapters in which it s hard to tell which kid the narrative will primarily be following This does get sorted out, but the beginning was a bit rough Aside from that, though the kids themselves did have nice individual arcs, I would have liked a bit focus on the friendships between the kids.The Ability is a great read for mature middle graders It s a great choice for those who enjoyed Trenton Lee Stewart s The Mysterious Benedict Society, as well as Harry Potter I will be looking forward to the next installment I haven t read this yet but my 12 year old just finished it today and is in love with it What I like, as a parent, is that this book has been the catalyst for some of the deepest conversations about ethics morality, family and responsibility that I have ever had with her She s loved reading it and I ve loved her reading it Both of us are looking forward to number two I work in a bookstore and a kid recommended this to me Usually it s the other way round Kid was right it s a GREAT read It s great fun and works on different levels for kids, there s the action packed story, a deliciously evil family and tons of i wish i could do that For teenagers and adults, there s a whole other level to read this book on the desperate and complex situation of the protagonist and the way he deals with that and what blew me away the concept of the unique city of in the mind Seriously great book Having read to the end and seen how it s all been set up, I have a feeling the second book is going to be incredible. Don t and I m saying this as an English teacher get all literary on this This is fast and full of detail the kind of book kids can read again and again It might not win any literary awards but that s fine by me, not all books worth reading have to The kind of kids I teach boys mostly NEED books like this More serious and thought provoking than Mysterious Benedict Society which I love too btw , less of that Harry Potter magic that sometimes puts boys off I KNOW this is a book my class is going to go nuts over in the fall. this book is soooooooo amazing I can t wait for the next one is ernest is going to be evil now Best book ever according to my son He got his copy a day before release and, not only did he finish it but he s already started to read it again that s how much he loved it.I can see how this will be a 5 star or 1 star book 1 star from adults who are uncomfortable with the dark content and boy is it dark at times and 5 stars from anybody who gets how much kids will like it for exactly that reason It s funny too.On a side note, from a parent point of view, it brought up some great issues for us to discuss It also had some interesting concepts with the whole mind thing that even got me thinking And, now this is just a personal thing, but I really liked that it wasn t all informal and slapstick think like Harry Potter than Diary of Wimpy Kid.Overall, I have to say this author knew exactly what she was doing when she wrote this she got it just right S is already asking about when the next one will come out The excitement at my school about this author is unprecedented A group of students went to see her speak when she came to visit from England on her book tour and it has had a snowball effect I finally got round to reading it and can see exactly why the book has had such a reaction it is fast paced, full of details about the mind that are original and clever and full of humor There are criticisms I do think that some of the side characters need fleshing out but it is the first in a series and the prologue is a little confusing on first reading but these are just minor issues Personally I loved it great fun and the most awesome concept Even better, it s the first time I ve seen kids this excited about a book since Harry Potter we have five people waiting to take the book out We have ordered a class set for the library and teachers are talking about doing work around it next year to take advantage of the buzz around this Next HUGE book wait and see

The daughter of South American parents, Monica Meira Vaughan grew up in Spain before moving to London at the age of five where she learnt English by watching Sesame Street and reading every Roald Dahl book she could get her hands on On leaving school, and after a brief stint in public relations, Monica decided to train as a primary school teacher She has spent the last eight years working in spe

[Ebook] ➧ The Ability By M.M. Vaughan –
  • Hardcover
  • 330 pages
  • The Ability
  • M.M. Vaughan
  • English
  • 01 June 2019
  • 9781442452008

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