Robbie Darko wants to be a great magician. Last year’s talent show didn’t go so well so he wants to make sure this year is amazing. He tests out tricks on his family and they mostly go well. But then Grandma Melvyn moves in and takes over his room. She is old and crabby and doesn’t seem to like anyone until she starts teaching him magic. Turns out Melvyn used to be a big time magician until her partner died. Robbie and Melvyn become really close and get the big act for the talent show ready to go. It is everything Robbie hoped it would be and more.
Robbie is obsessed with magic and he is really good at it. I thought he made a different character than what you see in a lot of middle grade novels. His family is pretty typical for this type of book though. Overworked or absentee parents (or both) and a strange sibling. I really wanted more of Grandma Melvyn’s story since I found her fascinating. Robbie spends a lot of the book talking to the reader, which I found a bit distracting, but I am sure kids will enjoy.