The Amulet of Samarkand
By Jonathan Stroud
Why this book?
In this book, a boy (Nathaniel)—trying to impress his wizard master—summons a demon, which he then struggles to control. It’s the most obnoxiously loveable demon you’ve ever met. And the boy is a pretty obnoxious 12-year-old himself (as 12-year-old boy wizards are wont to be). Yup. We don’t start out with any truly likable characters. But, guess what, even though boy and demon start as enemies, then move on to become wary allies, they eventually become friends. True, sacrifice-yourself-for-the-other-person friends. However, the thing that—for me—might have been even more magical than that, was that I also become friends with those two rough-around-the-edges characters. You’re all going to be besties by the end of the series.
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