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Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism

Review

Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism

In the first installment of Georgia Byng’s Molly Moon fantasy series, we meet Molly, a knock-kneed, potato-nosed, splotchy-legged orphan who is taking a bath in Hardwick House Orphanage. Molly hates living in the dilapidated old building run by mean Miss Adderstone. However, on this evening, she is experiencing an exciting feeling of anticipation, as if something fabulous awaits her just around the corner.

Molly's pleasant reverie is disrupted by the appearance of Miss Adderstone. Molly is soon in terrible trouble for filling the tub too full. She can’t bathe for three weeks and must clean the toilets --- with her own toothbrush. This isn't anything new; Molly is constantly being punished for one transgression or another. Luckily, she has her good friend Rocky to cheer her up.

The next day, Molly experiences a series of misfortunes until she hides herself away in the town library. There, she overhears an irate man named Professor Nockman accusing the librarian of losing a tremendously valuable book promised to him. As he's yelling at the poor woman, he mentions that the book's author is named Logan and that it should be shelved under H. After the professor stalks out, Molly happens to find the misshelved book, Hypnotism: An Ancient Art Explained by Doctor H. Logan, published in 1908.

Intrigued by the spectacle she witnessed earlier, Molly takes the book home to the orphanage. As she tries to find enough privacy to read it, she can't help but wonder if this is the thing that will make her into the special person she has always yearned to become. When she reads the book, she discovers she already possesses qualities that might make her a good hypnotist. For example, she often enters a trance-like state to escape unhappy situations. And her droning voice tends to make listeners sleepy.

Molly needs time and isolation in order to undertake the lessons in the book, so she fakes illness, which lands her alone in the attic infirmary. The first task is to hypnotize an animal. Molly chooses Petula, Miss Adderstone's bad-tempered pug. As she works on mesmerizing the overfed canine, she realizes exactly why Petula is so cranky. Molly manages to improve Petula's life and disposition, gaining her a true friend forever.

While Molly is learning how to hypnotize, Professor Nockman is still searching for a way to attain the book. In his desperation, he will not stop until he owns it because he has evil plans for the mesmerizing skills he hopes to gain from it. In fact, this villain will do anything to get his hands on the book.

A mystery about a friendship tugs at Molly's heartstrings, threatening to unravel her emotions. She cheers herself up somewhat with a brilliant plan regarding a local talent contest. Little does she know where her plan will ultimately lead her --- and what danger she will find herself in. (And little will readers anticipate the amazing twist toward the end of the story.)

MOLLY MOON'S INCREDIBLE BOOK OF HYPNOTISM gives readers all the thrills and intrigue of the best fantasy adventures, while themes of friendship and responsibility add substance to the story. This book (a terrific read in itself) sets the stage, enticingly, for an enthralling series of adventures starring the endearing and feisty Molly Moon.

Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon on April 13, 2004

Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism
by Georgia Byng

  • Publication Date: April 13, 2004
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • ISBN-10: 0060514094
  • ISBN-13: 9780060514099