It's the last few weeks of summer vacation, and 13-year-old Harry Moon is looking forward to relaxing and enjoying the last of the days off before school starts up again. So when his friend Declan asks him for a favor--and it's a big favor--Harry hesitates.
Declan wants Harry to take over hi newspaper route for a week while he goes to Florida with his dad. It didn't sound so bad, until Harry realized that he'd have to start work at 4 in the morning. 4 in the morning! How crazy is that? But when Harry thought about it, he realized that he did want to help his friend. And it was only for a week. He could get up early for a week, right?
So when Monday morning rolled around, Harry did what Declan had told him to do. He got up and got some breakfast for himself and then set off on his bike to get to the back of the newspaper office at 4 exactly. Declan told Harry that he had two hours to get all the papers delivered and get the basket back to the newspaper office. Declan also told Harry that the town of Sleepy Hollow looked different that early in the morning, that he'd get to see first light, the magical time right before the sun comes up.
As Harry spent the week getting up every morning and delivering the papers, bicycling through the town in the wee hours of the morning, he does learn things about his town that he'd never known. First light was beautiful and magical. The papers were rumored to be in invisible ink, but the truth Harry discovered is so much stranger. And why did Harry see his friend Samson Dupree, his personal magic mentor and the proprietor of the Sleepy Hollow Magic Shop going into his store around 5 every morning? Was he going somewhere, or coming from somewhere?
When Harry finally goes to Samson to ask his questions, he finds that the answers are far more transformative than he expected. But the understanding and the peace he finds makes it all worth it. And to say thank you, Declan brings him back two Star Wars t-shirts from Disneyland, so it really was a magical week.
Harry Moon First Light is another in the charming Harry Moon series. Set in Sleepy Hollow, a town run by an evil mayor, Harry and his friends are trying to stand up for what's right and often find themselves fighting off bullies (mostly the mayors' sons and his henchmen). Harry is learning magic, with the help of Samson and a large rabbit who appears when Harry needs him to. Author Mark Andrew Poe has created a fun series with interesting characters, and that has strong spiritual overtones. The struggle of good vs. evil comes up often, and the references to The Great Magician have a strong religious overtone. Harry Light First Moon is an interesting take on middle grade magic fiction, and the series is worth checking out if your or your kids are fans of stories about magic.
Galleys for Harry Moon First Light were provided by Diamond Book Distributors through NetGalley, with many thanks.