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Literary Critique- Midnight For Charlie Bone

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Literary Criticism

Nimmo, Jenny. Midnight for Charlie Bone. New York, New York City: Orchard Books. 2003. 401 pages.

Midnight for Charlie Bone is a story about a school for prodigy children who each

have a special magic skill. Charlie Bone has no idea that he has a special power, until he

finds out he can see and hear people talking in photographs. Although he wants to use his

power for the good, his classmate Lucretia Yewbeam does not. She has the power to

brainwash people. She brainwashes her classmates and commands them to do her

homework, make food, borrow money, etc. The local police department in Charlie’s

town asks him to observe the criminals’ photographs. Charlie can find out what the

criminals are thinking in the photographs. As the story gets serious, the characters get

serious. It is said that there is a treasure buried somewhere on the school ground.

Lucretia brainwashes anyone who might know something about the treasure, including

the janitor who has been working for a long time, the principle and even teachers. While

Charlie finds photographs of the architect and builders that built the school. Literature

deals with man’s inhumanity to man. Sometimes, it deals of them being noble.

For example, to lead a more responsible life you need to have some acquirements.

Among them are courage, manner, unselfishness, and caring for another even though

someone might dislike you. When Charlie is in the old and dark school dungeon alone, he

realizes that no one is going to rescue him because they do not know if he is under there.

If he can not be courageous here, he will probably die. To survive he must keep going. Lucretia is can be considered a bully in school. But just because she is a girl, everyone

thinks that she is weak. Boys around school make fun of her for being a tomboy. If the

boys did not make fun of Lucretia, she probably did not have to order them to call a

teacher a bad name. Without being well mannered, the society and people can dislike you.

At the end, Charlie is the one who finds the treasure, and Lucretia finds him about to

open the treasure. Before Lucretia brainwashes him, Charlie quickly tells her that he will

share half of the treasure after he opens it. But all they find is a map in the treasure chest

leading to another treasure. Because they can’t split the fragile map in half, they both

decide to find the next treasure together. This shows an example of unselfishness.

Although Lucretia considers Charlie as an enemy, Charlie helps Lucretia along the way.

For example, when she was trapped in the dark and yelling for help, Charlie blinks the

light flash from a far away to let her know there is a path leading front of her. Charlie

cares for Lucretia, although she has done and said many horrible things to him. Charlie

pretty much sounds like he is a nice person, but his uncle, Paton is different than Charlie.

Charlie’s uncle, Paton, is one of those who does not even try to lead a

responsible life. He too has a magic power like Charlie. As a young boy he was made

fun of his magic skill, because all he could do was make streetlights glow or explode

them when he is angry. Because he gets bullied on, this scars him for the rest of his life.

Paton loses confident and only goes out of his room at night. He eats alone in dark and

takes a walk alone at night. He also does not care about his own nephew, Charlie.



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