Diana Wynne Jones is one of my favorite new authors (and one I wish I had discovered when I was a kid!) I find myself getting lost in her books…and Jason enjoys them too. Interestingly, I have found that sometimes her books start a little bit slow (I especially felt this way about The Magicians of Caprona) but as I keep reading, I get more and more pulled in until the end when I can't wait to see how she pulls everything together. I also have to say that D.W. Jones writes the best cats into her books. (I would love to have a cat named Throgmorten...maybe...). Please note that she writes for all ages, including young adult, so be sure to check the books out first before choosing them for your child.
Made up of two books: A Charmed Lifeand The Lives of Christopher Chant (you can also buy them separately). A very unique take on wizards and witches. In these books, there are multiple parallel worlds created when a major event takes place which could have more then one outcome (such as a war being won or lost or a major event like the Industrial Revolution taking place). In some of these worlds, witches and wizards exist. In order to keep them from taking over worlds without magic, the Chrestomanci (a very powerful enchanter with 9 lives) must keep watch. These stories are about how two different Chrestomancis come to learn about their special gifts and destiny.
Made up of two books: The Magicians of Capronaand Witch Week (you can also buy them separately). These books take a slightly different approach…instead of being about the Chrestomanci, himself, they are actually stories where the Chrestomanci plays a small but key role in the outcome of the book. The books themselves focus on different characters. The Magicians of Caprona focuses on a magic family in a culture similar to our Italian culture. An unknown enchanter is capitalizing on an ongoing feud between the two main magical families in Caprona. The two youngest members of each family find that it is up to them to figure out what is going on before it is too late. Witch Week is set in a boarding school in a world where witches and wizards are feared and hunted by inquisitors. Someone in class 6B is a witch but no one knows who.
This book is made up of four short Chrestomanci stories. Since the stories are shorter, they do not have quite the same depth as the other books, but they are still fun. They pull familiar characters from Volumes I and II.