THE KINDLING for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

My quest to read at least one title from every middle grade series this year got a much needed kick when I crossed paths with author Braden Bell. We share similar teaching backgrounds in the trenches with middle level kids. His Middle Grade Magic series began with THE KINDLING (today’s review), followed by PENUMBRAS (2013), and this year 1197097LUMINESCENCE. Braden graciously sent me digital copies of all three titles.

I always feel the first book in a series is the set-up for the other stories. If it fails, who would want to read more? Braden Bell is a fantastic story teller and he leaves you wanting to revisit his trio of heroes and heroines. I have Epsiode #2 an #3 on my future read list and can’t wait to get back to the magical world of the Magi.


FULL PLOT (From All thirteen-year-old Connor Dell wants to do is pass pre-algebra, play lacrosse, and possibly kiss Melanie Stephens. He didn’t mean to set anyone’s gym shorts on fire or make school lunches explode. But now that the strange powers inside him have been ignited, Connor’s normal teenage life is about to go up in flames!
Homework? Of course. Crushes? Sure. But who knew seventh grade included superpowers?


  1. The three 13-year-old main characters fly off the pages with their humor, charm, and insecurities. I enjoyed learning about their individual powers and how they dealt with their school life and new magical abilities.
  2. Disney World. What a superb choice for a side trip in the story. It moved the plot along at a furious pace. The last time I rode on It’s Small World, I vowed to never hear the theme song again. Now, I can’t wait to visit the attraction once more and relive a very exciting part of THE KINDLING.
  3. Music and theater are expertly woven into the story. The connections made to some of our beloved musicals and plays had me whistling some of the tunes myself.
  4. A strong family unit. So many MG stories are full of missing parents, it’s nice to read one where a two parent family exists and a loving one at that.
  5. Action, danger, suspense… the perfect ingredients for a wild ride and one that’s hard to put down. Thank your Braden!


Mr. Miller snorted. “Any Darkhand who steps on my campus is the one who needs to be careful.” He slammed his mop down, and streaks of bright green light spread across the floor like a spider web.

Check the links to other Middle Grade novels over at Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.


About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
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13 Responses to THE KINDLING for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

  1. Sounds like a great read. And with the Disney connection, it could really appeal to kids. Thanks for sharing about it.

  2. Susan says:

    I probably said this before, but I like how you note the things you like about a book in list format–very easy on the eyes.

  3. Braden Bell says:

    Thank you, Greg! What a happy thing to see on rainy Monday morning in TN! I’m delighted you liked it.

  4. jennienzor says:

    This sounds interesting! I am especially intrigued by the music and theater connection and Disney World. Thanks for featuring it!

  5. This sounds like a LOT of fun. I will check this out as soon as I can.

  6. warrchick says:

    This sounds AMAZING! I really can’t resist a discovering-super-powers middle grade, and the Disney aspect has me further intrigued. Yay for a new book, and happy MMGM!

  7. Joanne Fritz says:

    Any book that makes you want to ride on It’s a Small World again has to be good!

  8. I already had this on my TBR but had forgotten about it (it’s a long list and things get lost!). Thanks for giving me new reasons to look for it. And I’ve added Turn Left at the Cow to my list, too: I love humour, and it sounds great!

  9. I hadn’t heard of this one – thanks for letting me know about it. Another one to add to the pile.

  10. Pingback: Do Dads Get a Fair Look in MG Books? | Always in the Middle

  11. Pingback: A Year of Marvelous Middle Grade Monday! Are You Kidding? | Always in the Middle

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