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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
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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.
Charlie wants to know more about what Paton does every night, he decides to follow him.
Paton notices Charlie following him and decides to pick up the pace and leave him
behind to teach him a lesson. Charlie is left behind in a dark alley where few gang
members approach him. His cowardly uncle, Paton is nowhere to be seen. Luckily a
police car comes by and helps Charlie. Paton is also known for his bad manner toward
people. When Fidelio comes to visit sick Charlie, Paton just tells him to go away,
because no matter who visits him, Charlie is still going to be sick. When Grandma Bone
asks Paton not to eat the muffins for breakfast for the following morning, Paton ignores
her and eats all of them at night. This shows how selfish Paton is. He also does not care
about his family. When the power goes out at night due to the strong wind, Paton only
lights up his room using his magic power.
Furthermore, being courageous does not mean you are always a good guy.
Anybody could have courage, if you stand up to someone who is bothering you, that’s
being courageous. To be complimented on your manner, first you have to know what is
wrong with your characteristics. As you make mistakes, you will learn. May people are
selfish, when you share something with someone, the person will tell other people how
unselfish you are, they will probably greet you happily next time you meet them. Love is
probably the weirdest thing you will feel as you grow older. You can grow your love
with someone when they notice that you actually care about them. Love is like a seed,
it’s meant to be planted and it will grow.
Therefore, Midnight for Charlie Bone shows examples of inhumanity and
humanity and leading a more responsible life. Charlie’s use of his magic power for good
and his warm heart can melt others, while Lucretia can be cold to anyone who talks to
her. People hating uncle Paton can be understandable when you get to know his
characteristics. But these characteristics, such as courage, manner, unselfishness and
caring can be fixed at any time of your life, because it depends on how you act and think toward people. People might Literature can deal with characters being noble, or man’s
inhumanity to man.