I bought this as a Halloween listen for the 3 and half hour drive to Bristol - crossing my fingers. We'd listened to a few Eva Ibboston and she doesn't disappoint.
The result was bliss. My boys (aged 5 and 7) were practically silent the whole way, totally wrapped up in the story. There was some cheering, laughing and an "OH NO" from the back at critical moments, but they loved it.
This would be ideal for a Harry Potter fan. A young boy is adopted by a Hag as her familiar, as her toad refuses to do any more magic. The Hag then, unwillingly, is forced to take him on a quest and he ends up in a similar, yet parallel, magical word. All ends happily although, frankly at points, you are left wondering how.
There are some scary moments (like Harry Potter) so I would not recommend this for the very young or nervous types. We listened to it on the motor way in pitch darkness, and the effect was electric. Very spooky!
My boys are 7 and a half and 5, so I knew I was pushing it a bit getting this story.
My 5 yr old is well used to listening to "older" stories but this is probably a bit beyond him. He is however loving the idea of a school for BAD people with BAD teachers, and is getting quite a lot of the humour.
My 7 yr old is utterly gripped. When my IPOD crashed halfway through, he insisted on going back to the beginning again (we were 4 hrs through!) and constantly gripes about "getting the story on" the second we get in the car.
It is worth noting that there is mild swearing, although the words were not over emphasised or too aggressive. Annoyingly, my son has copied them. Sigh. There is also violence and peril, but entirely in context. It is, after all, a school for bad people with bad teachers.
We had one of those hideous M25 journeys - 2hrs turned into 5 and a half hours - bumper to bumper in driving rain.
My two boys (aged 5 and 7) listened to this story straight through, with delighted giggles at the yucky bits. Thank god we had it!! Other wise the journey would've been 100 times more horrible.