The Midnight Howl

The Midnight Howl

By Author / Illustrator

Benjamin Read, Laura Trinder


Magical Realism

Age range(s)



Chicken House Ltd




Paperback / softback




The second adventure in Benjamin Read and Laura Trinder's magical Midnight Hour series! 'A fantastic magical adventure featuring a cast of Ghibli-esque characters, a feisty heroine and a hedgehog. I loved it.' M.G. LEONARD, author of BEETLE BOY on book 1  'Fans of Nevermoor will love this quirky debut, fizzing with humour, scares and vivid world-building.' THE BOOKSELLER on book 1

Emily needs to work out why magic is leaking from the Midnight Hour - but her shape-shifting Pooka relatives and a terrifying haunting aren't making things easy, not to mention the fact that she's supposed to be grounded. Officer-in-training Tarkus and pet hedgehog Hoggins are on hand to help - but if they can't work out what's going wrong, it will be the end of the midnight world...



The Midnight Howl, even better than the first, this second in the series allows readers the chance to re-enter the magical and often scary world of Victorian London, a world which is always stuck at midnight and is inhabited by an array of strange and/or scary characters. I think we knew that the Nocturne would be back to fight another day, or night, in this case. So, clearly, Emily had to come back too, whatever her mum and dad said.

If it's a case of saving the Midnight Hour from losing all its magic - through holes which have started to appear in its structure - or staying at home and being good, what child would think twice? Clearly not this one. It seems that Emily (accompanied, of course, by Hoggins and a reluctant-but-dutiful Tarkus) is drawn to danger and adventure; perhaps it's in her Pooka blood. At least she can draw on some magic and throw some bad luck around when facing down the enemy. But she'll need that and more - the help of sisters Art and Library - to defeat the third Old Power, Nocturne. It will also help to have some of her relatives as back-up, even if only at the last moment.

I have many favourite bits, but Emily's conversations with Uncle Pat and with Tarkus are hilarious. I also enjoyed how the authors subtlety changed real-world names, like Hatchet booksellers and Floaty MacFloatface. They are a hugely talented duo, whose imagination and humour overflow onto the page. Theirs is certainly a story that many Years 5 & 6s will be asking their teacher to read aloud, or asking their school library to get, and then hoping there will be another to complete the trilogy.

304 pages / Ages 8+ / Reviewed by Jane Rew, school librarian

Suggested Reading Age 9+


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