This is an excellent fantasy story a la Harry Potter, and one that I will easily and readily recommend to the middle grade readers in my library. My only quibble is that it is just the first book in the series and the rest haven't been written yet, so I can't read the second one at the moment.
Recommended for: tweens
Red Flags: mild fantasy violence
Overall Rating: 5/5 stars
Read-Alikes: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, The Iron Trial