Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Adventures of King Midas by Lynne Reid Banks

Product Details
Pub. Date: October 1993
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback, 160pp
Age Range: 9 to 12
ISBN-13: 9780380715640
ISBN: 0380715643

The Kings Foolish Wish

King Midas loved gold so much he wished everything he touched would turn to gold. But what a terrible curse it became when his wish was granted and everything he touched — his food, his dog. . . and his beloved daughter — instantly changed into cold and lifeless metallic objects.

Lynne Reid Banks has re-created the ever-popular legend of King Midas into an exciting story that brings to life the reality of having greedy and thoughtless wishes come true.

My thoughts:
My daughter checked this chapter book out of her school library because it has a dragon on the front. While I was familiar in a general way with the story of King Midas, I don’t believe I’ve ever read a short story or book about him. I must have heard one at some point but the details are fuzzy to me. I have to say I wasn’t overly excited about reading this book but it surprised me. The first chapter wasn’t great and I thought about trying to talk her out of finishing it, but it improved and kept my children’s attention.

After being granted his wish to have everything he touches turn to gold, Midas discovers that what he thought was a blessing is actually a curse as he turns first a bird, then his dog, then his daughter to gold. He goes on a long journey to find the River Cigam (magic backwards), finds Gollop, a witch and a baby dragon. He learns his lessons and while he is freed from his spell/curse he also manages to repair all the damage he has done and help the magician.

The author is also the author of The Indian in the Cupboard which I have somehow managed to never have read. At some point I am sure one of my children will check it out of the library and we will be reading it. It is interesting every week to see what they self select at the school library. I was a bit surprised that this was at my daughters school since she currently attends a kindergarten center, but I guess all libraries have books of differing levels to meet all needs and most of the children are still having their books read to them anyway so it doesn’t matter if they are above the current reading level of the student.


  1. Lynne Reid Banks wrote a trilogy that I read oh, probably in college or so. (Definitely not for kids!) I really enjoyed them. The first one was called "The L-Shaped Room," and despite "Indian in the CUpboard," I've never read any others of hers. Probably should pick something up and give her another look!

    Here's another book your daughter might like: Sewing a Friendship -- it's written by a 10-year-old, believe it or not. In it, four best friends include a girl -- they don't think she's very nice, so they have to get past that -- and experience great results. I think kids will really like that one of their "own" wrote it, plus it has some great messages in it.

  2. BTW, the 10-year-old author's name is Natalie Tinti.