Cover image for A wizard named Nell
A wizard named Nell
Koller, Jackie French.
Personal Author:
First Aladdin paperbacks edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Aladdin Paperbacks, [2003]

Physical Description:
180 pages ; 20 cm.
Reading Level:
Ages 8-12.

600 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.3 5.0 73383.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 3.4 9 Quiz: 48711.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Mass Market Paperback Open Shelf
X Juvenile Mass Market Paperback Paperback
X Juvenile Mass Market Paperback Open Shelf

On Order



A Courageous Choice
In the magical world of Eldearth, Witches and Wizards live side by side with Humans, Weefolk, though elusive, are abundant, and Dragons and Unicorns still walk the land. But the present Imperial Wizard, Keeper of the Light that protects Eldearth, is aging and ill. If a new apprentice is not found soon, Eldearth may succumb to the evil powers of the dark Lord Graieconn. There is a long tradition in Eldearth that the keeper must be a Wizard, and only boys can be Wizards, but so far, all the boys who have attempted the difficult quest to become Apprentice Keeper have failed. Time is running out.
Princess Arenelle, a promising young Witch, has just reached eleven, the age of Magic, and wishes to undertake the quest. Her father, King Einar, forbids it, fearing for her safety and claiming that her heart is too soft. Against the King's wishes, Nell sets out into the unknown with her pet demidragon, Minna. Aided by Folk she meets along the way and an albino Dragon that she rescues from near death, Nell battles the fearsome forces of nature, Evil, and ignorance that are amassed against her. It will require all of her strength, cunning, and courage to defeat them. Does Nell have what it takes to become the next Apprentice Keeper?

Author Notes

Jackie French Koller is a prolific children's author.

Jackie's first book, Impy for Always, was published in 1989. She's gone on to write over 30 other books including The Keepers and Dragonling Series.

Koller's books have received numerous awards and accolades - among them ALA Notable Book and IRA Teachers' Choice.

Jackie lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and when she's not writing she enjoys painting, reading, hiking, making gingerbread houses, and playing with her grandchildren.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 2-5. The Imperial Wizard, who keeps the powers of Darkness at bay, is growing weak. A prophecy states that the new Imperial Wizard must be royally born, tragedy torn, and bearing the mark of the Dove, and the impetuous Princess Nell, whose mother has died, decides that she fits the first two requirements. The King forbids her to go, but Nell sets off secretly on her quest, having found an urchin boy named Owen to go off to the Wizard University in her place. The trials she faces during the three-day journey are fairly tame and in standard fairy-tale form; it is Nell's bravery, generosity, fortitude, and kindness that allow her to prevail. Although the story lacks depth, the fast pace of Nell's adventures, the presence of dragons, and the simple, albeit occasionally choppy writing style make this a good choice for young or reluctant readers. At the conclusion, the reader still doesn't know if Nell is the Chosen One, raising anticipation for a sequel. --Eva Mitnick Copyright 2003 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-Eldearth is a land in need of a new Imperial Wizard. The forces of evil are rapidly encroaching, and the Keeper of the Light is growing too old and weak to hold them off. Princess Arenelle has shown unusual gifts in the magical arts and would dearly love to embark on the quest to identify a new apprentice wizard, but, because she is a girl, the best she can hope for is to study at the Academy of Witchcraft. But Nell is clever as well as talented, and finds an unsuspecting substitute-a poor boy named Owen-to masquerade in her place at the Academy, while she secretly undertakes the journey. Along the way, she learns more than she expects about the trials of the common folk of Eldearth, proving her courage and kind heart several times over. This is a fast-moving and easy-to-read choice for fantasy fans. Witches, wizards, and humans coexist in Eldearth, although the magical folk have a higher status and better standard of living. There are vanishrouds and speaking stars reminiscent of Harry Potter's magical devices, but the general populace lives in a preindustrial culture. Nell is a steadfast and admirable heroine while Owen has depth and interest and becomes more than just a stand-in. Both girls and boys will identify with the engaging protagonists. This is the first book in a forthcoming trilogy, so it isn't too surprising when it ends with Nell only just about to gain permission to become apprentice Wizard. Readers will eagerly await the sequels.-Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.