Black Moon Rising

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The Library is a place filled with stories about big events in people’s lives – many of them unfinished. Agents working at the Library have to enter these stories and try to complete them – which is definitely not an easy task. Many of the agents don’t survive to complete the story, leaving other agents to take their place.

“Black Moon Rising” by D.J. MacHale, the second book in “The Library” series, takes the reader to another mystery that has to be solved by an agent. Like a detective, the agent finds clues that might explain how to solve the problem and complete the story. It’s a risky job – many of the agents weren’t the first to try to complete a story, and risk their lives in doing so.

In Coppell Middle School, in a remote part of Massachusetts, strange things have started happening. At first the occurrences just seemed like mild accidents, but they quickly started getting worse. During a pep rally (that was already going terribly), the bleachers collapsed without warning, bruising a group of students and giving another a broken leg; a windowpane fell from a four-story building into the courtyard, right in the middle of a group of kids; bottles of chemicals burst open for no apparent reason during a science class.

Eighth grader Marcus O’Mara is an agent at the Library. Everett, the spirit librarian, sent him to Coppell Middle School to complete the story. With the help of his two closest friends, Theo McLean and Annabella Lu, and Ainsley Murcer, the eighth grade president at Coppell, Marcus looks for clues that might explain who – or what – is causing all the strange events to happen.

Marcus and his friends are able to narrow down their search and pay close attention to two other people: Nate Christmas – the school bully – and Kayla Eggers – a painfully shy girl who hadn’t said a word in years. Ainsley is convinced that the culprit is Nate because he was around when all of the events occurred. Nearly all of the other students at Coppell start blaming him, too. Quickly, Marcus finds out that Nate has almost nothing to do with any of the events. They weren’t caused by any of the people in the school, but by a group that was channeling it’s powers through one person: Ainsley.

The Black Moon Circle, a group of witches, had been planning this attack for years. They had chosen Ainsley to be their High Priestess – they had each given her part of their powers when she was a baby, and they started to show themselves once she turned 13. The coven planned for Ainsley to attack the school during her own Halloween party. All of the students would be killed, including Ainsley. Her powers would then be returned to the coven, a hundred times more powerful.

Marcus, Theo, Lu, and Ainsley all know what’s going to happen. But will they be able to stop the Black Moon Circle and finish Ainsley’s story before it’s too late?

“Black Moon Rising” is very exciting and is perfect for anyone who enjoys fantasy books or stories about witchcraft. While I had not read the first book in the series that preceded this one, I still understood it easily, and I would recommend it for kids ages 10 and up.