Since her mother disappeared, sixteen year old Glenn and her father have been struggling. Her father spends every waking moment in his lab working on "The Project" often ignoring the meals she leaves for him. Glenn knows she doesn't belong in her grade. Her knowledge and abilities make the assignments ridiculously easy for her. She's got a plan for herself and that is to apply to the Deep Space Service Academy. If only she can get her father to sign the application.

But her father doesn't surface from his own desperate world and Glenny forges the signature and pushes the send button. This happens just as her father charges in with the amazing news that he has succeeded with his work and that he and Glenny can now go in search of Mom.

Glenny is worried. With her away at the Academy her father is obviously going to need a caretaker since he has apparently lost his mind. She turns to authorities, to the psychologist, Dr. Kapoor, who has been helping her with her issues. What she tells Dr. Kapoor, the news that her father has been successful, lights the fuse for an amazing and mind-bending adventure.

Suddenly Glenn and her father are on the run across the border which formed during the Rift. They are headed to a place Glenn has always been told is a desolate, remote and empty region of nothingness. But it turns out, the propaganda had all been lies. Now, Glenn is finding out who she really is, who her mother really is and with the help of an unexpected ally and a friend with new found possibilities, Glenn is about to find herself in the middle of two powerful warring factions: the Magisterium and the Colloquium.

With Kevin Kapoor, the doctor's son, as her partner, Glenn makes her way through incredible scenes of devastation, cruelty, and wonder. What choice does she have? Should she give up the bracelet she has worn forever? Is her mother truly a powerfully evil force? What will the Magisterium bring them next? Just how powerful is the Affinity?

"She swept the clouds aside and there were the stars, the glittering violence of their explosions turned beautiful and still with distance and time. Glenn traced their patterns, leaping from one to the other, seeing the constellations rise in the pathways. All the confusion of the place below- the struggle between meaningless distinctions- seemed foreign up in the speckled black, inconsequential....Alnitak, Alnilam, Mintaka."

Turbulent, imaginative, unpredictable and vivid, the story leads Glenn to find incredible new possible realities and truths about herself and her family and friends. A challenged heroine who struggles to leash the power within and her valiant male allies break the mold of the usual story line and offer a brilliant imagining of dimensions beyond our known universe.

Ages 12 and up


Unique and creepy, mysterious and dangerous, magical and dreadful, Magisterium is the second novel for YA author Jeff Hirsch (The Eleventh Plague).

Glenn remembers her mother vaguely. She went away years ago and no one has heard from her since. Glenn’s father became depressed and retreated into his workshop spending long hours working on The Project, a nonsensical invention he’s been tinkering with—sometimes for days on end. Glenn has to remind him to eat and to come in and sleep.

Then, her father discovers what he’s been looking for. Proof that the Rift was on purpose; proof the government has been covering up its secrets. Beyond their walls, there is a world out there—a world where his wife has disappered.

Glenn panics and tells her doctor about her father’s outlandish tale; the doctor works for the government and turns in Glenn and her father. Glenn’s father is taken away by armed guards, but Glenn escapes with her friend Kevin. They flee the fence and are soon in a strange land where magic is possible. Is her father right? Is Glenn’s mother here and will Glenn find her? What’s so important about the bracelet her father gave her? Why would the government kill for it?

Part science fiction, part dystopian novel, part fantasy and a little bit of romance, Magisterium will take readers to places they’ve never dreamed of.

Recommended grade 7-up. Some violence. No profanity.

Recommended by:  Pamela Thompson, MLIS, Library Media Specialist, Texas USA

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