Like the title suggests this story I'm looking for is about a boy who didn't believe in magic after his older brother who was a magician disappeared. The boy ends up getting framed for graffitiing his school's wall. He then gets sent to a island where kids learn how to survive in the wild. He ends up finding out that the island and many people there are magic.

I'm trying to find the name of this book and I think it begins with "No".

  • Hi, welcome to the site. In roughly which year did you read this? Nov 8, 2023 at 0:19
  • I read this book last year. I also think it is considered a middle school grade book. Nov 8, 2023 at 0:22

1 Answer 1


Bad Magic by Pseudonymous Bosch.

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Magic is BAD. As in fake. Cheesy. Unreal. At least, that's what Clay, who has seen one magic show too many, thinks.

When words from his journal appear mysteriously on his school wall as graffiti, he never imagines that magic might be to blame. And when the same graffiti lands him at Earth Ranch, a camp for "troubled" kids on a remote volcanic island, magic is the last thing he expects to find there.

But at Earth Ranch, there is one strange surprise after another, until Clay no longer knows what to expect. Is he really talking to a llama? Did he really see a ghost? What is the scary secret hidden in the abandoned library? The only thing he knows for sure is that behind the clouds of vog (volcanic smog), nothing is as it seems. Can he solve the riddle of Earth Ranch before trouble erupts?

The summary doesn't mention the disappearing brother, but one of the reviews mentions:

When Clay was eleven, Max Ernest (Clay's brother) disappeared without an explanation. Well, unless you count the note he sent saying that they wouldn't be hearing from him for awhile and not to worry.

I used this Google search and your book was top of the list. Using Google to search the Goodreads site is often a good way to find books.

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