Kid’s Book Review: The Wizard in My Shed

Kid’s Book Review: The Wizard in My Shed

About the Book and Author

Horrible Histories writer and actor Simon Farnaby is the author of a brand new series of stories which all have a historical theme. Readers aged 7-11 years will enjoy this amusing tale set in the Middle Ages and the black and white illustrations by Claire Powell that help to being these funny characters come to life.

Merdyn the Wild is from the Dark Ages. He’s the world’s greatest Warlock (don’t call him a wizard), banished to the 21st century for bad behaviour, and determined to wreak vengeance on his nemesis Jeremiah Jerabo.

Rose is a totally ordinary girl, on a mission to mend her broken family. Bubbles is Rose’s guinea pig. He just poos a lot!

When Rose bumps into Merdyn and discovers what he is, she quickly realises that he could be just what she needs. Rose agrees to help Merdyn navigate the confusing ways of the modern world if Merdyn gives her a spell to fix her family in return.

Now they just need to hide him in the shed without Rose’s mum noticing, track down Merdyn’s magic staff and find a way to send Merdyn back through time to the Dark Ages. What could possibly go wrong…?


the wizard in my shed front cover
simon farnaby author

Simon Farnaby is an actor, writer, and comedian best known as a member of the Horrible Histories troupe in which he starred in the TV series Horrible Histories, Yonderland and Ghosts. He has written and starred in films such as Paddington 2 and Mindhorn, and in the BBC sitcom Detectorists.

You can here him in talking about his writing by listening to our podcast.

Claire Powell is an illustrator, writer and designer who has spent several years as a design director in the world of channel rebranding working for clients such as Nickelodeon, BBC Three, CBBC and BBC One.

Book Review

This is a clever book ... I liked it a lot

This is a clever book because I thought that it was very funny and original. I especially enjoyed how the author used made-up words and added their definitions in the footnotes. It reminded me of how Roald Dahl invented new words in the BFG and he is one of my favourite writers of all time.

Although the story is set in modern times I liked how he managed to include scenes from the Dark Ages so I now feel as if I have more insight into how people might have lived in those days. Although I am not convinced that Warlocks existed even back then!

If I had read this when I was a few years younger I would have found  Bubbles’ antics and bowel issues hilarious.

All in all, I would say that Simon Farnaby has used his historical knowledge, creativity and understanding of what makes people laugh to write a funny and exiting novel. I liked it a lot.

If you would would like to buy a copy of the book we invite you to order it from your local independent book shop.

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Alternatively, we suggest that you visit your local library and request to borrow a copy from a friendly librarian.

Whichever you choose we hope you enjoy being part of your unique reading community – happy reading everyone!

Reviewer Profile

Reviewer Photo
  • Name: Johnny
  • Age: 12 years
  • Likes: cricket, cooking and drinking herbal teas
  • Dislikes: tidying-up and aubergine
  • Favourite Book: Wonder by R.J. Palacio
  • Favourite Film: Skyfall
  • Favourite Song: Levels by Avicii