FeaturedMiddle Grade

The Extraordinary Curiosities of Ixworth and Maddox


Loved it! 😍

Fans of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and Lemony Snicket will enjoy this charming middle grade fantasy. I couldn't put it down!

Murder. Theft. A kidnapping. Greed. A hat rack. A river below a city. Old Magic. All this and more spring to life in this delicious and delightful page turner by J.D. Grolic.

Chloe Ashley, age eleven, is looking for shelter from a sudden downpour when she happens upon an old shop located at #17 South Molton Lane, London (Hi, Cherry Tree Lane). Ignored by her busy parents and others, Chloe befriends the two elderly gentlemen who run the shop, Mr. Ixworth and Mr. Maddox.  They’re a bit … eccentric. Turns out, they’re in “the business of magic.”

But when Ixworth suddenly disappears, Chloe and Maddox are launched into a shadowy, sinister world of mystery and murder. Also potions, spells, counter-spells, and enchantment. Can they unravel what happened to Ixworth before it’s too late? And why has Maddox been “evicted” from a magical realm? How did the shop’s brownie workshop disappear overnight? Who is behind these strange happenings, and why? (“Just because something is forbidden doesn’t mean you can’t get it.”)

Meanwhile, Chloe travels by hat rack (you read that right) and lands in someone’s house. She discovers a map with pushpins and overhears voices talking about “taking precautions.” But against whom? And why? And what’s up with the creepy guy with “the long slick hair”? Is he stalking Chloe? Why?

What follows is a high-octane adventure into magical realms above and below the streets of London. There’s also an ancient secret and more plot twists than The Smiler at Alton Towers.

Masterfully written and expertly paced, Curiosities' storyline is as absorbing as a sponge. It hooks readers from chapter one and reels you in for the duration. Characters are so lively and artfully drawn, they practically stand up and walk. On their own.

If you’re looking for a quick and colorful read that’ll keep you turning pages until the very end, check out The Extraordinary Curiosities of Ixworth and Maddox. It will certainly resonate with its target audience of middle grade readers and anyone who enjoys a story brimming with wit, whimsy, and magic.

Indeed, Fans of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and Lemony Snicket will enjoy this charming middle grade fantasy. It's an exceptional achievement, especially for a debut novel. I couldn’t’ put it down! 

Reviewed by

Library Board Member. Communications & Marketing Prof'l. Interests incl: Historical, Christian, Literary Fiction. Action/Adventure/Outdoors. Children's/ YA. Select Non-Fiction. Inspy. A frank but fair reviewer, Kristine averages 300+ books/year in a WIDE VARIETY of genres on multiple platforms.

The Extraordinary Curiosities of Ixworth and Maddox

About the author

J.D. Grolic enjoys tales of whimsy and the unexpected and hopes his readers will come away from his stories feeling they’ve experienced something unique. He lives near Toronto, Canada, with his partner, two children, and an assortment of animals. view profile

Published on May 01, 2023

Published by

60000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Middle Grade

Reviewed by