Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple
Stroud, Jonathan.  
New York : Hyperion Books for Children, 2004
IL 5-8, RL 8.9
ISBN 0786818603
Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
A giant hand shot out, faster than thought, grabbed me by one hairy leg. It was blue-gray, possessed of three fingers and a thumb, hard and cold as buried stone. Veins ran through it as through marble, but they pulsed with life. Its grip crushed my essence like a vise.

I Bartimeus, now in the form of a minotaur, bellowed in pain. At this moment I needed to change, to withdraw my essence from the fist, but my head was spinning – I could not concentrate long enough to do so.

A terrible coldness extended outward, wrapped itself around me like a blanket. I felt my fires dwindling, my energy leaching out of me like blood dripping from a wound. With a tortured effort of will, I became a cat once more and leaped high into the air, out of the path of the descending foot.

It stepped toward me with surprising speed. For an instant its face - such as it was - was caught in the light of the window. The skin surface was covered in irregularities: with lumps, cracks, and flat areas, as if it had only roughly been patted into shape. In the center of its forehead was an oval shape that I knew I had seen before, not very long ago. This oval was very intricate, unlike the rest of the face and body. It was an open eye, without lids or lashes, but complete with crosshatched iris and round pupil.

And in the center of that pupil, just before the cloak of blackness swathed it from my view, I caught the flash of a dark intelligence, watching me.

He's ba-ack! The wisecracking, omniscient djinni, Bartimaeus has been summoned again. His master Nathaniel, now a member of the magical government of London, is responsible for stopping the Resistance attacks and capturing a menacing clay golem with a mysterious master. Is there hope for resisting the Empire?  Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award, 2006-2007

SUBJECTS:    Magic -- Fiction.
                        Apprentices -- Fiction.
                        Genies -- Fiction.
                        Golem -- Fiction.
                        Prague (Czech Republic) -- Fiction.
                        Czech Republic -- Fiction.
                        London (England) -- Fiction.
                        England -- Fiction.
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