The Return of the Twelves

by Pauline Clarke
184 pages, Fantasy
Reviewed by niennasiblings

A quick, fun, and well written story with excellent characters.


Max, an eight-year-old English boy, has always had a great imagination. But when the wooden soldiers he found in his attic start moving, he knows that this time he isn't making it up. After earning the trust of the twelve little men, he learns that they originally belonged to the Bronte siblings (of Jane Eyre fame). They are the Twelves. If they are discovered by anyone else, they will be taken from Max and their rightful home to a museum in America.


Both Max and his older sister Jane deceive people about the Twelves. Max's older brother Philip tells someone about the Twelves against Max's wishes, but he has good intentions. Jane and Philip both at different times spy on Max. Max tells a few small lies to his parents, to keep the soldiers' identity hidden.

Spiritual Content

The Twelves can move, talk and think, just like human beings. The characters are Christians so there are various references to God and the Bible. The children are called "genii" by the Twelves.


There are various references to battles the Twelves have been in. A car nearly runs over the Twelves. The children, while out late at night, get threatened by a man who is then scared off.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Max's father drinks wine or brandy and Max gives a little of it to the Twelves. A couple of the Twelves get tipsy.

Sexual Content


Crude or Profane Language or Content



Though the plot is not particularly fast paced or gripping, it is very well-written and very interesting; and the excellent characters make it far from boring. The descriptions are long enough that you get a good picture of what is going on, without getting bogged down by their length. I recommend this book for ages 8-14.

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 5
Written for Age: 11-12

Review Rating:

Average rating: 5 stars
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