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Children's Fiction General

The Hypnotists (The Hypnotists, Book 1)

by (author) Gordon Korman

Scholastic Inc
Initial publish date
Jun 2014
General, Fantasy & Magic, Humorous Stories
Recommended Age
8 to 12
Recommended Grade
3 to 7
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jul 2013
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2014
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


The first book in an all-new, mesmerizing adventure from the masterful, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Gordon Korman -- now in paperback!


Is it a gift . . . or is it a curse? Jax Opus can use his color-changing eyes to make people do things they don't want to do. (Only his color-blind best friend, Tommy, seems immune.) At first, Jax doesn't know what he's doing -- temporarily hypnotizing friends, foes, and strangers. But then his power pushes things way too far, and his secret isn't a secret any longer.Soon Jax finds himself meeting Dr. Elias Mako, who wants him to join a special institution that will teach him how to use his powers. But what will his powers be used for? That's the big question for Jax as his hypnotic abilities draw him into a conspiracy that will have him racing against time and a mysterious mastermind to save his best friend, his parents, and the entire United States.From #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Gordon Korman comes a fast, fun, and fantastic adventure about a kid who can make other people do what he wants -- and who's wanted big-time because of it.

About the author


Gordon Korman
est né à Montréal et a grandi dans la région de Toronto. Il a signé son
premier contrat chez Scholastic à l'âge de 14 ans, avec son premier livre
Deux farceurs au collège.
Il est maintenant l'auteur de plus de 60 livres, dont beaucoup lui ont valu
de nombreuses récompenses. Gordon habite dans la ville de New York.


Gordon Korman is the #1 bestselling author of three books in The 39 Clues series as well as eight books in his Swindle series: Swindle, Zoobreak, Framed, Showoff, Hideout, Jackpot, Unleashed, and Jingle. His other books include This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall! (published when he was 14); The Toilet Paper Tigers; Radio Fifth Grade; Slacker; Restart; Whatshisface; Level 13; the trilogies Island, Everest, Dive, Kidnapped, and Titanic; and the series The Hypnotists and On the Run. Gordon grew up in Thornhill, Ontario and he lives in New York with his family. Visit him online at

Gordon Korman's profile page


  • Short-listed, OLA Silver Birch Award, Fiction
  • Short-listed, Libris Award - Young Reader Book of the Year, Retail Council of Canada
  • Commended, Parents' Choice Award, Recommended Seal

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Gordon Korman's Swindle series:-"Pure fun from top to bottom." -- SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL-"Korman's fast moving, feel-good suspense novel will have middle schoolers, especially boys, turning the pages." -- VOYA-"Korman again knocks it out of the park . . . interesting, full of humor, and good fun." -- VOYA-"Goofball-funny and addictive." -- KIRKUS REVIEWS

User Reviews

Review: The Hypnotists

Korman's new novel The Hypnotists is the first Gordon Korman novel I've read in YEARS--and I was not disappointed. This middle grade novel was exciting, packed with suspense and, of course, the art of hypnotism. The power of the human mind to change the world is a crucial focal point of the novel and the ways that Dr. Mako is ability to manipulate an entire city into believing the truths he implants in their minds and rig an election really makes you think about the 'what if.' For a society that is so dependent on the Internet, and particularly social media outlets like social media, if true hypnotism was possible, Korman's story points out just how much danger we would all be in.

The Hypnotists discusses hypnotism in the sense of subliminal messages, behavioural modification, and psychological manipulation. He does call attention to the other kind--the type that exists in psychiatrist's offices, but hypnotism for medicinal purposes doesn't possess the same power that people like Mako and Jackson have.

Jackson Opus is a young boy who has a natural hypnotic abilities as the descendent of two powerful hypnotist families. He is recruited by the Sentia Institute where his powers are honed. He meets other hypnotists and sees how the mind can be tricked, changed, and forced into doing what another wants as easily as looking at someone and focusing.

Of course, nothing is what it seems and Jackson has to figure out who the real enemy is as weird things start happening. Soon, Jackson's friends, family, and the entire city are in great danger as a certain someone starts using hypnotism for very wrong and self-serving reasons. It's a classic story of great power in the wrong hands; an immoral use of something that CAN be used for good.

The climax of the novel--the showdown between Jackson and person X--had me hooked on every word. The ending, where we see Jackson's maturity and selflessness, was what really took me off-guard. You won't see it coming either. From beginning to end, this book is great. Don't be put off by the fact that it's middle grade. Gordon Korman is one hell of a writer. I can't imagine what he could do with this novel written for adults.

Sure, the changing eye-colour part of Korman's hypnotism was a little cheesy, but the undeniable power and ability of these people to hypnotize mass groups of people without their awareness and through the use of the Internet (basically through Youtube--now THERE is a scary possible reality for us!) was terrifying and exciting. As many people do believe that hypnotism is real, the book is able to hit home. Especially if you, like me, have ever gone to see a hypnotist perform on stage.

Much like fellow YA heroes, Harry Potter and Katniss Everdeen, Jackson has the entire fate of the world resting on his young shoulders. Korman takes an age-old idea and revamps it into this exciting, suspenseful, and action-packed story that both kids and adults alike will enjoy.

Other titles by Gordon Korman