"So You Want to Be a Wizard" and the rest of the Young Wizards series

I read these books almost a year ago now I guess, but was slacking on writing a post. Actually, I read the first two, So You Want to Be a Wizard and Deep Wizardry many many years ago, got bored, looked for them on amazon and found they'd written like 8 more books and completed the series.

The series starts with a young, red-headed Irish caucasian girl inecplicably named Juanita, and her younger Hispanic male friend (also inexplicably) named Kit. "Nita" spends all her time reading, until one day her clothing is snagged on a book called "So You Want to Be a Wizard", drawing her attention to it. To everyone else, the book appears to be a children's fairy tale, but to Nita, it's a magical instruction manual on wizardry. She successfully casts her first spell protecting herself from a bully, and she accidentally discovers Kit casting a spell of his own, and they become friends and co-conspirators. They meet up with two Senior wizards (I forget their actual rank, but they are the Seniors or Advisors for the Tri-State area or maybe the whole Eastern Seaboard of the US) who send Nita and Kit on their first mission.

Wizards in this universe are sworn to battle Entropy, to slow it down as much as they can. There is a backstory to it, but in short, Entropy is the work of The Fallen One (or some similar Satan analogue), and throughout the series they do battle with many different incarnations of him. Eventually, Nita's younger sister finds a manual in the form of the family's Apple IIc (it's an old book) which gets updated to a laptop as the series progresses. They meet many other wizards along the way, most notably a young Autistic kid with an iPod wizard manual, an alien wizard who looks like a Christmas tree, and an alien wizard who looks like a centipede. Also some douchebag alien prince who looks human. They have merry adventures, la la la.

What was most unique about this series was their system of magic. They draw a circle, around and within which they write their names in "The Speech", a language all matter speaks (allowing wizards to speak with rocks, dogs, fences, etc) that includes descriptions of everything within its name. So Nita's name in Speech somewhat describes her, and thus her name is ever-changing, though mercifully there are short forms and abbreviations. In the circle they write other things, like their location, and other stuff. Then, using Speech, they recite the spell, which is like "this is a Phase Two translocation spell from (location) to (location) for two adult humanoids..." etc. It's all very science-y; they can't just say "Beam me up!", they have to calculate trajectories and speeds and account for gravity and all sorts of things. Luckily, their manuals, being magic as shit, can do complex calculations for them (Nita's sister really lucks out in that regard, since her computer pretty much does everything for her). I thought it was a nice change from the usual magic.

These are books for young adults, but I'd recommend them to anyone who likes sci-fi and/or fantasy. At some parts they get kinda scary, so maybe not suitable for the very young. Also, two central characters are most likely gay; they don't act "gay" in any way, it's never mentioned, and nobody treats them any different from anyone else, but still... probably gay. So if you're a raging homophobe... you should get over it already. It's 2012 ffs. But if you can't, you might want to prevent your kids from reading these books, lest the moral fabric of America be torn asunder. Then again you probably wouldn't let your kids read any stories with magic anyways because THE DEVIL!!! or something.