Title: The Rithmatist
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Information on series: 1 in a series. Second book set to come out in 2017
Your rating: 5 of 5
TL;DR: Joel has wanted to be a Rithmatist, a person with the power to animate chalk drawings into Chalklings, his entire life. The son of a chalk maker, all he can do is watch those with that power prepare to defend the American Isles from Wild Chalklings.
The Rithmatist is one of the most original works of fantasy I have read in quite awhile. Brandon Sanderson always seems to come up with fun and interesting new ideas for systems of magic. The Rithmatist is probably one of my favorites.
Joel goes to school at the elite Armedius Academy where wealthy and powerful "ordinary" students learn alongside those studying to be Rithmatists, strategists and soldiers with the ability to animate chalk drawings called Chalklings that pose the only defense against the Wild Chalklings that threaten the American Isles. Joel is neither wealthy nor a Rithmatist and his deep fascination of the art of Rithmatics makes him an outcast as someone who can't actually do it.
When students start disappearing from Armedius Academy, Joel is assigned to help the professor tasked with investigating the disappearances.
Joel is the best part about this book. He's a flawed character who desires things that are not possible and Sanderson doesn't give him the easy way out. Can't wait to read the next one in the series.
Brandon Sanderson's many other novels, mostly for adults. The Mistborn Series is probably a good place to start.
Harry Potter is probably another good choice. It's another story of a kid at a school of magic who doesn't quite fit in (although for very different reasons).