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English teacher interested in language and culture, and also in fiction using magic, myth, folklore and the supernatural. Now teaching part-time in a Leicester Upper School (ages 14-19) and also writing for children, teens and teachers.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Review: The Witching Hour by Sara Grant

Great witchy fun for young and middle grade readers!

This is the first in the charming new 'Magic Trix' series aimed at the younger reader (shelved as 5-8, I believe). The main character, Trix, discovers on her tenth birthday that she is, in fact, a witch and can aspire to one day being a fairy godmother.

There are, of course, difficulties. This is a secret identity thing, so she can't share her newfound powers with friends and family, and some of the other new witches are not entirely nice. There are strong values of being unselfish running through the story - fitting with the ultimate 'fairy godmother' goal, and plenty of gentle danger and humorous magical mishaps to entertain a young (and not so young!) reader.

Something that I particularly appreciated was that, although it's clearly starting off a series, there was no sense of the story being incomplete or being left on a massive cliffhanger, which has made me annoyed with some  series for this age. It is a discrete story, with characters that you'll want to revisit. Just how a series should be!

I really enjoyed this sweet little book - and the second in the series, Flying High, which I'll be reviewing on Friday. My 9 yr old was very keen to read them too, and she absolutely loved them. She read them during the Easter holidays from school and they inspired no end of witch-related play. I can definitely say that this series captures a kid's imagination!

My daughter's verdict:
I find them very exciting and I particularly like the twist in the second one. I like that it's also a bit about friendship too. I thoroughly enjoyed them both! 
So there you have it! I'd say this is a lovely example of series fiction for this age group, and would absolutely recommend them.

From the publisher's website:

Magical mayhem as little witch, Trix, begins her journey towards becoming a real 'fairy' godmother!

Trix wasn't expecting to develop magical powers when she turned ten, but it was definitely her best, if most surprising, birthday present! Now she's taking witching lessons and has an invisible kitten of her very own - but how can she keep it all a secret from her best friend, Holly?

Published 7 March by Orion Children's
Find more information on the series homepage
My grateful thanks to the publishers for providing us with a review copy

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