Middle school students have reading interests that run the gamut from Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Twilight. Sometimes as a parent it is hard to know what is age appropriate for your child. Through this blog, I will try to help parents make informed decisions about what is available in our library. I am hoping that this blog will be a resource for our parents, and that we can all work together to make our students life-long readers!

Thursday, December 4, 2014


by Holly Webb
From the publisher:
"Rose isn't like the other orphans at St Bridget's Home for Abandoned Girls. Instead of dreaming of getting adopted by loving, wealthy parents, Rose wants to get a job and be independent. She doesn't need anyone but herself. She finds her escape working as a maid for Mr. Fountain, an alchemist. Unable to ignore the magic that flows throughout the grand residence, Rose realizes that just maybe; she might have a little bit of magic in her too. This new series featuring magicians, witches, talking cats, mist-monsters, and friendships will have young readers in a trance!"

This is a little gem of a book. It is a short, quick read that is delightfully creative. I have read other reviews that said it is Downton Abbey meets Harry Potter , which is a total win-win for me. I was immediately drawn to pragmatic Rose, the main character. Surrounded in the orphanage by dreamers who are waiting for unknown parents to show up and claim them, Rose just wants to leave the orphanage and make her own way in the world. She is spunky but knows her place and doesn't bemoan her circumstances. She is hard-working, loyal, and just wants to do her job well. She didn't ask for her magic, and doesn't want her magic. It sets her apart from the other servants and makes her feel strange. In this book, magic is just for the rich, and the servants distrust it. Because of her magic, she is drawn into some very scary situations and realizes that she had better learn how to control it.

The secondary characters in the book are also very well drawn. I love how the author portrays Isabella as such a spoiled brat, but then lets us see who she could really be. Interaction with different characters are woven seamlessly into the story. This book draws you into it's magical world and holds you spellbound.

Areas of concern:
There is a very evil villain who does very evil things to little children.
There are a couple of mild cuss words.

Suggested Ages:
Kirkus Reviews - Ages 9-12
School Library Journal - Grades 4-7

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