Their gift can change the world, they just don’t know it yet…
Jenna and Jessica Tipple are identical twins. The Tipple family’s secret gift is magic – the good kind. Unfortunately, when they enrol at Chumsworth School, they discover that the head mistress, Miss Snippings, has an unnatural dislike of twins and an unhealthy interest in witchcraft.
When the school play just happens to be about the Salem witch trials, the twins realise they’re in a cauldron full of trouble.
Genre: Children, YA
Age appropriate: 8-12 years’ old
Number of Pages: 144
Date of Publication: 08/10/2020
The author of this book is Michelle Cordara, who loves reading about history. ‘The Tipple Twins’ is Michelle’s debut novel.
The publisher of this book is Troubador Publishing.
‘The Tipple Twins’ is a fictional story aimed at young readers and people who enjoy an easy and enjoyable book. This is a very good option for a Halloween story and also for children who would like to learn a bit about the Salem Witch Trials without feeling too overwhelmed as it contains a lot of information about the witch trials and witches. It is clear that the author did her research on the topic and managed to include historical facts woven into the story. ‘The Tipple Twins and the Gift’ is the first book in a new series.
The book is about identical twin sisters, Jessica and Jenna who are 8 years old, and their family who possess magic powers but are not allowed to use their magic as they want to be considered as being normal. They have a pet call Boo who is a very shy ghost and who used to live in their current house. The twins are very special as they are the only remaining twins in England due to a black shadow that took all the others except for them but unfortunately this shadow instead took their older sister Caitlyn. After some time had passed the Tipple’s cousin came to live with them and they got enrolled into a new school where they started noticing odd things happening and that the head teacher was feared by all the students and who hated twins. Soon Jenna and Jessica started learning about the Salem witch trials and they discovered there was more importance to the topic than just a school project.
Amongst my favourites parts of the story is a scene where the author accurately explains the historical facts about the witch trials without it sounding like a history textbook and it made me want to find out more about the subject. Another part I really liked is where the twins made a very good friend called Tommy and as the story moves along becomes an important part of the girl’s world. As he was the first real friend that the girls made and the only character other than their family that didn’t judge them. His interactions with the twins were very different to everyone else’s in the story and I liked this contrast.
The character development is a bit slow at the start with but it picks up soon after. There are some characters that I feel should have had a bit more development and maybe could have had a bit more impact on the story for example Boo the ghost. This is certainly not true for the villain who is well written despite being for most of the story just a black shadow who terrorises everyone. I think that this was a great mystery element as young readers will feel intrigued and try to guess who or what it really is. The motives of the villain started to make sense when the story began to introduce information about the witch trials. The twins also started to see similarities between themselves and the witches as they were both accused of and judged for doing things that they hadn’t actually done. I would have liked for the story to have had had a bit more action and if some characters had a bit more character development and involvement in moving the plot forward.
This is a story that is easy to read, has a great setting and a story line that is interesting for younger readers but also for adults. The author has created a world where there is a struggle between good and evil and in which friendship plays an important role. There is also the struggle of being judged by and not fitting into society for being considered different. The finale of the book leaves you asking questions about what is going to happen next and definitely finishes on a cliff hanger. Overall this was a book that I really enjoyed reading and that my older boy will be reading soon. Although the story could sound a bit scary with witches and magic it is suitable for children to read. I would recommend for anyone to give this book a chance.
Availability: This book can be found in a paperback edition in all good Bookshops as well as an e-book.
Thank you so much Ben Cameron from Cameron Publicity & Marketing for my gifted copy.