Morgan Charmley SPELLS AND SECRETS

‘Witches HATE warlocks

Warlocks HATE witches

And that’s that. No questions. Simple

Of course, I have to go and mess everything

up by being friends with one.’

Morgan Charmley must keep her magical powers under control and undercover at school – tricky when her best mate, warlock Owen, is playing pranks on her. And when Morgan accidentally finds herself in the school quiz team, a fellow secret witch seems out to sabotage her.

She’s the girl who can cast spells with a click of her fingers: but can she stay out of trouble?

Genre: Middle Grade Fiction/Fantasy

Age appropriate: 9-12 years

Number of Pages: 304 pages

Date of Publication: 01/10/2020

Author/Illustrator/Publisher:

The author of this book is Katy Birchall who has written The It girl: Superstar Geek, The It Girl: Team Awkward and The It Girl: Don’t tell the Bridesmaid. The beautiful cover art was made by Jane Pica and it was published by Scholastic.

Rating: 4.5

Review:

This is a light-hearted, funny and really cute story aimed to teenagers about a teen witch who is still struggling to control her magic and who is busy trying to pass herself off a normal student. Her mum is the ‘Great Sorceress’ and she discovers she will soon find out who her father is. Morgan’s best friend is Owen, a Warlock and someone who she shouldn’t be hanging out with.  Despite the anti-warlock sentiments Owen proves to be a great friend and someone who she can trust although sometime he can play pranks on her.  In the story he manages to make her volunteer to a school quiz team and compete with Woodvale School using a cookie enchanted with an enthusiasm spell.

‘Morgan Charmley Spells and Secrets’ is a comedy novel set in a high school filled with the currently popular magical tropes of witches and wizards (or warlocks in this case).  The comparison to Sabrina the Teenage Witch is obvious and while clearly an inspiration this series updates it for the new generations.  This is the second book in the series and while it can be read as standalone novel I always recommend people to read the first book in a series so they can be familiar with the characters and past storylines. 

The quality of the writing and the way that the author describes every scene and every character is really good and very engaging. You can definitely imagine the scenes and environments clearly and the conversations that the characters have are believable and well written.  The world building is also very well done especially in how the book explains why witches and warlocks are enemies which is great to add weight to the plot and it does a good job explaining why witches have familiars. Younger readers are always eager to know more about witches and magical creatures so it is good when the world of the book is well explained and not too much is just mentioned and forgotten. Although the book reminded me a lot of Sabrina the Teenage Witch with its ‘witch trying to fit in at school’ plot it was definitely an original story with lots of fun moments, well written friendships and lots of teenage drama.

Young readers will find this book very entertaining and it is an easy read where you find yourself wanting to keep turning pages to learn more about Morgan, her family and friends. The last chapter ended with a bit of a cliff hanger so we will just need to wait for the next book to come out. 

Overall a very entertaining and fun book with an easy to follow plot and very charming characters. I found myself laughing out loud during the funny chapters and with Morgan’s adventures.  Unsurprisingly in a story with so many overused elements I did find that some of it was a bit predictable and it could have used a bit more magic especially by the other characters of the book but this is just my opinion. 

I actually can’t wait for the next book to come out. 

Availability: This book can be found at Scholastic website here. As well as in all good bookshops.

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