Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Series: Diary of Anna the Girl Witch #1
Author: Max Candee
Publishers: Helvetic House, IBPA
Date of Publication: January 1st, 2016
A delightful change of reading genre for me with this brilliant story about thirteen year old Anna Sophia who was originally from Russia but is currently attending a private school whilst living in an orphanage run by nuns. Her thirteenth birthday brings surprise presents from her Mum, no news from her Uncle and amazing powers. She hadn’t known she was a witch, but as she starts to come into her powers she also discovers a terrible scheme which threatens her, her friends and other children. Can she learn to use her new talents for good, helping to save others or will evil take over her heart and turn her into a black magic user? Who can she trust? Who will help her?
This is a great story blending many aspects of ancient folklore intertwined with some ethical and moral dimensions. It is a dark story involving deception, the kidnapping and physical abuse of children (hitting and imprisoning), magic and, of course, witchcraft. It has a few illustrations interspersed through the story to help maintain the interest of less mature readers. It is an action packed, fast paced adventure where Anna has faces dilemmas, learns that people can be like books – you shouldn’t judge them by their cover and that this is just the start of her learning to use her powers wisely! She also consolidates her early lessons, that it is always best to have good intentions and to be kind to others.
This is an intriguing new series, with Anna Sophia and Jean-Sébastien as especially great characters helping the story appeal to both genders. It is well written, encouraging the reader to look on the children as friends and highly engaging. I can think of some children in my previous classes who would have loved to read this series, so have no hesitation in highly recommending it – and wishing to read more of it in future!
Thanks to the author and publisher for gifting me an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
What do you do when you discover you’re a witch?
And that using your new powers destroys your soul a little each time?
Set in the Swiss countryside, this story blends ancient folklore with a coming of age tale about a young witch on the brink of womanhood. Anna Sophia has always known she was different. She didn’t know just how different until now.
Through a story of otherworldly magic, Anna Sophia finds a sense of real-world belonging. With its cast of strong characters, inventive setting, and engaging storyline, this fantasy adventure is a relevant novel for middle grade children or young adults.
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