I received a free ecopy of this book from Netgalley and Knopf Books for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review.
Author: Karen Foxlee
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 2, 2016
Genre: Middle grade, Fantasy
Length: 224 pages
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From the author of Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy comes the story of a friendship between two girls set in Victorian England, with magical machines, wizards, witches, a mysterious underworld and a race against time.
Annabel Grey is primed for a proper life as a young lady in Victorian England. But when her mother suddenly disappears, she's put in the care of two eccentric aunts who thrust her into a decidedly unladylike life, full of potions and flying broomsticks and wizards who eat nothing but crackers. Magic, indeed! Who ever heard of such a thing?
Before Annabel can assess the most ladylike way to respond to her current predicament, she is swept up in an urgent quest. Annabel is pitted against another young witch, Kitty, to rescue the sacred Moreover Wand from the dangerous underworld that exists beneath London. The two girls outsmart trolls, find passage through a wall of faerie bones, and narrowly escape a dragon, but it doesn't take long for Annabel to see that the most dangerous part of her journey is her decision to trust this wild, magical girl.
Sparkling with Karen Foxlee's enchanting writing, this is a bewitching tale of one important wand and two most magical girls.
Annabelle Gray is sent to stay with her two great aunts who run a little shop in London but when she gets there she finds out that they are witches and apparently so is she. Very shortly after, a wizard shows up, bragging about his dark wand and a machine that makes dark energy, and threatens the witches and all good magic.
Being the youngest witch and 'a most magical girl', Annabelle sent on a mission to find the all-powerful white wand... but having only just learned that magic exists--and wanting nothing more than to just go home--she is overwhelmed by the task. Luckily, she makes a reluctant friend in the wild, spirited girl named Kitty and together they face the dark terrors of London Under.
This was a fun little middle-grade fantasy adventure set in London but mostly London Under where a whole slew of magical creatures and other elements is hidden away. There's magic, trolls, dragons, and more. My only problem with this book is that it flew by so quickly. I kind of really wanted more.
Something about this screamed Harry Potter to me as I read it. I couldn't help but imagine that Annabelle had entered into the 'Wizarding World' when she was sent to live with her aunts. The stuffy old wizards, the broomsticks and wands, and the setting just sort of cemented that in my mind. It's probably not fair to the author, who may have or may not have meant for that, but I really just couldn't help it. I would definitely recommend this to young Harry Potter fans that are looking for something simple and fun.
My Rating: 3.75 stars