Author: Trevor Forest
Year published: 2011
Publisher: Dog Eared Book
Number of pages: 62
Recommended age: 7+
Daughter Rating: ★★★★★
Grown-up Rating: ★★★★½
Reviewed by: Renee and Danielle (Mother and Daughter)
Summary (from Amazon): On the eve of her ninth birthday Molly Miggins visits the funfair where her parents are due to perform a live magic show. Molly’s mum is a High Witch and her father is a stage magician who uses real magic.
During the performance the disappearing trick goes badly wrong and both of Molly’s parents vanish. Molly meets a wizard who tells her that only she can rescue them.
To succeed in her quest Molly must become a junior witch and try to find a way into the mysterious ‘void’ where her parents have been trapped. At the Witches Academy Molly is given an ancient, damaged wand called, Wonky, but because of a slight twist in the wand Molly finds it almost impossible to aim a spell accurately. Can Molly master the wand and rescue her parents before the wizard’s deadline or will the nasty tricks and traps he has placed in her way prevent her from fulfilling her quest?
What it’s about: This book is about a girl named Molly who is a witch. But something happened to her parents so she has to go to the Witches Academy early and learn to be a witch so that she can save her parents.
What I liked and disliked about it: I thought that the story was a really fun adventure and I really want to read the next books. I liked that it wasn’t too long of a book but it ended in a way that I really want to know what happens next because I want to know what happens to her Mom.
I liked that the way her parents disappeared in the middle of doing a magic trick where they should re-appear but instead they disappear into the void. I liked that instead of evil witches there were good witches like Molly. I thought that when she was getting her wand it was cool because there were some nice ones and some mean ones. I liked that her crazy grandma would never say her name right. Instead of “Molly” she would call her “Millie” – it was funny.
I didn’t really understand what the void was and I wish it had been explained a bit better. But Mom then explained what it means and I now know that it means “nothingness” and “where failed magic goes”.
My bottom line: I love loved this book and I would recommend it to girls 8 years and older.
What it’s about: This book tells the story from the perspective of 9 year-old Molly, the daughter of a witch and a magician who disappear in the middle of a magic trick. Molly then meets a wizard who tells her that she must attend the Witches Academy before her tenth birthday (when young witches typically begin schooling to become a Junior Witch) so that she can rescue her parents before one of them gets trapped in “the void” for all time. Will Molly save her parents before time runs out?
What I liked and disliked about it: Magic Molly: The Mirror Maze takes the reader on an adventure filled with intrigue and magic told through the eyes of a young, coming-of-age witch. Forest creates a fantastical world mixed with witches, wizards, magicians, and muggles and I love the way he jumps right into the story with the introduction of a fortune teller who provides Molly with a foreshadowing of things to come.
This was a really fun read. The story is peppered with humorous incidents and elements such as Molly’s bumbling with early attempts at magic which result in the appearance of an endless stream of rabbits and her witch’s hat growing flowers. Granny Whitewand provides a great deal of comic relief throughout the book by providing just the right amount of witchy sassiness. She insists that Molly’s name is Millie, she crash-lands her “non-air-worthy” broomstick, and she disrupts the Witches Promise Ceremony when she forgets to turn on her hearing aid.
I really appreciated Forest’s realistic representation of the experiences and thought processes of a typical 9 year old girl. While Molly does have a best friend in the story, Jenny (a muggle), we are also introduced to her nemesis, Henrietta (also a muggle) who is the rich snob who buys her way into the Witches Academy. Henrietta, as well as a haughty magic wand and an ungracious magic mirror are introduced in the story as some of Molly’s minor adversaries with which she must contend.
Her biggest adversary is the mysterious Wizard from the High Council of Magic who both advises Molly how to find her parents and places obstacles in her path. I found this a bit confusing. When the wizard is first introduced, he tells Molly how her parents can be rescued and I initially thought that he was one of Molly’s allies, but by the end of the book, it is clear he is not. In the letter from the High Council that Molly receives at the end of the book, she is described as a “worthy opponent”. It is just not clear to me why her parents were kidnapped in the first place and just who is the “good guy” and who is the “bad guy”. I realize that The Magic Maze is the first book in the series and that it represents the first part of the task, so I’ll just have to read the next books to seek further clarification. I’m good with that!
My bottom line: This was a very enjoyable read. There are so many unpredictable twists that will keep you guessing what will happen next. I would highly recommend this book and the next books in the series to children aged 7+.
*Magic Molly: The Magic Maze was provided to us free-of-charge by the author in exchange for our honest opinion.*
I shared this post at the Cozy Book Hop hosted by The Reading List.
Don’t miss your chance to win 1 of 5 electronic copies of Magic Molly: The Mirror Maze in our Book Giveaway. Open Internationally. Ends November 1, 2012.
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