Friday, April 15, 2022

A Head Full of Magic

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A Head Full of Magic is an engaging and whimsical fantasy for middle grade readers by Sarah Morrell. Due out 25th April 2022 by Hashtag Press, it's 208 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats. 

This is such a fun and compassionate story. Fleur is a young girl whose life was more or less on an even keel; she had two best friends and her mum and gran, and if she wasn't terribly popular at school and even though animals (especially birds) took an unusual interest in her, at least she had Anais and Ruby and generally knew what to expect. That all changed when a new girl moved in, commandeered her friends, and made her school life an utter misery every day. To make matters worse, she doesn't know how or why, but she can hear animals talking to her. 

I just loved this story. Fleur has a sort of genuine warmth which resonated with me. She's brave and kind and loyal but she's no Polyanna and I love how she reacts to the denouement and resolution in this book. The secondary characters are very well rendered and I adore her Nan and her irascible sarcastic and tetchy African grey parrot, Sir Barclay. The magical realism is well done and there are genuinely funny bits throughout. 

Fleur & her nan were a bit caustic about her mother's lack of ability cooking, but I think it'll resonate with the target audience as more typical 10 year old talk and not cruel. Spelling and vernacular are UK standard English (tyre, crisp, biscuit) which is something of which to be aware for readers from the USA. This is a standalone novel, although there is scope for future adventures for Fleur and co.

Four stars. This would be a good choice for school or public library acquisition or for fans of magical realism. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.    

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