Class book review: A Pinch of Magic

Reviewers were gripped by this twist-filled adventure, packed with unique and interesting characters

Simon Fisher

a pinch of magic

A Pinch of Magic

Author: Michelle Harrison
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's UK
Details: paperback, 368 pages, £6.99 
ISBN: 978-1471124297

Teacher review

A Pinch of Magic is a brilliantly crafted story from author Michelle Harrison, which we shared in our book club. The group really enjoyed the storytelling of Abi Elphinstone, Catherine Fisher, Katherine Rundell and Piers Torday, and if you like those authors, too, then you’ll be bowled over by this book.

Three sisters, Betty, Fliss and Charlie Widdershins, are trapped by a century-old curse: they are forbidden to leave their islands or they will die. Until now, they have been protected by their granny, the glum proprietor of the Poacher’s Pocket on Crowstone. A prisoner on the island of Repent suggests that he knows how to break the curse, so the Widdershins sisters set out to defy their destiny. But can the prisoner be trusted?

Full of twists and turns, the plot is laden with shocks and surprises – mystery lovers will enjoy guessing older sister Betty’s next move, as the inevitable closes in.

There is also a story within the story, telling how the curse came to be. This adds another dimension and another fantastic set of characters to enjoy. The three sisters each have unique identities – they all behave and respond in different ways, and there is a strong cast of supporting players, whom readers will enjoy getting to know.

Clever, tense, beautifully written and extremely atmospheric, A Pinch of Magic is riveting, and simply fantastic.

Simon Fisher is a key stage 2 teacher at the Rofft School in Marford, Wrexham

Pupil reviews

‘Full of hope’
This is a captivating and exciting adventure, full of hope, which gets more and more enjoyable and interesting. The book left me on a high, and I’m hoping Michelle Harrison will write a second.

Three determined sisters are forbidden to leave their home. The youngest, Charlie, is unpredictable, caring and kind. Betty, the middle sister, is adventurous and daring. Fliss is thoughtful and kind.

Anyone looking for a book about determination, thrills, love and friendship should definitely read A Pinch of Magic. Michelle Harrison is a very creative author, who had me hanging on every word. Read this book – I promise you will love it.

Orlaith Cheffings

‘I haven’t read a book like it’
Books about journeys are my favourite sort of book – but A Pinch of Magic is different, in that the sisters want to leave the islands for an adventure of their own, but they are trapped by a curse.

This is a very well-written book, particularly the way in which Michelle Harrison describes the feelings and emotions of the three sisters – there is a fantastic atmosphere to the book. I haven’t read a book like it.

Great for fans of magic, adventure and tense fairy tales.

Bamba Ndaiye

‘A sea of emotions awaits you’
A Pinch of Magic is about three sisters determined to break a family curse. A sea of emotions awaits you. There is humour; there is grief; you will laugh and be afraid – it's a non-stop rollercoaster. Will the girls ever be able to venture beyond the Sorrow Isles to the places they dream of?

A heartwarming adventure of a lifetime.

Jessica McLean

‘I felt as though I was in the story’
I really enjoyed this book and I did not want to put it down. It was absolutely thrilling – I felt as though I was in the story going on the adventures with the three sisters.

Not at all predictable, the book is full of imagery and I love the way Michelle Harrison describes the feelings of Betty, Fliss and Charlie in great depth.

A cliffhanger at the end of each chapter persuaded me to read on each time. A truly magical book, I was gripped by every single word.

Sibella Fletcher

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