You know that feeling when you delve into a new book, then become immediately swept up in it’s world, fully invested in the character… and cancel the day’s plans to ensure uninterrupted reading can commence?
It’s a deliciously warm feeling, and exactly what I encountered when I delved into Em Lynas’s You Can’t Make Me Go To Witch School!
Daisy Wart is ‘SERIOUSLY’ annoyed, well she has just been ‘DUMPED’ at witch school, or Toadspit Towers to be exact. It’s really has seen better days, but there are more pressing matters that Daisy needs to attend to.
It is her destiny to be a Shakespearean actress, not a witch. And in just 2 sleeps time she is due to play the part of Bottom. She simply can’t go to witch school.
But as the door slams behind her, with Granny Wart left on the outside, Daisy quickly realises that escaping from this strange place is not going to be easy. Just as well she has a plan a, b, c, d… let’s just say the plans don’t go according to, urm, plan.
Reading You Can’t Make Me Go To Witch School! will transport you into a wonderfully magical world created by Lynas. Imbued with plenty of mystery such as the garden which no one must enter), the toads that prowl the corridors at night and those slightly strange cats. Even more mysterious are the strange changes that have occurred in the school since the rival of its most reluctant pupil.
Lynas has created a wonderfully sparky and spirited protagonist, the voice of determined Daisy Wart is great fun to read. Daisy’s got quite the adventure on her hands as she sets out to show that she can’t possibly be a witch, whilst also organising how to escape. The girls sharing Daisy’s dorm quickly emerge as interesting characters too, especially the ‘Best and Brightest’ Dominique!
James Littler’s illustrations adorn both the front cover and many of the pages inside. The pencil drawn spiders and webs that crop up add atmosphere to the already mysterious Toadspit Towers, whilst touches such as that bowl of slugs emphasise the lighthearted touch also evident in the narrative.
You Can’t Make Me Go To Witch School! creates a wonderful new world inhabited by delicious food, fun spells and an underlying mystery set up perfectly for the next installment. A very promising start to a new middle grade series – I’m excitedly anticipating book two, and seriously considering naming our next kitten Oddbod!