Alyssa And The Spell Garden by Alexandra Sheppard

 

Alyssa and the Spell Garden by Alexandra Sheppard is an absolute gem of a book that blends magic, nature, and a dash of Jamaican culture into an enchanting story that’s perfect for middle-grade readers.

The story centres around Alyssa, an 11-year-old girl of Jamaican descent who discovers she has magical abilities when she goes to London and meets her great aunt Jasmine for the first time.

After an explosive introduction to her great aunt Jasmine’s tea shop, it becomes clear that Alyssa will need learn to control her magic. Luckily, there is a secret magic school right behind the shop where an enchanted spell garden blossoms. Alexandra’s immersive writing brings the magical garden to life and you can almost see the vibrant colors, and smell the fragrant air as you turn the pages.

Here, Alyssa Lears that her magic is strongly connected to her roots and, alongside her cousins Rosalie and Rue, and other local children, Alyssa learns to create magical tea spells to be used for the good of the community.

Alyssa’s deepest desire, however, is to create a magical tea that can heal the rift between her mum and dad. This personal goal introduces a major conflict: it’s against the rules to use magic for one’s own benefit, especially at a time when the spell garden magic seems to be fading just when the community needs it the most.

Alyssa and her newfound family and friends can’t understand why the local business are disappearing overnight and, unless they can stop developers unfairly hiking up the high street rents, Jasmine’s Teas and the spell garden might be the next to go.

With a gorgeous cover and beautiful chapter headings by Bex Glendining, Alyssa And The Spell Garden is a powerful story that showcases the strength of teamwork and the impact of small efforts when people come together for a common cause!

 

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