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Books on the Blog: The Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel by Natasha Lowe

by Linda Walker

5950971.jpgChoosing a book to review can sometimes be a challenge because there are just so many interesting titles. I will admit the reason I chose The Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel is not for the engaging title but because the witch caricature has a distinct resemblance to me and green is my favorite color. This book is a fantasy which would interest grades 3-5.

As a baby, Mabel was abandoned by her birth mother. She was nestled into a large terra-cotta flowerpot at the doorstep of Nora Ratcliff. Nora raises the child as her own. Soon it becomes obvious that Mable has some unusual talents; lifting off the ground, sending objects swirling through the air, making things change color.

Mable is a young witch who needs some witchery education. And so, she is enrolled in Ruthersfield Academy, a school teaching traditional magic and much more. At Ruthersfield Mable has her ups and downs. She is not conventional. Mable wants to experiment with magic, push its boundaries. However, overstepping the academy rules and Winifred Delacy conspiring to get Mable into trouble make for a difficult time for her at school. At home Nanny Grimshaw makes her life miserable too, keeping her on a “tight leash” and insisting on giving her frivolous lessons in daring and embroidery when all Mable wants to do is create with her magic talents.   The book comes to a climax when the Society for Forward Thinking Witches announces a spell competition for an invention. Mable can’t wait to begin and here is where real trouble starts.

The book contains some of Harry Potter’s magical elements with a sprinkle of Matilda. Young readers will enjoy Mable’s challenges and triumphs.

Natasha Lowe has two other witch books young readers might enjoy, The Power of Poppy Pendle and The Courage of Cat Campbell. You can visit her at

Linda Walker was a teacher for 33 years with experience in several grade levels including teaching children with diverse learning abilities. She is a 2005 Fellow of the National Writing Project. For many summers Linda has facilitated writing specialty courses for the PAWLP Young Writers and Readers Program.

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