This second book in the Magic Repair Shop series continues the story of 12 year old Maggie, who is in the process of discovering her own talents and abilities with magic. Maggie has always had the power to make wishes that come true; however, they usually do not come true in the way she has intended, and she has learned never to say the word “wish,” as chaos inevitably followed. In the first book, Maggie finds herself expelled from school and exiled to spend the summer with a grandmother she hardly knows, while her parents are in South American doing entomological research, all as a result of a magical wish that got away from her. However, things improve when she is accepted into a school for the gifted and talented, and gets a job in a magic repair shop, fixing magic that has gone awry and learning some of the ins-and-outs of magic, as well as some interesting things about her own family history from Mr. McGuite, the proprietor of the shop. But when Maggie runs afoul of a powerful and highly unpleasant magician named Milo the Magnificent, she is nearly trapped by him in a strange reality on the far side of a mirror. With the help of Mr. McGuire and her new friends, she thwarts Milo’s designs, and escapes the mirror, but leaves Milo trapped in her place. As the second book opens, Maggie is facing more magical difficulties, as it turns out there is an agency that sets standards for the use of magic, and Maggie, all unknowing, has contravened many of the laws. In addition, Maggie’s grandmother, who dislikes all forms of magic, has forbidden Maggie to continue working at the magic shop. However, when it appears that Maggie will be sanctioned by the Society of Ethical Magicians unless she is tested and rated for magic, her grandmother agrees to allow her to travel through a mirror to Scotland, to be tested by the famous magician Sir Roderick Lachlan. However, the test does not go as planned, and Maggie winds up accidentally dragging her friends with her to Scotland, where they all become involved in a search for the skins of some selkie shape shifters, and being hunted by a magical panther. Can Maggie undo the chaos her magic has created, find the missing selkie skins, and pass her magical test all at once? Her challenges seem to be multiplying faster than the multiply rabbits in the first book, but Maggie faces her problems with pluck, resolve, and the help of some good friends. This is a worthy sequel to the first book in the series, continuing the fun, and moving Maggie quickly though a series of adventures that sweep the reader along. Maggie is spirited and likable, with good problem solving skills, and an upbeat attitude towards her unconventional life. The supporting cast of characters continue to appeal. The nervous and dithery rabbit Hasenpfeffer, the nonmagical but likeable Raphael, the eccentric students from Maggie’s class at school, and even the nasty Mrs. Davenport and her snobbish daughter Darcy are well presented and offer interesting vignettes that help fill out Maggie’s world. The books ends with many threads left to follow, and many hints dropped of revelations to come, leaving the readers looking forward to the next books in the series. Offer this to young readers who are developing an interest in fantasy, but are not yet ready for the more challenging offerings of Harry Potter or Fablehaven.
Recommended by Linda Lucke, Learning Center Director, Illinois, USA .