The Book of Spells: A Private Prequel

The Book of Spells: A Private Prequel

The Book of Spells is an enjoyable, well-written page turner.

Eliza Williams can't wait to go to boarding school in Boston! She has had enough of her mother's prying eyes--Eliza can't even read what she wants. Her mother thinks that "proper" ladies shouldn't read the great books--leave that to the men. Eliza is a sassy extrovert who has other ideas.

Arriving at the Billings School for Girls in 1915, Eliza finds that her roommate is a likeable girl named Catherine White. All the other girls are nice enough with the exception of Theresa Billings, granddaughter of the school's founder. Theresa is spoiled, snippy, and downright bossy. Too bad that she's engaged to Harrison, the boy Eliza spots from the carriage when she first arrives.

When Eliza unearths a wooden box containing books on witchcraft, she and the others plan to have a little fun. What could be wrong with a little spell or two here and there? The girls form a "club" where twelve must be present in order for any spell to work. They practice spells that make them silent--no sound they make can be heard by others--including the headmistress! This allows them to sneak out and frolic the grounds at night and even visit the boys' school next door without being heard.

What will happen when mean girl Theresa finds out that Eliza has met Harrison at midnight? When a terrible accident threatens their "club" and their lives, the girls must decide whether to practice a darker magic or bury the secrets.

Girls who like mystery and light romance will be drawn to this read. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Ominous, the next in this series, is available February 22, 2011.

Recommended grades 7-up. No language or sex.

Recommended by Pamela Thompson, MLIS.

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