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Bewitching

by Alex Flinn


Reviews

School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 8-10-Flinn's latest fairy-tale mash-up revisits the witch from Beastly (HarperTeen, 2007). The story jumps right in with Kendra explaining how she came to be a witch. In 1666, she fled her plague-ridden village in England with her little brother (and only surviving family member). The young witch was unaware of the full extent of her powers and near starving when she wandered lost in a vast forest with Charlie. The two stumbled upon a cottage that was constructed of sweet-smelling gingerbread, but as soon as the first delicious bite was swallowed, a witch captured them and declared her intention to "bake" them into cookies. Kendra harnessed her own newfound witchy powers and honed her wits to fool the elder witch and break free. She then went on to live as an eternal teenager, causing mischief in her attempts to "help" those in need. In addition to this "Hansel and Gretel" retelling, Bewitching visits "The Princess and the Pea" and "The Little Mermaid," but the main focus is on stepsisters Emma and Lisette. Emma takes over narrating the story of how beautiful and manipulative Lisette comes to live with her. Through lies and machinations she takes over Emma's life. Average-looking Emma is left with almost nothing until she starts a romance with fellow bookworm Warner. But when Lisette manages to even steal her boyfriend, Emma turns to Kendra for help. With hints of "Cinderella" and a sprinkling of valuable life lessons for teens ("beautiful on the outside does not mean beautiful on the inside" and "accept your own shape and size"), Emma's story will leave readers cheering. Bewitching is a humorous and engaging read that will appeal to those who love classic tales.-Tara Kehoe, Plainsboro Public Library, NJ (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Kendra, the witch behind the transformational curse in Beastly (2007), finally has the floor. In 1666, teenage Kendra relates the horror of watching her family die from a plague, halted only when she becomes aware of her own magic and heals her remaining brother. Starving, they set out for a new life and find themselves at a gingerbread house. Sound familiar? Flinn twists more fairy tales into this engaging, time-jumping tale as Kendra reflects on helping and harming those around her. The Little Mermaid rescues a Titanic passenger. The Princess and the Pea takes place at Versailles. But the showstopper is a clever spin on Cinderella, the pieces hovering just above the puzzle until they fall brilliantly into place in a satisfying and surprising retelling in contemporary Florida. Kendra's chatty first-person asides can be jarring next to the larger sections filled with a rich storyteller tone. Regardless, the inventive takes on the traditional will please fans of Flinn and fairy tales alike and leave them eager for Kendra's next volume.--Booth, Heather Copyright 2010 Booklist


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 8-10-Flinn's latest fairy-tale mash-up revisits the witch from Beastly (HarperTeen, 2007). The story jumps right in with Kendra explaining how she came to be a witch. In 1666, she fled her plague-ridden village in England with her little brother (and only surviving family member). The young witch was unaware of the full extent of her powers and near starving when she wandered lost in a vast forest with Charlie. The two stumbled upon a cottage that was constructed of sweet-smelling gingerbread, but as soon as the first delicious bite was swallowed, a witch captured them and declared her intention to "bake" them into cookies. Kendra harnessed her own newfound witchy powers and honed her wits to fool the elder witch and break free. She then went on to live as an eternal teenager, causing mischief in her attempts to "help" those in need. In addition to this "Hansel and Gretel" retelling, Bewitching visits "The Princess and the Pea" and "The Little Mermaid," but the main focus is on stepsisters Emma and Lisette. Emma takes over narrating the story of how beautiful and manipulative Lisette comes to live with her. Through lies and machinations she takes over Emma's life. Average-looking Emma is left with almost nothing until she starts a romance with fellow bookworm Warner. But when Lisette manages to even steal her boyfriend, Emma turns to Kendra for help. With hints of "Cinderella" and a sprinkling of valuable life lessons for teens ("beautiful on the outside does not mean beautiful on the inside" and "accept your own shape and size"), Emma's story will leave readers cheering. Bewitching is a humorous and engaging read that will appeal to those who love classic tales.-Tara Kehoe, Plainsboro Public Library, NJ (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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