Gwen Henderson stared out of the car window miserably. They were in the slow lane on the freeway and the other cars were speeding past their red station wagon.
As they hit a pothole in the road the entire car, including the trailer, the luggage and its four passengers, bounced into the air.
‘Sorry,’ Gwen’s father said as a box o books toppled over on the back seat.
The car landed wit a massive thud and a loud metallic crunch. Gwen sighed and flicked her red fringe out of her eyes. ‘Dad, I think you broke the car.’ She paused. ‘Maybe we should just go back to Smithville?’
Gwen and her triplet sisters Nel and Rain are tired of moving all the time. They’ve moved so many times in the past 12 years, and Gwen just wants to stay put. From the beginning though, their time in Jamestown is different. For a start there are people who seem to know who they are. That’s unusual. They also know that the girls are about to turn 13. And they’re staying in their Auntie Sylvie’s house. Gwen didn’t even know they had an aunty! Then there’s Stephanie at their new school. She’s beautiful, talented and oh-so-very nice. She’s so nice that Gwen is suspicious. Rain is enchanted by Stephanie and Nel fails to see why Gwen is suspicious. Soon after their birthday the girls discover they have some exceptional gifts, if only they could work out how to use them. There’s a prophecy too, but none of the girls can believe it refers to them.
The Littlest Witch is the first in a trilogy about fighting evil across worlds. The girls have teachers and protectors but ultimately it’s up to them to work out what they can do and how they will respond to the ‘call to arms’. Each of the triplets has their own unique personality. Gwen is the fiery one, the leader; Nel is the peacekeeper and Rain just wants her world to be normal so she can dance. The bond between the three girls is sorely tested, but the challenges they face require them to work together. The Littlest Witch is told from Gwen’s point of view and the reader shares her turmoil as she adjusts to their life in a new town, with new skills and a new world view. Recommended for upper primary readers, although the cover might attract younger readers.
The Littlest Witch, Martine Allars,
Pan Macmillan 2010
Reviewed by Claire Saxby Children’s book author. www.clairesaxby.com
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