A Most Magical Girl (Karen Foxlee, Piccadilly Books)
Set in Victorian London, A Most Magical Girl tells the story of prim and proper Annabel Grey. One day Annabel’s mother goes away unexpectedly and leaves Annabel with her aunts, who set her to work in their magic shop. Her world rapidly unravels. Not only does Annabel discover that she has magical powers, but that she is the ‘magical girl’ who must go on a quest to retrieve the Moreover wand and save the world from destruction by the evil Mr Angel and his creepy army of shadowlings. This book is delightful, with a rich cast of characters: Annabel is joined on her adventures by shadowy ‘betwixter’ Kitty and fiercely loyal elf Hafwen. From the singing of the magic map into Annabel’s skin to the instructional excerpts from Miss Finch’s Little Blue Book, Karen Foxlee’s attention to detail makes this story really special. There are lovely illustrations at the beginning of each section and the book is beautifully packaged. The ending was slightly predictable, but overall this is a deeply satisfying and enjoyable read that is recommended for readers aged nine and up.
Anna Low is the owner of the Potts Point Bookshop