Kid’s Book Review: Alyssa and the Spell Garden

Kid’s Book Review: Alyssa and the Spell Garden

About the Book and Author

Thirteen year-old Alyssa’s world is slowly tearing apart with constant fights between her mum and dad. On top of that she’s going to spend the summer with her mother‘s family who are unknown to her. Soon she realises that she’d been concealed from not just an amazing and friendly community, but weird and wonderful powers which suddenly burst into life in unexpected twists of emotion.

Along the way she meets amazing new friends, who support her across the rocky road of understanding like her cousins, Rosalie and Rue. She is awestruck as unthinkable spells explode and all the fairy tales she’s read are coming to life before her very eyes. Will she learn to control her unruly, uncontrollable powers and have enough time fend of a threat lurking in the gloom before it’s too late?

Alexandra Sheppard is a young adult author based in North London. Her debut novel OH MY GODS (Scholastic) was published in 2019. Alyssa and the Spell Garden  (Faber) is her first novel for readers aged 8-12 years.

Book Review

I thought every single character brought this book to life in such a captivating way that I couldn’t decide which one was the best

I found myself being thrown into a ball pit of positivity every time I read about Rue, the excitable chatterbox. She gabbles on about the mystical spell garden and rambles rambunctiously about her grounding ceremony. Rosalie, on the other hand is full of amazing ideas and is the book’s ‘Hermione Granger’. She can concoct the perfect home sickness tea blend, meander effortlessly through the most befuddling maze of magic and is an encyclopaedia of the spell garden.

Alyssa is adapting slowly but surely to this new environment which brings her to a world she has never known. She is guided by her compassionate friends into a mysterious world filled with daunting twists and turns. She is generous but she sometimes lets her temper fly out of control, like when a snobbish man insulted them in “Wüf”,a shop that sells ice cream for dogs or when an out-of- his-depth boy humiliated Rosalie when they were washing cars. I thought every single character brought this book to life in such a captivating way that I couldn’t decide which one was the best.

This fantastical book took me on a journey through the corridors of imagination as the river of spells swept me across the bridge of magic. I was spellbound by this intricately weaved book and I was on tenterhooks until I came crashing back to reality with a thump. I wanted to read the book a million more times. I thought that this book was full to the brim with adventure and magic and would be perfect for fans of fantasy and spells. If you liked Harry Potter,Kingdom over the Sea or Nura and the Immortal Palace, then this book is destined for you.

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Whichever you choose, we hope you enjoy being part of your unique reading community – happy reading everyone!


Reviewer Profile

  • Name: Radhika
  • Age: 9 years
  • Likes: Acting, guitar, maths, daydreaming and gymnastics
  • Dislikes: eating, running and loud noises
  • Favourite Book: Pages & Co by Anna James
  • Favourite Song: I Don't Like You by Taylor Swift
  • Favourite Film: Descendants