Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Spelling B and the Trouble with Secrets

Spelling B and the Trouble with Secrets (Spelling B #2)
Lexi Connor
Scholastic, 2009
Republished as B Magical: Trouble with Secrets in 2011
$5.99, Paperback
May 2nd, 2012

Genre: Fantasy
Age: 8+
Description: Eleven-year-old Beatrix (known a B to everyone) is enjoying her magic lessons with her teacher and magical mentor, Mr. Bishop. She’s excited and nervous to be the first witch in hundreds of years to be born with the power to spell literally! However, these great powers require a lot of practice to make sure she concentrates hard enough when spelling her words so her spells don’t go awry! George, her best friend, is excited because a carnival has come to town. Everyone is intrigued by Enchantress Le Fay, a witch who claims to be a descendant of Morgan Le Fay. But she can’t be a real witch can she? Witches aren’t supposed to advertise their powers to non-magical people. When B asks George to go with her to see Enchantress Le Fay and her so called powers, George shocks B by saying there are no such things as witches. Saying so to Enchantress Le Fay’s face might have been a bad idea though—she curses George and the next thing George knows is that everything and anything that can go wrong for him does! He’s really cursed. B wants so badly to help him realize that she’s a fraud and it’s just his mind believing in being cursed that is making it seem like he is. She’s got to figure out a way to expose Enchantress Le Fay for the fraud that she is without exposing herself to everyone else in town.
Opinion: Oh my—this is a cute series! B is a very likable character. The twist of her powers being so rare (spelling words for a spell instead of rhyming) I actually either wasn’t paying much attention or it was a clever twist because I didn’t catch on to the title “Spelling B” until her powers were revealed. I think changing the series title to “B Magical” looses a bit of that cute play on words in the title. The rest of the characters are also well thought out. Her older sister, Dawn, isn’t annoying like most siblings. In fact she actually sticks up for B and helps her with her magical training. Mr. Bishop, the new teacher, turns out to be a mentor from the Magical Society set up to watch B for her magical awakening and then tutor her in her magical studies. He’s a pretty funny character. B also has a best friend, George, and suffers from the “I have a huge secret I can’t tell my best friend” syndrome. A highly recommendable series.

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