THE GIRL AND THE WITCH’S GARDEN, by Erin Bowman , Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, June 23, 2020, Hardcover, $17.99 (ages 8-12)
Magic and the real world collide in Erin Bowman’s The Girl and the Witch’s Garden.
Mallory Estate is the last place 12-year-old Piper Peavey wants to spend her summer vacation. The grounds are always cold, the garden out back is dead, a mysterious group of children call the property home, and there’s a rumor that Melena M. Mallory — the owner of the estate and Piper’s wealthy grandmother — is a witch.
But when Piper’s father falls ill, Mallory Estate is exactly where she finds herself.
The grand house and its garden hold many secrets—some of which may even save her father—and Piper will need to believe in herself, her new friends, and magic if she wants to unlock them before it’s too late. —Synopsis provided by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
The strength of The Girl and the Witch’s Garden is in the characters. Piper is inquisitive and likeable. As the main character, she gets most of the attention, but the other children are fairly well-developed, too, giving this an almost — but not quite — ensemble feel.
As is often the case with middle readers, the adults are more of a mystery and can feel one-dimensional. There’s plenty of room for this to become a full-on series, so I’d expect more development in later novels.
The Girl in the Witch’s Garden is a fast-paced mystery full of charm. I read this in one sitting, and I know when my daughter’s a bit older, she’ll be glued to it, too. Fingers crossed there will be more books in this world.
© 2020, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise noted, all books — digital and physical — have been provided for free by publishers in exchange for honest and unbiased reviews. All thoughts and opinions are those of the reviewer.