Welcome to Middle-Grade Monday and this stop on the Charmed blog tour! I'm very excited to be part of Sourcebooks launch of Fairy Tale Reform School- Charmed, by Jen Calonita. I've got a lot of information to share, so below you'll see my review, book and author information, plus a giveaway!
However, Gilly can't do it alone, because Alva seems to be in league with royalty itself. It will take all of the friends and their unique skills to stop the kingdom from going evil.
This middle-grade fantasy is an easy, fun read for kids ages 8 and older. Gilly is a spunky heroine who uses her "criminal" skills to help defend the kingdom of Enchantasia. What I really liked is her true to form growth as a teenager, as she learns what real friendship means. I could relate to her problems and her struggles to be a leader and still be part of the crowd, and also how difficult it is to balance friends.
Throughout the story, there are Happily Ever After Scrolls that relay news that is affecting the kingdom and the school. They add a funny quirkiness to the tale. I found the extremes of the book, from the girly Royal Lady's to the strange and weird teachers to be over the top, but perfect for young readers who want to giggle out loud.
Well written and age level appropriate, I give it 4 stars!
Jen Calonita is the author of the Secrets of My Hollywood Life series and other books like Sleepaway Girls and Summer State of Mind, but Fairy Tale Reform School is her first middle-grade series. She rules Long Island, New York, with her husband Mike, princes Tyler and Dylan, and Chihuahua Captain Jack Sparrow, but the only castle she’d ever want to live in is Cinderella’s at Disney World. She’d love for you to visit her atjencalonitaonline.com and keep the fairy-tale fun going at happilyeverafterscrolls.net .
“Fans of Calonita’s previous book in the series (Flunked, 2015) will enjoy this continuation of the story. New readers will be caught up within the first few pages thanks to a blog scroll (“Happily Ever After Scrolls”) that recurs throughout the book. Tweens who are fans of fractured fairy tales like the “Whatever After” series by Sarah Mlynowski (Scholastic) will have no problem getting into this read.” –School Library Journal
“Charming fairy-tale fun.” –Sarah Mlynowski, author of the New York Times bestselling Whatever After series
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25879858-charmed?from_search=true&search_version=service
Social Networking Links:
Author Website: http://www.jencalonitaonline.com/MG_Flunked.html
Book Website: http://books.sourcebooks.com/enchantasia/
Excerpt from Charmed: Fairy Tale Reform School:
The Magic Mirror’s voice crackles throughout the school, “Let the first annual Fairy Tale Reform School WAND WHAT YOU WANT hour begin!”
I hear students cheer and wands begin popping up in kids’ hands as we walk through the halls. POP! My wand arrives in my hand; long, dark-gray and nicked like its seen a few battles. What to try first… I’m just about test the wand out, when I feel the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I dive out of the way just as a classmate casts a spell on the girl next to me, turning her into an ice sculpture.
POP! POP! POP! Kids begin casting all around me. The crowded hallways is suddenly full of talking woodland creatures, toads, fireworks, and a pretty impressive cloud raining licorice. Kids are cheering, fighting, and the sound of all those wands working is enough to give me a headache.
The chaotic hallway disappears and a new empty hall arrives in its place. The magic hallways are always changing for security reasons, but I happen to know this hall leads to the school courtyard. More students appear and new spells begin zapping around me. I run out into the quiet school courtyard to test out my wand in peace. The warm sun is shining bright high above the castle walls, making me wistful for adventure. I can never sit still for long.
“We hope you enjoy your wand experience, but remember, all wands disappear at the hour mark so choose your magic wisely,” I hear Miri continue. I’m relieved to find no mirror in the courtyard, which means she can’t see what I’m up to. That magic mirror is forever tattling on students for bad behavior. “Flying is not advised.”
“Not advised, but she didn’t say it was against the rules,” I say to myself. I flick the wand over my stuffy, uncomfortable pale blue uniform and turn it into a comfy peasant shirt and pants. I get rid of my ugly school shoes and swap them out for my beloved high-lace up boots. Now that I’m comfortable, I get to the task at hand. I’m sure an actual spell would work better, but since I don’t know one, I just imagine myself flying and bam! I’m slowly floating up, up, up in the air. Score!
A Pegasus flies by pulling a coach with four students in it.
“HI GILLY!” they shout and wave.
When you save your school from a wicked fairy, people tend to remember your name. Even if you don’t remember theirs.
“Hi!” I say, lying back like I’m floating on a cloud. Wow, this is relaxing. I stretch my arms wide and -- oops!
My wand falls from my grasp. Uh oh. I begin to plummet, spinning, faster and faster with no sign of stopping. Before I can even think of a way to break my fall, WHOOSH! I feel my body hit a blanket, bounce up, then land again on a magic carpet being steered by my friend Jax.
“Ten minutes into WAND WHAT YOU WANT and you’ve already had a near death experience?” Jax says, a glint in his violet eyes. His curly blond hair looks white in the bright sunlight. “You’re getting sloppy.”
“I’m not getting sloppy!” I’m seriously offended by that statement. “How’d you even know where to find me?”
“I thought to myself, ‘What would Gilly do with wand access for an hour?’ and I knew right away you’d try to sneak home for a bit,” Jax says.
My usual partner in crime steers our magic carpet over the castle walls and across the vast school grounds. Below I can see students fanned out on castle rooftops, in the garden mazes, near the lake, all casting away with various results. Jax flies the carpet faster, the wind whipping our hair and making it hard to see. I push the hair away from my eyes and strain to see home. There, beyond the gleaming pillars of Royal Court, where the princesses who rule our kingdom live, is my small village of Enchantasia. Somewhere down there, my family is working, playing and hopefully missing me as much as I miss them. The carpet is nearing the Hollow Woods which separates us and the village--CRACKLE! Our magic carpet is stopped by an invisible wall that keeps us from escaping school grounds. Clever of Flora to put the barricade up during wand training. Oh well. Leaving was a long-shot, but maybe I could wave my wand and at least see what my family was up to. “My wand! I realize. “I need to go get it.”
And don't miss the first book in the series!
Flunked: Fairy Tale Reform School
Available Now in Hardcover and Trade paper
Would you send a villain to do a hero’s job?
Gilly wouldn’t call herself wicked, exactly…but when you have five little brothers and sisters and live in a run-down boot, you have to get creative to make ends meet. Gilly’s a pretty good thief (if she does say so herself).
Until she gets caught.
Gilly’s sentenced to three months at Fairy Tale Reform School where all of the teachers are former (super-scary) villains like the Big Bad Wolf, the Evil Queen, and Cinderella’s Wicked Stepmother. Harsh. But when she meets fellow students Jax and Kayla, she learns there’s more to this school than its heroic mission. There’s a battle brewing and Gilly has to wonder: can a villain really change?
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21996359-flunked?from_search=true&search_version=service
Rafflecopter Giveaway Link for 2 sets of Fairy Tale Reform School Books 1-2
Runs 3/1-3/31 (U.S. and Canada only)