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Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

*Spellbound* by Anna Dale- young readers book review
by Anna Dale
Ages 9-12 288 pages Bloomsbury USA June 2008 Hardcover    

Athene is a miserable little girl with an annoying little brother who adores her and parents who don’t understand her. Set on creating tension in the home by doing her best to take things from her brother, Zach - whether it is attention from her parents, or deciding where the family vacation will be - Athene sees it as a chance to act against her brother.

Late one night, she meets a young stranger. They quickly become friends, but this new friend requires her to keep a secret… enforces it in fact, by placing a spell on Athene. Athene and her newfound friends have fun with their secretive meetings, until Zach follows her and disturbs their peace. Angered by his immediate acceptance into the group, she decides to seek revenge; she soon regrets her hasty decision. Unfortunately, acts like these are not so easy to take back, and Athena finds herself making great sacrifices to bring Zach home safe and sound. Plagued with guilt and her terrible secret, Athena learns how to be herself and let go of possessive behaviors. She also learns how much her little brother means to her after all.

Author Anna Dale has worked in the bookselling industry for a number of years. She currently resides in England, and her work contains a classic English fantasy flavor. This is far from her first book; she has published two other children’s books, Whispering to Witches and Dawn Undercover.

Spellbound’s cover swims with blue green colors and different characters from the book, and the artist includes a slight hint about the forest and the hole the children use as well. The accuracy of the images on the cover is impressive while remaining simple and colorful – a very nice visual balance. This hardcover middle-grade novel is highly recommended to all youth (and older readers) who enjoy the magic of this genre.
Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

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  Lillian Brummet/2008 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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