Spell Sweeper

HarperCollins. Nov. 2021. 368p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062845320.
Gr 4-6–Cara Moone is not a traditional wizard; she is failing out of Dragonsong Academy and has been reassigned to study as a “MOP,” also known as Magical Occurrence Purger. Basically, Cara’s job is to clean up the messes left after real wizards, such as top student Harlee Wu, cast their spells. Dragonsong is a secret boarding school for wizards with an enigmatic leader, rumors of a great prophecy, and an array of magical courses of study. It is a fun story that offers a behind-the-scenes view into wizarding school and the magic that happens. The story is full of wonderful characters and fantasy elements; for example, Cara’s best friend is a magical fox with multiple tails, and nonmagical people are called Blisses. The setting evokes similar conventions to that of other popular wizarding schools like Hogwarts. Cara is a determined character who wants more for her life than just cleaning up the mess after spells are cast, but she needs the opportunity to prove herself. In a twist, Cara and Harlee are forced to work together and solve a mystery that could put many people in danger, including Cara’s difficult sister, Su. This task gives Cara the opportunity to show her knowledge and bravery to all.
VERDICT This is an energetic and exciting story for any reader who loves Harry Potter and enjoys the idea of attending wizarding school.

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