Thursday, July 23, 2020

The Witches of Willow Cove

Roberts, Josh. The Witches of Willow Cove
May 26th 2020 by Owl Hollow Press
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Abby, Robby, and Zeus used to always hang around together, but middle school is hard on relationships. Zeus is busy with football, and Abby is tired of fielding questions from her mom about whether or not she LIKES Robby, especially since Robby is interested in the new girl, Becca. Things get weird when Ms. Winters moves into the long abandoned insane asylum on Whispering Hill, and luckily Abby meets Amethyst, who is able to give her some pointers about her new magic powers. At the same time, Robby's step mother disappears, in the very same way that his mother did year ago. It turns out that Willow Cove was once part of Salem, and there were six girls who were executed for being witches. Their descendants (at least the girls) seem to develop their own magic powers in middle school. Ms. Vickory, one of Abby's teachers, seems to know a bit about this, but she also disappears. While Abby is learning about her background from Ms. Winters (and not trusting her completely), Robby and Becca delve into the history of the town and its dealings with witchcraft. Will the two friends be able to figure out what Ms. Winters' evil plan is before more tragedy befalls the town?
Strengths: Witchcraft and magic are very appealing to middle grade readers; I remember repeatedly checking a book of spells out of the public library and being very disappointed they didn't actually work. Abby and the other girls are able to levitate, ride brooms, and do other typically witchy things. The tie to the history of the area is interesting, and the research that the children do is fairly thorough. The inclusion of an evil plan always makes things better, and it's great to also have some middle grade friend and romantic drama.
Weaknesses: There were a lot of characters to keep straight, and the magic powers could have been more fun.
What I really think: I'm not sure if I will purchase. It's not available from Follett, which the only source I use for books at this point.
Ms. Yingling

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