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  • Writer's pictureSandy

Big Magic, by Sarah Armstrong

If you love a circus setting and magic and a strong female protagonist, then this middlegrade novel might just be the story for you.

Eleven-year-old Tulsi performs in a travelling circus with her mother, who uses Big Magic in her performances. Tulsi longs to learn Big Magic, but her mother tells her she's too young.

But when her mother disappears in a magic circus act gone wrong, Tulsi must learn enough Big Magic before the next full moon to bring her mother back. The only problem is that the only person who can teach her is her grandmother Sylvie, who was once stripped of her own magic, for reasons Tulsi has no idea about. Can she trust Sylvie to help her? And will she find a way to bring her mother back and save the ailing circus at the same time?

I absolutely loved this story of magic, friendship, family adventure and courage. We encounter parallel universes, strong female characters, and pulse-racing action. I loved the unique magic system portrayed in this story, in which magicians must absorb energy from nature in order to harness the full strength of their magic.

Everything about this book just shimmers with magic - the use of language (I love the sizzling of Tulsi's fingertips, the descriptions of nature), the thought-provoking concepts (including the way in which our choices can send our lives off in different directions), and the diverse cast of characters.

Tulsi is a wonderful narrator - even while she feels afraid and at times despairing, she shows courage and resilience - her fierce love for her mother the light that guides her through the darkness.

I guarantee you won't be able to put this book down as the finale reaches a cracking pace - there is lots of fast-paced action, suspense and tension as Tulsi races against the clock to find her mother.

This book is perfect for your 9+ reader.

We thank Hardie Grant Kids for sharing an ARC of this book with us for review. Opinions expressed are our own.

Published by Hardie Grant Kids



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