The Baby-Sitters Club #9: The Ghost at Dawn’s House – Ann M. Martin

The babysitters have been apart for two whole weeks! During that time, Mary Anne and Stacey found boys at Sea City, Claudia and her family took my Mimi to a resort and Dawn visited her father in California. Kristy? Well, she stayed home, but home is now a mansion so she can’t really complain.

In this book, Dawn plays Nancy Drew, investigating a hunch that her new old house, which was built in 1795, has a previously undisclosed special feature: a secret passage. You know, like The Hidden Staircase, the Nancy Drew book that gave her the idea in the first place.

It’s like a large, creepy dollhouse.

Dawn invites the whole BSC over to help her search. They don’t find anything but they do scream a lot. Incidentally, at one point Dawn lets out a scream I don’t think I’ve heard in real life.


After going to a great deal of effort failing to find the secret passage, Dawn does. By sitting down. I love it when laziness is rewarded.

Claudia, whose life basically consists of art, sugar and forbidden Nancy Drew books, was one of the last BSC members to learn about the secret passage at Dawn’s house. I should not be this disappointed for her but here we are. If I’d written this book, Claudia would have led the investigation, Nancy Drewing her way to success.

Dawn babysits Buddy, Suzi and Marnie Barrett. Mary Anne babysits Myriah and Gabbie “Toshe me up” Perkins. Dawn babysits the Pike kids (all of them, with some help from Mallory) and then they babysit the triplets and Nicky. Kristy babysits Karen, Andrew and David Michael. Claudia babysits Jamie “hi-hi!” and Lucy (who was an “angle” – love Claudia typos) Newton. Stacey babysits Nicky, Vanessa, Claire and Margo Pike – and does housework! She can do my housework as well if she’d like.

Books in a book: Dawn reads Ghosts and Spooks, Chills and Thrills: Stories NOT to Be Read After Dark, which she reads after dark (obviously), freaking herself out. She also reads about a Stoneybrook legend in A History of Stoneybrooke. Apparently the e at the end dropped off over the years. Of course, this legend freaks her out even more.

Dawn and Jeff freak out about having to block off a wall so the ghost can’t get in the room. So much freaking out in this book. Also, don’t they know that walls aren’t a problem for ghosts?

Dawn’s mother dates a man named Trip. I have yet to meet a man named Trip.

Claudia magics chocolate from a hollow book. Which is the exact moment I decided I needed to buy a hollow book. Why haven’t I done that yet?

Gabby has a Cabbage Patch Doll. At the time I was reading these books I’d never heard of most of the junk food Claudia found in her room so it was a relief to come across something familiar.

Mary Anne’s crush on Cam Geary is mentioned a couple of times. Hello, foreshadowing.

There’s no emergency BSC meeting in this book but there is a slumber party at Dawn’s house. Kristy wants to watch Ghostbusters, Claudia wants to watch Star Wars, Stacey wants to watch Mary Poppins, Mary Anne wants to watch Sixteen Candles and Dawn wants to watch The Parent Trap. I want to watch Jaws.

Consistent with the responses of the BSC members, this book freaked me out as a kid. The idea of living in a haunted house terrified me, made worse by the fact that my neighbour decided to tell me that their home had a resident ghost around this time.

This book inspired me to borrow a bunch of books featuring ghost stories from the library that remained unread because my imagination was big and my courage was small.

I loved the idea of a secret passage. I looked for one at my home, despite it being less than fifteen years old at the time. I decided right then and there that one day I would live in a home with multiple secret passages. It would also have a secret reading room behind a bookcase, but I digress.

Because my childhood BSC books didn’t come with me into adulthood, I’ve repurchased them. The previous owner of this new old book completed the Notebook Pages. My favourite response was when the 8 year old reader said the BSC member they’re most like is Stacey because they’re “fashion sensitive”.

I want to give Nicky Pike a hug.

About the cover: The secret passage can be accessed through either a trapdoor in the barn or a wall in Dawn’s bedroom. Are Dawn and Jeff heading up to the attic together in this image, something they don’t do in the book? Or did someone in marketing forget to tell the artist how to find the secret passage?

Stoneybrook Central Time: At the beginning of the book, it’s the third week of August, two weeks until eighth grade begins. The babysitters are back after their various adventures of the past two weeks. You’ve already read about Mary Anne and Stacey’s time in Sea City. At the end of the book, school will be starting again in a few days.

Up next: Mary Anne meets Cam Geary in the flesh. Sort of.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Dawn has always thought there was a secret passage hidden in her house. But she never thought there was a ghost… until now. All kinds of creepy things go on whenever Dawn’s at home. There are even spooky noises behind her bedroom wall!

Dawn is sure there’s a ghost in her house. And so are the other Baby-sitters. But they’re so busy with their baby-sitting jobs that they hardly have time for a ghost hunt. Will Dawn and her friends ever solve the mystery, or will Dawn have to share her house… with a ghost?

Arch-Conspirator – Veronica Roth

Antigone lives in the last city of an irradiated landscape. It’s perpetually dusty, the population is dwindling and if you have a viable uterus you’re going to reproduce, whether you like it or not. Your chances of surviving childbirth are 50-50.

When you die in this world, your ichor is extracted from you and stored in the Archives. Would-be parents wander the Archives and make their choices, the Archivist implants the combined cells (complete with edited genes) and, hey presto, designer babies.

Antigone and her siblings, Polyneikes, Eteocles and Ismene, aren’t like everyone else, having been made the old fashioned way.

We were unique among our people, pieced together from whatever random combination of genes our parents provided. Table-scrap children.

This novella is a dystopian retelling of Sophocles’ play. Because I wasn’t already familiar with the story, I found a summary to read before I started this book. While it helped in comparing the two, it also spoiled the ending for me. I could have easily followed this story, even if I hadn’t done any homework before tackling it.

If you do know anything about Antigone, you’ll know this isn’t a happy book. It’s tragedy, grief and the abuse of power.

Doomed from the start, I found myself thinking. All of us.

I sometimes find multiple perspectives distracting and that was the case here for the first few chapters. However, once I figured out who everyone was, I began to enjoy hearing from the different characters: Antigone, Polyneikes, Eurydice, Ismene, Kreon and Haemon.

I would have liked to have explored this world more. I wanted to meet the Archivist. I wanted to understand why this pocket of land was currently habitable when the rest of the planet wasn’t. I would have liked to have gotten to know the characters better. Realistically, though, achieving the level of detail I craved would have pushed this way outside of novella territory.

The themes explored here lined up well with what I’ve read about the original story. I loved Antigone’s fierce loyalty to her family and her resistance against the status quo. I’m not sure what Sophocles would have made of this book (there’s a spaceship!) but I enjoyed this read.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Titan Books for the opportunity to read this novella.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Outside the last city on Earth, the planet is a wasteland. Without the Archive, where the genes of the dead are stored, humanity will end.

Antigone’s parents – Oedipus and Jocasta – are dead. Passing into the Archive should be cause for celebration, but with her militant uncle Kreon rising to claim her father’s vacant throne, all Antigone feels is rage.

When he welcomes her and her siblings into his mansion, Antigone sees it for what it really is: a gilded cage, where she is a captive as well as a guest.

But her uncle will soon learn that no cage is unbreakable. And neither is he.

Mabel Opal Pear and the Rules For Spying – Amanda Hosch

Mabel was born on Halloween and is a staring contest champion. Her parents, Fred and Jane, are “Cleaners”, top secret agents.

They would go into really bad situations around the world to clean up messes made by other spies.

When they’re at home, Fred maintains old telephone lines and repairs cell phone towers, while Jane is the curator of the family’s private museum, Le Petit Musée of Antique Silver Spoons.

Living in a town of only 267 people, you’d think it would be especially difficult to keep her parents’ secret from getting out but Mabel has her 36 Rules for a Successful Life as an Undercover Secret Agent to guide her.

In the lead up to her eleventh birthday, Mabel gets a lot of opportunities to practice her undercover agent skills. Her parents are out of town on a secret mission and her Aunt Gertie, who needs to make a batch of her famous cinnamon buns for me, has been arrested.

Frankenstella (her aunt and uncle) and her least favourite cousin, Victoria, show up and start eating all of Mabel’s food and bossing her around. Her aunt and uncle seem to have an unusual interest in spoons and a red suitcase that may or may not exist.

“I will not sugarcoat the truth. This situation is a big deal.”

Mabel is absolutely adorable but I doubt she’d like me describing her that way. She doesn’t know who she can trust but she’s resourceful and doesn’t give up.

Mabel’s best friend, Stanley, was my favourite character. He a photographer who doesn’t give spoiler alerts, so make sure you’re careful around him if he finishes your current read first. I wish he had more page time.

I have an unanswered question, the same one Mabel has at the end of the book.

Given there are 36 Rules for a Successful Life as an Undercover Secret Agent, it would have been pretty perfect if this book had 36 chapters. It has 35, although there’s also a preamble to the rules before the first chapter, so I’m counting it. I liked all of the rules but my favourite was 14.

Most people believe what they want to believe, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Don’t be most people.

Favourite no context quote:

“If I had any more luck, a big black hole would pop up in the living room, suck me in, and crush me until my eyeballs exploded and my bones turned to gelatinous goo.”

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Capstone Young Readers, an imprint of Capstone, for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

When Mabel’s parents leave town without warning, she isn’t worried. They’re spies, after all. But when her beloved Aunt Gertie is arrested for leading a smuggling ring, then her obnoxious Uncle Frank and Aunt Stella show up, demanding to be let into the family’s private museum, things begin to look fishy. Especially since Mabel hasn’t heard from her parents in days. Tackling a mystery like this one is what she has been training for her whole, short life. Using her self-authored spy handbook, will Mabel be able to find her parents and unmask the real criminal before it’s too late?

The Fervor – Alma Katsu

Two words: spider demon!

Meiko and her twelve year old daughter, Aiko, have been at Camp Minidoka, an internment camp in Idaho, for two years when an unidentified illness begins to spread through the camp.

Archie is a preacher with a past that haunts him.

He’d thought he’d outrun it, but all this time Hell had been waiting for him with its mouth wide open.

Fran is a journalist who’s on the verge of uncovering the story of her career.

You’d think the spider demon would be the scariest thing about this book, but it’s not. The real monster in this story is fear of the other and the hatred it spawns.

This story is mostly set in the 1940’s and, although I’d love to be able to say otherwise, it could easily have been written about today. The racism and xenophobia are incredibly difficult to read about because, although this book is fiction, the interactions between the characters are all too real, and that’s terrifying.

I loved Aiko, an outcast wherever she goes because her mother is Japanese and her father is white. She’s resilient, she’s resourceful and she spends her free time drawing demons.

The demons, Aiko said, knew everything.

I wish more time had been spent with the jorogumo but Google has answered my outstanding questions and shown me some decidedly creepy artwork so I’m all good. For now. I need more Japanese mythology in my life.

The world is rarely what it shows you.

I definitely want to read more books by this author.

Content warnings include death by suicide, miscarriage, physical abuse, racism and xenophobia.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

As World War II rages, Meiko shares eerie childhood stories, of yokai and malevolent demons, with her daughter, Aiko. These stories hold them together as they must confront the horror of being shipped to an internment camp in the Midwest. Never mind that Aiko is American, that her father is in the US Navy. They are Japanese. 

As Meiko and Aiko learn to live in captivity, a contagion begins to spread in the camp. What starts as a cold quickly becomes fits of violence and aggression, even death, and soon a government medical team arrive, more sinister than the illness itself. 

Meanwhile strange things are happening outside the camp. Wrecked weather balloons and tragic explosions draw Fran, a German expat journalist, and Archie, a widowed minister, into a world of conspiracy and creatures in the shadows. 

As the world tears itself apart, it falls to Meiko, Fran and Archie to lay their country’s demons to rest.

The Modern Bestiary – Joanna Bagniewska

Illustrations – Jennifer N.R. Smith

Animals that breathe through their skin. Animals who live in the bums of other animals. Animals having sex. Lots of sex. Animal genitalia. Flying fish. Flying snakes. Animals making other animals into zombies. It’s all here.

Written by a zoologist, this book introduces you to 100 animals of the earth, water and air. With two pages allocated to each animal, this was a quick but interesting read. Some entries were funny while others were cringeworthy. I couldn’t help but think that we have a lot to learn from the way that some animals take care of one another. And we should avoid behaving like others at all costs.

I tend to collect fun facts wherever I go and this book is absolutely filled with them. Here are some of my new favourites.

When researchers from the University of Chicago tested brown rats’ empathy by giving them a choice of freeing one of their mates from a cage or opening a container that contained chocolate chips, they freed their mate. Then they both proceeded to share the chocolate chips.


When they’re threatened, stick insects “can generate a chemical secretion from their mouthparts” that smells like toffee.

Goo-eaters is a legitimate technical term used by herpetologists for animals that “feed on all things slimy: snails, slugs, worms and occasionally amphibian eggs.”

Sacoglossan sea slugs can self-amputate their heads. And survive.

In the self-beheading process, the slug severs off around 80-85 per cent of its body weight, including the heart and other organs, along a neat ‘neckline’ – and the head wanders off on its own. The body is still alive for a few weeks, or even months, and the heart beats, more and more faintly, up to the point of decomposition. The head, however, starts a new, solo life, and proceeds to grow a fresh body, in an act of extreme regeneration. The new bod is ready in under three weeks, complete with heart and all.

If a female moorland hawker dragonfly isn’t keen on a male suitor, she’ll fake her own death, crashing to the ground and remaining motionless until he leaves.

After making the incision, vampire bats lap up the trickling blood using their specialised grooved tongues; clotting is prevented by anticoagulants in their saliva. The name of that anticoagulant? Draculin. Yes, scientists are geeks.

Jennifer N.R. Smith’s illustrations are incredible!


At the time of writing, there are over 1.4 million described animal species indexed in the Catalogue of Life, an online database sourcing information from peer-reviewed, scientifically sound sources. This number, though impressive in absolute terms, is still rather modest compared to what we don’t know: estimates for the total number of species on Earth range from 8 million to 163 million. Out of the catalogued species, the vast majority are arthropods (1.1 million species) and, within those, insects (over 950,000). The vertebrates comprise barely 5 per cent of all described animals, and the most charismatic taxa – birds and mammals – a measly 0.7 and 0.4 per cent, respectively.

This book covers one hundred species so there are a potential 14,000 sequels on the way. I’m hoping for at least one.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

From the familiar to the improbable, the gross to the endearing, The Modern Bestiary is a compendium of curious creatures. It includes both animals that have made headlines and those you’ve probably never heard of, such as skin-eating caecilians, harp sponges, or zombie worms – also known as bone-eating snot flowers.

Arranged by elements (Earth, Water, Air), The Modern Bestiary contains well-known species told from new, unexpected angles (rats that drive cars; fish that communicate by passing wind), as well as stranger and lesser-known creatures, including carnivorous mice that howl at the moon, cross-dressing cuttlefish, and antechinuses – small marsupials that literally mate themselves to death. Finally, there are the ‘aliens on Earth’ – the incredible, the surreal, the magical – such as tardigrades, tongue-eating lice and immortal jellyfish, creatures so astonishing that they make unicorns look rather commonplace.

Written by a zoologist with a flair for storytelling, this is a fascinating celebration of the animal kingdom.

Manga Classics: Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

Story Adapter – Crystal S. Chan

Illustrations – Nokman Poon

I’m currently on a bit of a Manga Classics binge. I’m loving the fact that they’re manga but also that they’re giving me the opportunity to dip my toes into classics that have intimidated me for years. I read two pages of Great Expectations when I was about ten and have never made it to page three.

After getting a bit lost in The Count of Monte Cristo, I tried a different approach here. I found myself a book summary and read that first before tackling this manga adaptation. It helped. A lot. I really enjoyed this read.

The illustrations are brilliant. Young Pip is absolutely adorable.


Miss Havisham is amazing!


I’m definitely going to keep reading Manga Classics.


Thank you so much to NetGalley and UDON Entertainment for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

This is the story of an English orphan named Pip who rises to wealth, deserts his true friends, and becomes humbled by his own arrogance. It also introduces one of the more colourful characters in literature: Miss Havisham. Dickens set Great Expectations during the time that England was becoming a wealthy world power. Machines were making factories more productive, yet people lived in awful conditions.

The Merry Dredgers – Jeremy C. Shipp

Phina is dressed as a princess when she learns her sister has joined a cult. Eff has written her a letter on a series of postcards, assuring Phina that she most definitely hasn’t joined a cult. As you well know, this means Eff has absolutely, positively joined a cult. Phina agrees.

Right now, all I know for sure is that my sister definitely joined a cult, and I need to find a way to save her.

Before she can come up with a rock solid plan to extricate Eff, Phina learns that her sister has come into contact with some solid rocks. Eff has been in an “accident”, if you think a cult member falling into a quarry soon after telling a family member that they’ve joined a not cult isn’t suspicious.

Phina goes into investigation mode, deciding that the only way she’ll be able to narrow down the list of suspects is to join said cult.

Eff always likes to talk about the crossroads moments in a person’s life, and this definitely feels like one of those.

Welcome to Goblintropolis, home of the Merry Dredgers. Side bar: If your cult wants to recruit me, it would help your cause considerably if your commune’s located in an abandoned amusement park.

This was one of those books that I flew through, wanting to know what was next even as I asked myself what on earth I was reading. I had a similar experience with this book as I did with The Atrocities, absolutely loving it until the very end.

I was hooked until the final couple of pages, when an element of the story that I’d hoped would drag on for a while resolved almost instantaneously. I have a few unanswered questions but am mostly okay with having those linger.

Sometimes the banter between Phina and Nichelle seemed a bit forced but this could be explained by Phina’s need to fit in quickly with the Merry Dredgers.

I want to visit Goblintropolis. I’m most looking forward to seeing the eyeball tree. I love that someone’s trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

New favourite insult:

“She’s nothing but a spud-brained charlatan.”

Content warnings include mention of domestic abuse.

Thank you so much to Meerkat Press for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Seraphina Ramon will stop at nothing to find out the truth about why her sister Eff is in a coma after a very suspicious “accident.” Even if it means infiltrating the last place Seraphina knows Eff was alive: a once-abandoned amusement park now populated by a community of cultists.

Follow Seraphina through the mouth of the Goblin: To the left, a wolf-themed rollercoaster rests on the blackened earth, curled up like a dead snake. To the right, an animatronic Humpty Dumpty falls off a concrete castle and shatters on the ground, only to reform itself moments later. Up ahead, cultists giggle as they meditate in a hall of mirrors. This is the last place in the world Seraphina wants to be, but the best way to investigate this bizarre cult, is to join them.

Manga Classics: The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

Story Adapter – Crystal S. Chan

Illustrations – Nokman Poon

One thing I love about Manga Classics is they introduce me to classics that I’ve never read and give me enough of the story that I feel like I’ve got a handle on the basics. They also give me a better idea of whether I want to go ahead and read the novel or not. Then there’s the fact that they’re manga, a format I love more with each one I read.

I’ve picked up the general story of The Count of Monte Cristo over the years but couldn’t even tell you how. I haven’t read the book or watched the movie.

I think in this case it would have been helpful if I did know more about the story before I read the manga. There are so many characters that there’s a character relationship guide at the end of the story. Even with this, I was a bit lost at times. While I got the gist of the story, I’m sure I missed a lot. I am interested enough to try to tackle the book at some point.

I love manga illustrations. The characters are always expressive and I’m just a tad obsessed with doe eyes. This story is illustrated beautifully. I particularly liked the detail of the clothing and the backgrounds.


I’m definitely going to be reading more Manga Classics.

Thank you to NetGalley and UDON Entertainment for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

On the very day of his wedding to the beautiful Mercedes, a young merchant sailor named Edmond Dantès is falsely imprisoned for life, laying to waste his plans of marriage and hard-earned fortune. Following several long years in prison he has managed to escape and reinvent himself as the mysterious Count of Monte Christo. It is the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Count has been plotting his revenge on the three men who had him falsely imprisoned. With a new identity, an incredible education abroad and a vast fortune, has returned completely unrecognisable to those who had committed their crimes against him.

Book Towns – Alex Johnson

It probably shouldn’t delight me so much to learn that there’s an International Organisation of Book Towns, but here we are.

A book town is simply a small town, usually rural and scenic, full of bookshops and book-related industries.

I’m in need of a round the world trip now that I’ve read about book towns in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, USA and Wales.

For each of the book towns explored in this book, you’ll learn its history as well as some must browse bookstores and festivals, and websites so you can delve deeper. There’s plenty of information to entice you to spend your book budget in each town.

I’m always on the lookout for fun facts. Here are my favourites…

Hay-on-Wye, Wales was the first book town. Bookseller, Richard Booth, came up with the concept. He also crowned himself King of Hay in 1977 and declared his town an independent kingdom.

Book stalls in the grounds of Hay Castle

P.L. Travers was living in Bowral, Australia as a teenager when she created Mary Poppins. In 2011, 2,115 people created a very appropriate umbrella mosaic.


Fontenoy-La-Joûte, France has a signpost in the village centre that points to other book towns around the world. It also points you to some other locations, including “Atlantis, and Edgar Rice Burrough’s fictitious ‘hollow earth’, Pellucidar.”

You need to be between ten and fifteen years old to use Biblio Tøyen, a library in Oslo. It includes a Volvo truck with a kitchen in the back and reading sofa in the bonnet.

Livraria Bertrand in Lisbon, Portugal is the world’s oldest bookshop. It opened in 1732.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Frances Lincoln, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group, for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

The so-called “Book Towns” of the world are dedicated havens of literature, and the ultimate dream of book lovers everywhere. Book Towns takes readers on a richly illustrated tour of the 40 semi-officially recognised literary towns around the world and outlines the history and development of each community, and offers practical travel advice.

Many Book Towns have emerged in areas of marked attraction, such as Ureña in Spain or Fjaerland in Norway, where bookshops have been set up in buildings including former ferry waiting rooms and banks. While the UK has the best-known examples at Hay, Wigtown and Sedbergh, the book has a broad international appeal, featuring locations such as Jimbochu in Japan, College Street in Calcutta, and major unofficial “book cities” such as Buenos Aires.

Hedgewitch #2: Woodwitch – Skye McKenna

Illustrations – Tomislav Tomic

When we first met Cassie, she was just about to run away from her boarding school. It’s a good thing she did, too, because that decision led to her meeting a talking cat named Montague (now her familiar) and finding the family she never knew she had in Hedgely. There she learned that the magic she’d previously only read about is real.

Hedgewitch, the first book in the series, gave loner Cassie somewhere to belong and introduced her to new friends and witchcraft. Thirteen year old Cassie is now a fledgling witch. She lives with her aunt Miranda, the Hedgewitch and Cassie’s Coven Mistress.

Central to the story is Cassie’s search for her mother, who’s been missing for seven and a half years. Aunt Miranda won’t let Cassie go to Faerie to search for her mother until she becomes a fully qualified witch so Cassie is working hard to earn the badges that will allow her to take the final test.

Cassie has the support of her new best friends, Rue and Tabitha. When some people in Hedgely begin acting oddly, Cassie and her friends take it upon themselves to investigate. The Hedge may as well be magnetised given how frequently the girls find their way there when the wards are weakened.

I’m really enjoying this series and am keen to read the next book. The characters are interesting. The central story of each book is resolved, while the overall arc is advanced. I need to go on vacation to Hedgely so I can visit all of its amazing locations.

I need to spend days in Widdershin’s bookshop, whose proprietor understands the value of first edition books. On the way, I’ll be visiting Marchpane’s, the bakery and sweet shop, and Bramble’s, the tea room. I hope Aunt Miranda doesn’t mind company because I’m moving in to Hartwood Hall.

Favourite quote:

‘But books can change you, change the way you see the world, and then there’s no going back.’

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Welbeck Flame, an imprint of Welbeck Children’s Limited, for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Step into the magical world of Hedgewitch, where the land of Faerie lies just beyond our own…

Cassie has settled into her new life in the village of Hedgely, but as the nights grow longer, a dark shadow creeps out of the vast, magical forest of the Hedge.

When villagers start behaving strangely, possessed with the desire to find a mysterious object, Cassie, Rue and Tabitha decide to investigate and discover that whoever is controlling the villagers is seeking a faery relic: a dangerous enchanted weapon, hidden somewhere in the village.

Their witchcraft training is put to the test as they venture deeper into the Hedge, encounter the ancient ‘Watchers’ of the wood and race to find the faery treasure before it falls into the hands of the Erl King.

Witches aren’t born, they’re made…