Cate Whittle, Wyrd, Scholastic Australia, August 2018, 272 pp., $16.99 (pbk), ISBN: 9781742994321

Emma and Pip are worst enemies, so when their single parents decide to get married, sparks fly in their new blended family.  No matter what Emma does, Pip refuses to acknowledge or accommodate her new stepsister. It seems like there is no way forward, but when a book of spells turns up in the household, things start to change. Emma starts to develop magical powers, which both scare and intrigue her. Pip is furious that Emma is the one who has ‘caught’ the magic instead of her. However, Emma tries to use her new powers responsibly even as her stepsister continues to mistreat her.

My only quibble with this story is that there seemed to be a lot of explaining going on which added unnecessary words and slowed the pace for me. Emma’s best friend, Sophie, the philosophical third wheel, provides a nice balance as Emma and Pip spar with each other.

Recommended for kids eight years and older.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Foster

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