Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Review: Witchy Magic and Me, Maggie by Cynthia Magriel Wetzler

 Due to some changes, I had to switch things up again. Instead of heading into a middle grade read with a touch of paranormal spookiness, it's time for beaches, magic and a girl to love. This book has won more than a prize or two, and after reading the blurb, I was really curious to see what it held. And what a treat it was! This is one of those small gems, which makes reviewing so much fun...a bit like finding that amazing sea shell while strolling along the beach.

Ready to take a peek?

by Cynthia Magriel Wetzler
Saltwater Press
Middle Grade Fantasy
296 pages
ages 8 to 12

Hi, I’m Maggie and I have to whisper something to you. Shhhh..

There are witchy doings on the island of Nantucket where I live. Seriously.

Can you believe sandpipers doing cartwheels on the beach and dune grasses doing backbends?

My father thinks I’m making it up to be dramatic or to find awesome things to draw for the art fair. But my dog, Blissful, knows it’s magic—my witchy Grammy Apple’s magic.

Uh-oh. Does this mean I’m a witch too? The kids at school will be so mean about it, maybe even pinch their noses when I pass by.

Even so, it would be kind of cool—to be a real witch, I mean.



With the feel of a traditional tale...which isn't so traditional, after all...this book takes the reader on a slightly magical ride with a ton of warmth and lots of mystery.

Maggie loves to sketch and draw, and she's rather talented at it, too. When she somehow is allowed to participate in the local art show, she's over joyed. Then, the secret is out. Her grandmother was rumored to be a witch, and Blissful, her dog, seems to be magical, too. She's not certain whether magic and witches are go things, though.

Maggie is a character, which a reader wishes could be their real-life friend. She's determined, caring, careful, curious, and wise for her years. Usually, books for this age group have characters excited when they discover magic abilities, but Maggie isn't convinced this is great. Her father is less than supportive, and she's even threatened by those who've guessed her grandmother's secret. After all, witches are open  to gossip and ridicule. Maggie's magic is also different than one might suppose. The subtleness makes it more wonderful and invites to dreams as only fairy tales can. And yet, this one packs mystery too.

There's never a boring moment, and it's an easy read. I'd recommend this one to the younger end of the age group, although older readers will enjoy it too. The world comes to life through clever descriptions, which flow right along with the tale. Characters come with different personalities and add just the right touch at the right times. The dialogue comes across naturally, driving the scenes forward. Everything is smooth and glides as a tale should. As an extra bonus, lovely illustrations are sprinkled between the text. 

It's simply a lovely read with so much to enjoy.

And here she is...

Hi, I’m  Cynthia Magriel Wetzler. I used to be a journalist and wrote many stories for The New York Times. I loved interviewing and writing about really interesting people.

But I followed my dream and started to write children’s stories because I love to make up magical worlds with magical characters!

Maybe you would like to be a journalist or a writer some day?

I have grown children and live with my husband, Garrett, in Northern Westchester, New York. Our high-spirited little dog, Rodney, is the total inspiration for Blissful in this book.


Natalie Aguirre said...

This sounds like a great story. I like that Maggie is reluctant to use her magical abililities. Glad you enjoyed it.

Paula Cappa said...

This story is perfect for young readers who want to dive into the magical world of Maggie and her charming family—-a cozy little mystery, oceanside, and fun.

Heather N. Quinn said...

Sounds so charming. Thanks.

Cynthia Magriel Wetzler said...

Thank you Natalie! I hope you enjoy Maggie and her feisty little dog, Blissful.