Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch (Paperback)
This utterly charming debut by Julie Abe will win the hearts of young readers and parents alike with its tale of a semi-magical witch sent on a quest to earn her Novice Witch rank. With a “wink” to angel Clarence of It’s A Wonderful Life, who was sent to earth to get his wings, Abe’s young Eva Evergreen has her mission “to always do good”, for her adopted village of Auteri and to guard and protect the village from the all-dreaded Culling. With only a minimal amount of magic in her arsenal, she uses her strong mechanical and repair abilities to make up for what she lacks in powerful magic. Eva calls on her new found friends of Auteri in this race-to-the-finish adventure that has more story left to tell. With subtle Japanese imagery & place names, this is one terrific real aloud as well as an accessible tale to delight newly independent readers. Julie Abe is an author to watch!
(Juvenile fantasy, ages 8+) — Find more Staff Picks by Maureen— Maureen
A young witch must pass a coming-of-age quest or risk losing her magic forever in this enchanting fantasy -- perfect for fans of Kiki's Delivery Service and Aru Shah and the End of Time.
Sometimes all you need is a pinch of magic...
Eva Evergreen is determined to earn the rank of Novice Witch before her thirteenth birthday. If she doesn't, she'll lose her magic forever. For most young witches and wizards, it's a simple enough test:
One: Help your town, do good all around.
Two: Live there for one moon, don't leave too soon.
Three: Fly home by broomstick, the easiest of tricks.
The only problem? Eva only has a pinch of magic. She summons heads of cabbage instead of flowers and gets a sunburn instead of calling down rain. And to add insult to injury, whenever she overuses her magic, she falls asleep.
When she lands in the tranquil coastal town of Auteri, the residents expect a powerful witch, not a semi-magical girl. So Eva comes up with a plan: set up a magical repair shop to aid Auteri and prove she's worthy. She may have more blood than magic, but her "semi-magical fixes" repair the lives of the townspeople in ways they never could have imagined. Only, Eva's bit of magic may not be enough when the biggest magical storm in history threatens the town she's grown to love. Eva must conjure up all of the magic, bravery, and cleverness she can muster or Auteri and her dreams of becoming a witch will wash away with the storm.
"Eva Evergreen's journey unfurled before my eyes like a Miyazaki film, lush and mesmerizing. I cheered for Eva every step of the way, and hope to get to spend time with her on the next leg of her journey. (And I really want a flamefox!)"—Debbi Michiko Florence, author of the Jasmine Toguchi series and Keep It Together, Keiko Carter
"Eva Evergreen shines in this high-flying, page-turning, and wonderfully heartwarming adventure! Readers will cheer as Eva discovers that friendship, community, and courage have a special magic of their own."—Temre Beltz, author of The Tragical Tale of Birdie Bloom
"Magical. Reading along as Eva tries her hardest to do good with the gifts she has-no matter how small-is inspiring and wondrous. Friendship, family, and flamefoxes! A magical story with the most relatable hero ever. Following Eva's story is truly a joy."—Sean Easley, author of The Hotel Between
"I read this with a smile on my face. Abe's debut is whimsical and enchanting, with a heartwarming story of family and friendship at its core. Magic wands and flamefoxes abound, and readers of all ages will fall in love with Eva's bravery and determination. A delightful fantasy--I finished wishing I could grab a broomstick and fly into Eva's world!"—Elizabeth Lim, author of Spin the Dawn
"Eva Evergreen sparkles with magical whimsy that will remind readers of Kiki's Delivery Service! With a delightful cast of characters, Abe creates a rich world filled with intrigue, friendship, and of course magic. Eva is a charming, sometimes bumbling, but always well-intentioned Novice Witch who will have readers rooting for her from page one!"—Kat Cho, author of Wicked Fox
"Julie Abe has created an intriguing, flawed character..."—School Library Connection
*"Abe creates adazzling, magical world with well-developed characters, relationships, and challenges....Bewitching-a must-read for fantasy lovers."—Kirkus, starred review
"A novel well worth the read."—School Library Journal
*"Abe's combination of magic and modern technology in an original world ensures this series starter has a place all its own."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Abe's marvelously magical world strikes an excellent balance between the familiar and the whimsical"—Booklist Online
"Fans of Pratchett's brilliant The Wee Free Menwill find a worthy match to its heroine in Eva, who gets the witching jobs done, though often in unanticipated ways."—BCCB