Written by Lee Edward Födi
Published by HarperCollins Publishers
Middle-grade fantasy for ages 9 & up
There's nothing magical about wizard school
. . . at least, not for Cara Moone.
Most wizard kids spend their days practicing spells and wielding wands, but Cara? She’s on the fast track to becoming a MOP (a.k.a. Magical Occurrence Purger). You see, when a real wizard casts a spell, it leaves behind a residue called spell dust—which, if not disposed of properly, can cause absolute chaos in the nonmagical world. It’s a MOP’s job to clean up the mess.
And no one makes more of a mess than Harlee Wu. Believed to be the Chosen One, destined to save the magical world, Harlee makes magic look easy. Which makes her Cara’s sworn nemesis. Or she would be, if she even knew Cara existed.
Then one of Harlee’s spells leaves something downright dangerous behind it: a rift in the fabric of magic itself. And when more rifts start to appear around the school, all in places Harlee has recently used magic, Cara is pretty sure the so-called “Chosen One” isn’t going to save the world. She’s going to destroy it.
It will take more than magic to clean up a mess this big. Fortunately, messes are kind of Cara’s thing.
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
35 middle-grade books to watch for, Fall 2021 – CBC Books
DOWNLOADS & ACTIVITIES
Teacher guide coming soon!
Wizard school is enchanting—unless you’re the janitor. Surprising revelations and plenty of humor keep the story fresh, and the good-vs.-evil plotline is nicely nuanced. A family tragedy and a sisterly rift bring some serious notes to the narrative, while scenes involving a dark magic cult lend sinister vibes...A spirited and magical underdog story. FULL REVIEW.
In a quirky riff on magic school tropes, Fodi (The Secret of Zoone) enlivens familiar elements through a resourceful, humorous narrator. Snarky and resilient, Cara is a memorable heroine with an engaging narrative voice and a unique perspective. FULL REVIEW.
Shelf Awareness Spell Sweeper is a genre-loyal magic school tale full of mischievous antics told from the point of view of a gutsy girl wizard who never lacks a comeback. Young readers acquainted with Harry Potter will recognize several references to the series, such as how the kids eat dinner at the Cranky Cauldron and enjoy drinking ginger beer. Daring leap-before-you-look moments, hilarious mishaps ("The broom ends up standing on its head, my pink unicorn underwear dangling from it like a flag") and tense family drama add excitement, levity and depth. Interspersed between chapters are quirky guides on the "wizarding world" and tender reflections on Cara's most private memories. Together, Cara and her wizard companions show that people are not always who they seem on the outside and, if given the chance, they can truly shine. (Samantha Zaboski, freelance editor and reviewer)