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.
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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.