Published by Barron's Educational Series on July 1st, 2002
Number of Pages: 185
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Paranormal
Purchase: At Amazon
Beatrice Bailey is tall, skinny, and about to turn twelve years old -- at which time she will get her official classification as a witch. But will she be named an ordinary Everyday Witch or a specially empowered Classical Witch? When the big day arrives, the Witches' Executive Committee can't decide how to classify her. At last, they agree that her Maximum Magic Level must be tested, and to pass the test she must break a spell that has been cast by the evil sorcerer, Dally Rumpe. Thus begins the first in Beatrice's series of exciting adventures.
“By the mysteries, one and all,
Make me shrink from tall to small.
Cut me down to inches three,
As my will, so mote it be.”
This was more a middle grade book, not so much a young adult book. It was cute, and I liked some of the descriptions. I think I would love to have the dragon bed Beatrice sleeps in at the inn. And having a cat in charge of the inn was also a cute touch.
It was a quick read, and I liked the characterizations of Beatrice and her friends. It was fairly obvious the 4 were going to pair off, 2 boys and 2 girls. And even though they’re 12, and in the middle of a magical adventure, you can see them starting to think about dating.
I liked Cayenne, Beatrice’s cat. She reminded me a bit of one of my own cats. I did think the first task was super easy, and kind of rushed compared to the rest of the book. It happened in the last 25% of the book. But I’ve noticed that seems to happen a lot in the middle grade books I’ve read lately. It most likely wouldn’t bother a child reading it at all.
The little rhymes and bits of spells scattered through the book were a nice touch as well. If you have a child who likes stories about magic and adventure, and you want a book with a female heroine, this would be a good choice.