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The Witch of Turlingham Academy by Ellie Boswell

2013, first published 2012

Witch-hunter Katy befriends witch Sophie at the Turlingham Academy.  Sophie did not know that she was a witch until she finds a birthday present and letters from her grandmother hidden in her mother’s office.   

In this story we have many of the school story tropes: midnight feasts, overzealous prefects, new students. However this is tempered by there being a girls’ school and a boys’ school on the same premises and the reference to modern day year, 7, year 9, Year 10 etc.

This differs from the Harry Potter and the Worst Witch books in that Sophie is a lone witch in an ordinary school.  

There are love interests- girls have crushes on boys and boys are fascinated by the girls.  There are  also  delicate relationships we normally see in texts for teens.    

It is 244 pages long, with blocked text and an adult font but double-spaced.  


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Here are some familiar fairy stories though the titles may fool you: Rapunzel becomes The Tower and the Bird, Rumpelstiltskin becomesStraw into Gold, and Cinderella is Roses Around the Palace. We are also offered some rather interesting details about some well-known stories. The mayor of the town with the rats tells us how the children who replaced the lost ones were much more amenable than the ones who were piped away. A young girl has a sliver of the looking-glass that once belonged to a wicked queen.Whilst the girl has chickenpox her grandmother tells her Snow White’s story. It is true she assures her granddaughter. How does she know? Because she is Snow White. Hansel and Gretel tell the story of what they did in their holidays.
There is perhaps an assumption that the reader will be familiar with the original stories. Certainly they are amusing and not just for the young reader.Adults can enjoy them too. 
This is quite a …