cover image The Rosemary Spell

The Rosemary Spell

Virginia Zimmerman. Clarion, $16.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-544-44537-6

Debut author Zimmerman blends Shakespeare and magic in the enthralling story of three friends confronted with a mysterious book and a curious spell. Thirteen-year-old Rosemary “Rosie” Bennett, named after a line from Hamlet (“There’s Rosemary, that’s for remembrance”), and her friend Adam feel abandoned by Adam’s older sister, Shelby, whose attentions have turned to her boyfriend and play practice. Then the two find an old book hidden in a locked cupboard in Rosie’s house, which was once owned by legendary poet Constance Brooke. What they believe is Shakespeare’s false codex holds a powerful spell, one that creates “void and nothing.” Endangering Shelby, the two must figure out a way to reverse the spell before their memories of Shelby disappear forever. Their only hope is Constance, facing Alzheimer’s disease in a nursing home. Zimmerman peppers the novel with engaging teachers, cozy reading nooks, and soft-lit bookshelves, a welcoming reprieve against the distressing portrayal of Constance’s Alzheimer’s and Rosie’s abandonment by her father. Plays and lore of Shakespeare trickle through this expertly plotted novel, which will leaving lovers of—and newcomers to—the Bard wanting more. Ages 10–14. (Dec.)