cover image The Mystwick School of Musicraft

The Mystwick School of Musicraft

Jessica Khoury, illus. by Federica Frenna. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-328-62563-2

In this enjoyable middle grade fantasy, a young woman achieves her dream of enrollment in a prestigious school where she creates magic through music, but when her admission is revealed to be the result of mistaken identity, she must prove her worth or risk expulsion. Flutist Amelia Jones, 12, yearns to follow in her deceased mother’s footsteps as a Maestro, one of the world’s most powerful and respected musicians. After arriving at the Mystwick School, however, she’s plagued by mistakes, misfortune, and magical mishaps. Suspecting she may be haunted by the other Amelia Jones—the one whose death sparked her acceptance—Amelia enlists the aid of her antagonistic roommate Darby and her new friend Jai to figure out what’s happening at Mystwick. Imagining a world in which music and magic interweave, Khoury (Last of Her Name) offers up a fanciful tale populated by engaging characters and concepts (such as the musicat, capable of purring people to sleep). The story’s dark undertone and emotional stakes enhance Amelia’s struggle to succeed against steep odds, and Federica Frenna’s stylized illustrations further the book’s charming feel. Ages 10–12. [em]Author’s agent: Lucy Carson, the Friedrich Agency. (Jan.) [/em]