cover image Just a Pinch of Magic

Just a Pinch of Magic

Alechia Dow. Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-82911-5

Twelve-year-old magic user Winifred Mosley is an intuitive baker who lives in the enchanted town of Honeycrisp Hill, R.I., with her family, who owns a bakery. The reputation of Wini’s birth mother—whom she’s never met—as a curse worker repels customers, and the rising cost of magical ingredients has the business in dire straits. To save the store, Wini concocts a plan: Step one involves “captur[ing] some of the love floating around” to spread it through town. But Wini must be discreet; “taking emotions” is forbidden by the Enchantment Agency, which polices magic use. Meanwhile, Kaliope Clarke, a novice word enchanter, moves from Boston to Honeycrisp Hill with her queer father and retired Enchantment Agent grandfather so that she can learn and practice magic safely. Upon arrival, her grandfather is called out by residents for bringing “wicked magic” into town. When Kali and Wini meet, the two bond over having single fathers, and aid each other during magic lessons. Dow (A Song of Salvation) delivers a magical story about family, friendship, and love that is both beguiling and surprising. An unforgettably rendered magical world paired with delicious descriptions of impeccable baked goods will leave readers wanting more. Wini is Black; Kali’s dad is white, and her birth mom is cued as Chilean. Ages 8–12. (Oct.)

Correction: A previous version of this review misstated the book's setting.