By Author / Illustrator
Walker Books Ltd
Paperback / softback
Nine is an orphan pickpocket determined to escape her life in the Nest of a Thousand Treasures. When she steals a house-shaped ornament from a mysterious woman’s purse, she knocks on its tiny door and watches it grow into a huge, higgledy-piggeldy house.
Inside she finds a host of magical and brilliantly funny characters, including Flabberghast - a young wizard who's particularly competitive at hopscotch - and a hideous troll housekeeper who's emotionally attached to his feather duster. They have been placed under an extraordinary spell, which they are desperate for Nine to break - and if she can, maybe they can offer her a new life in return…
The House at the Edge of Magic is the new book by Amy Sparks, it's a mixture of Oliver Twist meets Harry Potter. This mystical adventure takes us on a rollercoaster of magical mayhem, friendship and family.
In the opening chapters, we are introduced to Nine - an orphaned pickpocket. Her life is dismal and she is determined to escape the clutches of Pockets and the Nest that he provides. She steals in order to survive; on the streets she is vigilant and suspicious of everyone and everything. She has been brought up to think this way and only holds two things dear in her life which are books, and her beloved silver music box that was taken as payment for her upbringing by Pockets.
When in the market one morning, she steals more than she can handle from a very fine-looking lady with a pearl handbag. The small, quirky ornament is the shape of a house and when Nine decides to knock the handle on the front door, she does not expect it to grow to a full-size. We are then immediately introduced to the peculiar residence of the enchanted house: Flabberghast, a tea-loving wizard; troll the housekeeper and Spoon the kilt-wearing scientist.
On entering the house, Nine finds herself entangled in a magical curse that has been placed upon the residence by a witch. Mayhem descends and she finds herself being followed by a red eye, attacked by murderous books, and battling giant bats to find a magical plant.
This book is truly captivating, the reader is always at the heart of the adventure and there is never a dull moment because it is fast-paced and quirky.
I would recommend this story to Key Stage 2 where children can explore the themes of family, friendship and sibling rivalry. It is beautifully written and would appeal to anybody who loves magical themes and stories about witchcraft and wizardry.
229 pages / Reviewed by Hayley Summerfield, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 9+