By Author / Illustrator

Eloise Williams


Magical Realism

Age range(s)



Firefly Press Ltd




Paperback / softback




Being different can be dangerous. Wilde is afraid strange things happen around her. Are the birds following her? Moving to live with her aunt seems to make it worse. Wilde is desperate to fit in at her new school. But In a fierce heatwave, in rehearsals for a school play telling the local legend of a witch called Winter, 'The Witch' starts leaving pupils frightening curse letters. Can Wilde find out who's doing it before everyone blames her? Or will she always be the outsider?



Wilde knows she is not a 'normal' girl; strange things happen around her ...  When she moves in with her aunt, in her mother's old home town Winter, she just wants to be a regular kid and to fit in. Yet Winter itself doesn't appear to be a normal town. In an unusually oppressive heatwave, Year 6 of the local school are putting on a play about the shadowy, eerie legend of the Winter witch herself. Tensions are raised as parts are given out and when children begin to receive mysterious cursed letters, eyes are drawn to new student Wilde.

Wilde is fabulously atmospheric and tense. As the heat of the sun builds in the story, so do the suspicions and accusations as more children receive threatening curses. Surrounded by distrust, Wilde's own secrets emerge - she must find the inner strength to stand up, accept her uniqueness and be proud to stand out.

The story is a brilliant blend of magic and realism as Wilde battles with her own astonishing powers and also against her hostile peers, The Sleeks, who attempt to belittle and alienate her.  An enchanting and enthralling story about the magic created by the blend of belonging and individuality.

256 pages / Reviewed by Jenny Caddick, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 9+


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