This delightful middle grade book takes the magical boarding school story one step further by making it a magical musical school. The story, full of great characters, mystery, and a theme of self confidence was such fun to read.
Humor and heart shine in this middle grade fantasy about a girl who attends a boarding school to learn how to use music to create magic, perfect for fans of Nevermoor and The School for Good and Evil series.
Amelia Jones always dreamed of attending the Mystwick School of Musicraft, where the world’s most promising musicians learn to create magic. So when Amelia botches her audition, she thinks her dream has met an abrupt and humiliating end—until the school agrees to give her a trial period. Amelia is determined to prove herself, vowing to do whatever it takes to become the perfect musician. Even if it means pretending to be someone she isn’t. Meanwhile, a mysterious storm is brewing that no one, not even the maestros at Mystwick, is prepared to contain. Can Amelia find the courage to be true to herself in time to save her beloved school from certain destruction? from Goodreads.
My sister recommended this book to me and I am so happy I listened. Otherwise, with all the kerfuffle with JK Rowling I probably would not have picked up another magical boarding school story right now. But I am so glad that I did because this was a genuinely sweet, encouraging, and suspenseful story!
The best part about this book is the theme of believing in yourself. Middle school is a time of enormous change and, for so many kids, self doubt. The biggest theme of this book is to be confident and to believe in yourself.
The (close) second best thing about this book is Jai. Amelia has the kind of luck in meeting Jai that I have always envied in other people – that chance meeting with a person that supports you and believes in you when you don’t believe in yourself. A true friend. Jai is like a manic pixie guy-friend and I found him hilarious and wonderful. I would like a Jai for Christmas, please.
I love that the author effortlessly incorporated so much diversity. A variety of culture, abilities, and backgrounds have all come together at Mystwick and each is mentioned but not emphasized. I also applaud the author for giving the students legitimate things to argue about in this story. The struggle between Amelia and Darby isn’t petty jealously, it goes much deeper. And, I found myself in awe that the author could weave all of these deeper issues together while still keeping the story focused on child development and the mystery of what is happening at the Mystwick School. And that mystery, Whew! I simply could not put this book down!
This worked out perfectly! I had planned to read Gloom Town for the Torn Page prompt and The Mystwick School of Musicraft for the Spilled Milk but I got the supernatural element / ghost factor backwards. So, this book is for The Spilled Milk: Read a book with a ghost.
Tell me, please! Wouldn’t you love to make music that was magical?