The Missing Magic by Kallie George; illustrated by Alexandra Boiger (The Magical Animal Adoption Agency #3)

A new volunteer has joined the Magical Animal Adoption Agency, and Clover’s not too happy about it! Oliver Von Hoof is supposed to be an expert on magical animals, but he’s barely older than Clover. How can he be an expert on anything? And it doesn’t help that Mr. Jams keeps turning to Oliver instead of Clover for help with the animals.

When Mr. Jams is called away from the Agency on a secret mission, Clover and Oliver are put in charge of the Agency once again. But when Picnic the invisible puppy starts turning visible, and the Agency’s green cat, Dipity, begins to look white, Clover and Oliver realize that all of the amazing creatures are becoming ordinary.

Even Oliver’s trusty magical wands aren’t enough to cure them! Will Oliver and Clover learn to work together in time to restore the animals’ magical powers? Alexandra Boiger’s delightful illustrations shine in the third book of Kallie George’s The Magical Animal Adoption Agency series where an open heart can best the nastiest of spells.

Look at the cover. Look at the synopsis. This is an extremely cute book.

Everything Oliver knows comes from books, and he is certain he knows best in every situation. Also, he has a bad habit of not helping Clover clean up the enormous messes he causes, much less manage unruly charges. This does not endear him to her.

Worse, in Clover’s opinion, is that Mr. Jams seems to think highly of Oliver. Clover’s knowledge comes almost entirely from hands-on experience at the Magical Animal Adoption Agency, a safe haven which is beginning to feel less and less like her place.

*Cue jealousy and massive miscommunication*

The Missing Magic demonstrates, albeit in a magical world, the ease with which insecurity and jealousy lead nice, kind people into spite, and then disaster. The outcome may be predictable for older readers, but the build-up draws on feelings all too familiar to most children and adults, and the resolution and eventual reconciliation between Clover and Oliver still takes courage and a lot of good faith. There are also funny moments.

The Magical Adoption Agency is a safe world in which to explore and acknowledge stormy emotions and your own faults – plus, the animals are adorable. Keep your cat, dog, or other beloved pet close to hand as you read: you may just end up spoiling them rotten with cuddles.

I liked the first book in the series, Clover’s Luck, better; on the other hand, The Missing Magic continues the series trend of being sweet without approaching the saccharine. I enjoyed reading it and would have no qualms about recommending it to young middle grader readers.

The Cover Wars: Asexual Protagonists part 1

The Cover Wars: Asexual Protagonists part 1

Here on the Book Wars’ own Cover Wars, we judge books by their covers: front and back, art and blurb. The Cover Wars has a theme this month: books with ace (asexual) protagonists. Some of these characters are aro (aromantic); others are not.   [webcomic by Emily Griggs. Book 1 (of 3) is complete as of […]

The Sand Warrior (5 Worlds #1) by Mark Siegel, Alexis Siegel, Xanthe Bouma (Illustrations), Matt Rockefeller (Illustrations), Boya Sun (Illustrations)

The Sand Warrior (5 Worlds #1) by Mark Siegel, Alexis Siegel, Xanthe Bouma (Illustrations), Matt Rockefeller (Illustrations), Boya Sun (Illustrations)

Hardcover, 248 pages Published May 2nd 2017 by Random House Books for Young Readers Source: Publisher This is going to be an extremely short review. Seriously: A sudden rebellion destructs the relative peace holding together the worlds and invites chaos to reign supreme. Only a not very good sanddancer and her two sidekicks, one of them […]

An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors (The Risen Kingdoms #1) by Curtis Craddock

An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors (The Risen Kingdoms #1) by Curtis Craddock

Hardcover, 384 pages Expected publication: August 29th 2017 by Tor Books Source: Publisher   An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors is not intended as kidlit. However, after reading it, I found it to be very much a crossover title and think that older teens who enjoy high fantasy will very much enjoy this title. The official synopsis: […]

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

The domovoi’s gaze wandered, and his mouth drooped open. “I am weak,”  he slurred. “And the wood-guard is weak. Our enemy has loosened his chain. Soon he will be free. I cannot keep him out.” “Who is the enemy?” “Appetite,” said the domovoi again. “Madness. Terror. He wants to eat the world.” “How can I […]