I have to say I absolutely loved this book! Hailey Twitch is you average 7 year old girl, with an older sister who is 14. Their family takes a camping trip and they each get to take a friend along. Hailey chooses her best friend Addie, and her sister Kaitlyn chooses her friend Maya. However, Hailey, really gets to take along 2 friends, she has a sprite friend Maybelle, who is learning how to control her magic.
Maybelle seems like a mischievous little sprite, who lost her magic and was given it back for 2 whole weeks from the Head of the Department of Magic, Mr. Tuttle. Mr. Tuttle checks in on Maybelle through out the story making sure she is not causing problems with her magic. Maybelle is clumsy with magic, after they all reach camp, she accidentally makes poison ivy grow all around and Kaitlyn's friend Maya catches it, unknowingly, on their way to the arcade at the rec hall. While they are there Maybelle accidentally makes the claw machine go crazy and all the stuffed animals fall out! Although, Maybelle is only trying to help, she can not control her magic, she even turns Maya's hair GREEN during the story!
Hailey gets Addie and herself into trouble playing "Russian Spies" sneaking out at night to follow Kaitlyn and Maya into the woods. For "Russian Spies" you have to have dark clothes, and Addie has none with her. Hailey tells her to check her bag, because Maybelle has used her magic to give her a black outfit, but all of Addie's clothes have turned black! They do get caught following the girls into the woods. The next day Hailey's dad takes them to a beach where they meet a boy, who remembers Hailey from the claw machine going crazy at the rec hall. He shows Hailey and Addie a disaster of a tree house and they are scared of it, thinking a witch lives up there.
Hailey finds out that Kaitlyn and Maya are sneaking out at night to go to that tree house and hang out with their friends. Hailey and Addie try to stop them from getting hurt in the disaster of a tree house. When they all reach the tree house, Maya and Kaitlyn climb up the ladder to the disaster. The ladder falls down and they become very scared. Hailey and Addie are not strong enough to lift it back up to them. Maybelle tries one last time to make her magic work and properly, allowing Hailey and Addie to push the ladder back up to the girls and help them down from the tree house.
After that incident the girls all seemed to get along, Maya even gave Hailey a pink sparkley shirt that was too small for her now. At the end of the story it is kind of sad, Mr. Tuttle returns to check on Maybelle's progress with her magic, and determines that she is able to keep control of it and may continue to use it, however she must return to the sprite castle, leaving Hailey.
I have not read the other books in this series, but I do plan to do so. I was actually caught up in this story and could not put the book down, so I am sure a girl aged 8-10 would absolutely love it! The story is written from Hailey Twitch's point of view, she tells the story like a 7 year old would tell it. I love when Hailey is emphasizing certain actions, she will say we were sneak, sneak, sneaking out, or that was very fun, fun, fun, just as a child would say.
About the Author
Lauren Barnholdt is the bestselling author of many books for teens and tweens, including The Secret Identity of Devon Delaney and its sequel, Devon Delaney Should Totally Know Better. Her first young adult book, Two-Way Street, was an American Library Association Popular Paperback for Young Adults, a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age, and currently has more than 100,000 copies in print. Her books have been featured in magazines for teens and tweens, including Teen People and Discovery Girls. Lauren currently resides outside of Boston with her husband. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, Twittering, or obsessively updating her DVR. Visit her online at www.laurenbarnholdt.com.
**Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book from Sourcebooks. I have given my honest opinion of this book. No other compensation was received.