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"A.A. Attanasio isn't someone I associate with YA, but his new short novel The Conjure Book is clearly aimed at kids in their early teens. It's a lively book whose bright young heroine is a modern girl who stumbles into ancient witchery in a New England village when a "spirit animal" recruits her in an attempt to defeat the local nemesis—another uncanny critter that's more of a classic trickster—and thwart its nefarious plans. There's one friend in need of rescue, and soon her own life may hang in the balance.

Jane doesn't have a clue about magic, most of the time feeling way out of her depth, but she's a quick learner. Young readers will pick up their own lessons, since this is something of a fable with a moral, though not an aggressively preachy one. Many scenes (particularly toward the end) call to mind an animated film with impressive special effects, particularly effective in this case since they're the work of an eloquent wordsmith with decades of experience."—Locus

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oldcharliebrown

December 2015

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