CM . . .
. Volume XVII Number 26. . . .March 11, 2011
Bras & Broomsticks.
New York, NY: Delacorte Press (Distributed in Canada by Random House), 2005.
310 pp., pbk., $11.95.
Grades 6-9 / Ages 11-14.
Review by Inderjit Deogun.
"Magic isn't all ruby slippers and castles," my mom says sternly, as if she's reading me a warning label. "There are consequences to every spell. And as I told you, I wanted you girls to grow up having normal childhoods."
Of course I'm not listening. Instead, my mind is whirring. Seven-day weekends! School? So yesterday. Knowledge will be automatically downloaded into our brains!
But ... where would we meet boys?
"What was your childhood like?" Miri asks my mom, interrupting my happy fantasy.
She sighs and looks down at the comforter. "Different. Difficult. One day I'll tell you everything, I promise."
A time machine to see what our parents were like in high school! So we can make fun of their clothes!
Miri's face scrunches up. "So I shouldn't tell Dad? Did your father know?"
We never met our mother's parents. They both died before we were born. "He knew," my mom says. "My mother told him. But he didn't deal with it well." She bites her thumbnail. "You'll have to make the decision about whether to tell your father. It's your choice."
My mouth feels sandpapery. "Can one of you poof me up a glass of fruit punch?" The witch thing is going to make my life a a lot easier.
It's just another ordinary day at high school for 14-year-old Rachel Weinstein. Well, that is, until Rachel realizes she's not wearing her beaten-up black boots. Instead, she finds upon her feet a pair of green suede designer shoes. Bewildered by their appearance, Rachel convinces herself that they must have been a gift from her mother. It's at home that Rachel learns the truth of their sudden appearance: Her sister, Miri, cast a spell. But wait, there's more – her mom and sister are witches.
Rachel realizes that life, as she knows it, will never be the same; it'll be extraordinary. She can now have everything she has ever dreamed of: Raf will be her boyfriend, Jewel will be her best friend, and Jennifer won't be her stepmother. All she has to do is convince Miri to cast a few harmless spells. A reluctant Miri finally caves-in and begins casting spell after spell without considering the potential consequences.
Bras & Broomsticks is an amusing portrait of a self-absorbed teenage girl trying to right all the wrongs in her life. Sarah Mlynowski has created a memorable character in Rachel Weinstein. Readers will relate to the trials and tribulations of Rachel's high school life. As Rachel's every wish is granted, she begins to see that the grass isn't always greener on the other side.
Inderjit Deogun is currently pursuing a career in publishing with a particular interest in children's literature.
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