MG Takes on Thursday

This is my weekly meme celebrating amazing middle-grade books. I hope others will enjoy taking part in this too!

How to take part:

  • Post a picture of the front cover of a middle-grade book which you have read and would recommend to others with details of the author, illustrator and publisher.
  • Open the book to page 11 and share your favourite sentence. 
  • Write three words to describe the book.
  • Either share why you would recommend this book, or link to your review.

This week, I’m celebrating …

Written by Amy Sparkes
Cover Illustration by Ben Mantle
Published by Walker Books

Favourite Sentence from Page 11:

She moved into position, clenched her fists, stretched her fingers – her pre-pounce ritual.

This book in three words:


The House at the Edge of Magic is a marvellously magical, heart-warming and hilarious adventure that I absolutely adored and is a story I would, without hesitation, recommend to any young – or older – lovers of quirky magical adventures. Just make sure you make yourself comfortable as this is a story you will happily disappear into … and reappear from hours later with your giggle muscles well entertained and your heart a little warmer!

Young orphan Nine earns her keep by pickpocketing for her gang-master, Pockets and lives in the Nest of a Thousand Treasures with his other thieflings.  Nine is keen to escape from her life in the Nest, and one way she does this is through visiting the library and reading.  She is a book-lover who feels most safe when she is in the library.  I loved this perfect quote: “Inside every book was a world: a world to which she could escape.”

However, it is not long before Nine finds herself in an entirely new and – ahem – ever-so-slightly weird world – in the best possible way! After stealing an ornament in the shape of a house from a young lady, she finds herself knocking on the tiny door-knocker and the ornament does the most unexpected thing!  It grows and grows until it becomes an eleven-storey crooked building. 

The door is opened by Eric, a troll housekeeper in a white, frilly apron with a penchant for two-word phrases and feather dusters.  Nine gets invited in, and soon meets the other two residents:  Flabberghast, High Wizard and Hopskotch Champion and desperate to be able to enjoy his beloved tea again, and Dr Spoon, a talking spoon in a kilt, wielding a sword, of course! Together, these three are just utterly wonderful:  they spark off each other with hilarious consequences.  

The house has been placed under a curse and Nine is the only one who can break it, but what will she get in return?  Perhaps more than she had bargained for!

This is a wildly wonderful, action-packed story that fizzes with magic, humour and heart.  The house has many unexpected tricks and surprises to play on its inhabitants which had me giggling on many occasions as Nine edges ever closer to breaking the curse, but will she be in time to avoid a great disaster for its occupants? 

I absolutely adored Nine who has had to be tough in order to survive and has created a hard shell around herself, so it is so heart-warming to see that shell fall away bit by bit as she learns to form friendships.  She has never had a real home, somewhere where she is free to be herself and form bonds with others.   She is a feisty young lady who stands up for herself, even when she is feeling scared.  I also loved the other occupants of the house who are rather eccentric to say the least, but completely and utterly brilliant!  My favourite is Eric who may be a troll of few words but he is gentle, compassionate and insightful with the bravest heart.

This is a story about finding friends and a home, about caring for others, and being brave enough to take chances and accept help – a treasure of a story!

I’d love if anyone who wants to give this meme a go would comment in the comments box and include a link to your post so I can visit, comment and find some great middle-grade recommendations. If you do create a post and are on Twitter, and would like to share your post, please use the hashtag  #MGTakesOnThursday so I can find it, read it and share it!

2 thoughts on “MG Takes on Thursday

    1. I did like the zaniness of it. The characters are wonderful, and it had a few rather unexpected twists which I thought were great. Not sure what you’d think of it. It’s quite hard to compare to another book I’ve read. I think ‘quirky’ is the best way to describe it.


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