Book Review – The Bewitching of Aveline Jones

Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m sharing with you my review of the latest middle grade novel by Phil Hickes, The Bewitching of Aveline Jones. I read the first book back in July, The Haunting of Aveline Jones, and thought it was incredibly well done, so I was excited to see where this one would go.

Turn on your torches and join Aveline Jones!

Aveline is thrilled when she discovers that the holiday cottage her mum has rented for the summer is beside a stone circle. Thousands of years old, the local villagers refer to the ancient structure as the Witch Stones, and Aveline cannot wait to learn more about them.

Then Aveline meets Hazel. Impossibly cool, mysterious yet friendly, Aveline soon falls under Hazel’s spell. In fact, Hazel is quite unlike anyone Aveline has ever met before, but she can’t work out why. Will Aveline discover the truth about Hazel, before it’s too late?

Join the world of Aveline Jones, where mysteries are solved, spirits are laid to rest, and everybody gets to bed on time.

A creepy book is just what I needed to binge read, and this book fit the bill perfectly. It was great to be reunited with Aveline and her love for the supernatural; some characters really do lodge themselves like aquaintances in your mind, and Aveline feels just like that.

I was curious to see how this would work as a second book both as a formula and in practice. Would we meet the first book’s side characters again? Would the balance of comfort and creepy be struck just as well? Would a children’s book keep me up at night as it was spooky? I’m happy to report yes to all three.

The beautiful illustrations by Keith Robinson and the lovely writing blend together to provide a wonderful adventure, with lessons well worth noting for any children reading. It raises the question of how to balance out new and old friendships, and quite how much to tolerate from people; it asks us to consider when teasing stops being fun and starts being hurtful, and how to handle that balance. Aveline has to learn to stand up for herself and for the people she cares about in order to keep them all safe, as well as working out who to trust, while keeping her mum in the dark of the magic that’s afoot.

Thanks for joining me for this middle grade adventure. If you’re looking for some other middle grade brilliance, check out my reviews of Fireborn, Tia Lugo Speaks No Evil, City of Ghosts and Amari and the Night Brothers.


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