Bea Black returns for more funny, sweet witch school adventures!
Book: Diary of an Accidental Witch: Flying High by Perdita and Honor Cargill, illustrated by Katie Saunders
Publication date: 3rd February 2022
Ownership: Review copy sent free of charge by Little Tiger. All opinions my own.
Monday 1st November
There’s only fifty days until the Winter Solstice, the longest and witchiest night of the year. But before that there’s the Grand Tournament – the biggest and sportiest day in the witchy calendar! And I can’t wait!
Bea Black is all settled into her new life in Little Spellshire, a town with a magical secret. She’s made tonnes of friends at witch school, learned how to levitate frogs (just about) and been working hard on polishing up her broom skills. So when the Winter Solstice Grand Tournament rolls round, she’s ready to rise to the next challenge and fly high.
But then Ms Sparks decides that this year’s tournament will be a bit … er … different. That is, it won’t be an Extraordinary Grand Tournament at all, but rather a very ordinary sports day with Spellshire Academy! With magic firmly forbidden and rivalry reaching new heights, who will emerge victorious? And more importantly, will Bea’s friendship with her best non-witchy friend Ash survive the competition?
I really loved the first book in this series for its wonderfully weird witch school and how fun the diary style was – you can find my review here – and the second book more than lived up to my expectations! Things pick up right after the first book, at the start of the autumn half-term, which seems to bode well for several more books in the series before Bea gets too old for the target age range… As with the first book, the diary format is absolutely perfectly done, and the illustrations add so much humour and cuteness – and the short entries make you want to race through it just to read one more day!
Where the first book introduced a whole lot of fun information about witch life, Bea’s adjusted to the witchy world a bit more here and things aren’t quite as strange to her, so the setting has calmed down a bit; while I loved getting to know about the different aspects of the school in the first book, I think the switch to focusing more on Bea’s friendships really works to keep things interesting. There are still plenty of weird magical lessons and bizarre customs, but there’s a strong sense that Bea is starting to fit in better, which definitely echoes how a Year 7 would settle into school in real life. I really like the mix of zany adventures and normality!
The main focus of the book, in fact, is Bea’s increasing struggle to keep her normal life and her witch life separate – it’s difficult to juggle different friendship groups, and this comes across really well in the issues that Bea has with her non-magical best friend Ash. Bea can seem a little oblivious at times, swept up in her new life to the detriment of her relationships; it’s good to see her face the consequences of taking people for granted, and it’s handled really well. The big Sports Day is a wonderful scene where everything comes together in a chaotic, but satisfying way.
This is a lovely return to Little Spellshire, and I’m really excited for further books in the series – I highly recommend it to chapter book readers of all ages, especially fans of Witch Wars and You Can’t Make Me Go To Witch School! Five out of five cats.